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Plus! A n i n s i d e lo o k at l i f e i n o u r co m m u n i t y

Enriched Senior Living winter 2011/2012


Creating, sharing and protecting life’s most precious gift

A Publication of Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC

Learning it’s Alzheimer’s changes everything. So does learning it’s not. We are Colorado’s first diagnostic center to offer the advanced imaging and proprietary science to tell clients with confidence if the issue is Alzheimer’s. With breakthrough research proving that earlier intervention can impact the course of the disease significantly, knowing means power. And knowing it’s not means peace of mind. Call us to know. 303.577.5810 991 SouthPark Drive Littleton, Colorado 80120 Located one mile northwest of the E-470/Broadway exit. Drive north on S. Broadway to SouthPark Terrace, west to SouthPark Drive.

Providing comprehensive assessment, resource information and advocacy to local seniors. toward peace of mind... You may consider hiring a care manager if... The volume, frequency or complexities of your loved one’s problems are greater than you feel capable of managing. You live geographically distant from the loved one that you are trying to assist. Life’s demands do not afford you the time that you feel is needed to manage the needs of your loved one. You just simply don’t know where to turn in obtaining the right services. Phone: (623) 776-3098 Fax: (623) 776-3173 Email: Crystal Littlejohn, MHSA, CMC, CSA Owner/Principal


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Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC offers flexible, affordable month-to-month rental programs, enabling residents to enjoy the luxury they desire without a prohibitive financial commitment or buy-in fee. Lifestyle options include independent, assisted living, and memory care. Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC has multiple locations in nine states across the country. To learn more or find a community near you, call 888-516-2188 or visit us online at John Sevo managing director Jeff Kraus managing director Phillip Luebbers Senior VP & CFO Joe Mikalajunas Senior VP & COO Kathleen MacDonald editor and vP of Marketing Tim Devlin VP & General Counsel Jane Goulette VP of Operations Tony Harbour VP of Finance Carole Hull VP of Organizational Development Brenda Hunt VP of Fun Joni Lee VP of Clinical Services Mike Longfellow VP of Construction & Development Ann Olson VP of Sales James Parker VP of Finance & development Lawrence Rugar VP of Results Management Dennis Van Wynsberghe VP of Dining Services Brendan Harrington president/group publisher Lindsay Burke creative DIRECTOR Susan Humphrey project manager

hungry eye publishing PO Box 5998, eagle, co 81631

Welcome to Spectrum Memories. They are the fabric of life. Everything we do and everyone we know throughout our lives create memories. Indeed, each and every experience defines who we become as we age, and that web of life that we spin becomes the memories of us that our loved ones carry. Through our lives, we create memories, we share memories, and oftentimes we lose memories. In this issue of Spectrum Magazine, we take a wellrounded look at memory and how important it becomes in our older years. In “The Gift of Time” (page 22), we offer great ideas on creating memories together as a family. In “Creating a Legacy” (page 14) we explore the value of writing memoirs and recording life history for younger generations. And we also address the more complicated issues of memory loss and dementia. In “Window to the Future” (page 7) you’ll learn about an amazing new program in Colorado that can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia long before the symptoms even appear, which could potentially answer some of the most difficult questions a family will ever face. And finally, in “Path to the Present” (page 5) we are proud to announce our very own Memory Care program that will launch in 2012 with five new communities around the country devoted to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. These new communities will offer comprehensive care that addresses the unique needs of individuals and families struggling with these devastating diseases. The Spectrum network is truly an extended family. And we extend a warm welcome to your family. Whether you are a current resident or looking for some direction with your loved ones, we are here for you. We invite your thoughts, questions and feedback anytime. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy reading this issue of Spectrum, the magazine for enriched senior living. John Sevo and Jeff Kraus Managing Directors Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC

(800) 852-0857

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Spectrum Lifestyle



Helping Those in Need Residents and staff at Crestview Senior Living come together to support the community.


Got Talent? Rigden Farm Senior Living residents steal the show.


Creating a Legacy Preserving memories in albums and memoirs will create a personal legacy you can hand down to younger generations.


Experience of a Lifetime

07 Spectrum Wellness

05 07 10

Path to the Present Spectrum will open five new Memory Care Communities in 2012, featuring comprehensive care for families struggling with dementia.

Window to the Future A new program in Denver, Colorado can now forecast whether a person will get some form of dementia, up to 20 years ahead of time.


Century Mark Introducing three new members of Spectrum’s Centenarian Club.

Spectrum Advisor


The Gift of Time


Mind Your P’s and K’s

Keeping your parents involved in the daily family life is the greatest gift you can give.

When should the adult children assume responsibility for all of a family’s finances?

Inside Spectrum


Looking Ahead

Positivism Has Power


An Ocean Ridge resident reflects on being featured in National Geographic Magazine 75 years ago.

Maintaining a positive attitude can change your day ... and your life!

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Park Meadows Senior Living in Kansas to open a dedicated Memory Care community.

wellne ss

Palos Verdes Senior Living Memory Care Garden in Peoria, AZ

Path to the Present

Spectrum’s new Memory Care Program honors the by Brendan Harrington individuality of each resident living with dementia Dementia and Alzheimer’s

disease not only rob an individual of a sense of self; they also rob families of quality time with their loved ones. Families struggling to understand and care for others affected by these illnesses often find that they can no longer cope with the everyday stress associated with this challenge. They search for someone who will take the time to listen and respond to their unique needs, and offer an environment that provides security and support through an unbearably difficult time. Spectrum Retirement Communities understands the needs and uniqueness of each family’s situation and will open five new Memory Care Communities nationwide in 2012.

Spectrum’s Path to the Present™ program will offer unrivaled care in these specially designed communities focusing specifically on seniors and families battling Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Spectrum has developed an individualized approach to memory care that honors the principles of person-centered care: assurance of individuality, personal choice, privacy, dignity, respect, sense of being part of a community and a home environment. This philosophy is based on a commitment to understanding the unique life path that brings each individual into the Spectrum program, as well as the importance of living in the present with each resident each day. Spectrum has partnered with Mather

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Spectrum’s new Path to the Present™ program guarantees residents and their families the very best in memory care. Lifeways Institute on Aging and the S.E.L.F training program, which teaches a comprehensive, person-centered approach to care emphasizing the individual resident’s routine and personality. In addition, team members receive ongoing training to ensure knowledge of the latest trends in diagnosing, treating and caring for individuals with dementia. Person-centered programming offers strong life-enrichment activities that serve as a foundation of support for residents. The daily activities — specifically designed to address the needs of the Memory Care residents — create a sense of routine and security, empowering and supporting them in a safe lifestyle. Routine is not established for the convenience of staff, but is based on residents’ choices, rhythms and the spontaneity that daily life brings to individuals with dementia. Each resident apartment features a cottagelike atmosphere, with its own front porch, colorful mailbox and curio cabinet where residents can keep important personal mementos. The dining program at Spectrum Memory


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Care Communities is also specially designed to stimulate the senses with an emphasis on super foods, proper nutrition, and hydration. While residents are able to make their own choices, a dedicated chef creates a menu emphasizing foods that, according to the latest research, may slow the effects of dementia. Spectrum’s new Path to the Present™ program and dedicated Memory Care Communities utilize the latest research and forward-thinking philosophies to guarantee residents and their families the very best in memory care. The empathetic, nurturing and person-centered approach honors each individual and addresses each family’s unique situation, providing guidance and support through a challenging time.

Visit or call 800-686-8465 for more information on the Path to the Present™ program or to request a brochure.

A new company in Denver, Colorado can accurately predict whether or not a person will get dementia

window to the

future By Brendan Harrington

Memory loss is inevitable.

As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to recall people, places and times in our lives. And while this decline can be extremely frustrating, it should also be accepted as normal. But, sometimes, the memory loss seems accelerated or alarming. When a loved one has difficulty with family names or exhibits unusual behavior, it causes concern and inevitably the question is asked: Are these normal signs of aging or symptoms of something more serious? It’s difficult to recognize — and certainly hard to accept — symptoms of dementia. Typically, families wait until the memory loss is significant before having a loved one tested, and by then it’s often too late for any effective treatment. But now there is a better way. Now it’s possible to determine with remarkable accuracy whether or not a person is going to get Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, long before the symptoms show up.

Started in summer 2011, Mind Genesis™ is a new program with tremendous potential. Using a traditional PET scan with enhanced imaging capabilities and software, the team at Mind Genesis is able to forecast the onset of dementia as far as 20 years in advance. While the technology behind this breakthrough is quite complicated, the bottom line is this: Knowing whether you or a loved one will get dementia can change your life.

New Technology and Research PET scans have been used to detect cancer for decades, but new developments in software and science, coupled with years of focused research, have led to a breakthrough using the scans for neurology. Using a specialized scan to measure glucose metabolism rates in different regions of the brain, the team at Mind Genesis™ can foresee exactly what problem a person may experience in the future. “They’ve gotten it down to specific areas of the brain,” explains Ken Hobbick,

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Director of PET/CT Operations with Mind Genesis. “You can see if it’s growing too fast or too slow, if it’s hypermetabolic or hypometabolic, over-active or under-active, and then that’s indicative of certain disease states.” Typically, radiologists have worked with vague black-and-white images, making it difficult to capture the information needed for an accurate diagnosis. Now, with the highly detailed fusion of PET and CT imagery, specially developed Neuro-Q software and the exhaustive research of Dr. Daniel Silverman at the University of California Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Mind Genesis can diagnose cognitive decline with stunning precision. “You can say, ‘There is something going in the brain that is causing it to not function well,’” says Hobbick. “You’re looking at the function, by directly measuring the glucose metabolism. By identifying which section of the brain is functioning abnormally, you can begin to forecast the problems that presents.” “There are patterns that show up for different disease states,” he continues. “For example, for Alzheimer’s it would be a specific area of the brain that is getting hyperprofused.”

Promising Signs While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet, new research from the University of Southern Florida shows great promise. Teams there have made a connection between Amyloid Plaque build up in the brain and the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Using medications that are already approved for different uses, they have been able to reduce Amyloid Plaque in studies, indicating a potential path to a cure. Clearly, much more work must be done, but this is one encouraging course of research. of dementia a person may experience is critical because, “if you treat for the wrong type of dementia you can actually make it worse.” Dr. Silverman’s research suggests that dementia is misdiagnosed 40 percent of the time using traditional testing. Over years of tracking patients after a brain scan, through their progress and the evolution of their disease he has learned which scans indicate precisely which diseases and developed a very high rate of

A positive diagnosis gives families the opportunity to capture life as it comes, to start creating great memories with the people they love when it matters most: now. A pioneer in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Silverman identified 42 functional regions of the brain and a baseline healthy brain to compare new scans against. By identifying activity levels in each of the functional regions, Dr. Silverman and the team at Mind Genesis can determine whether there is a problem and, more importantly, exactly what that problem will be. Alzheimer’s is just one type of dementia. According to Hobbick, identifying which type


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accurate diagnosis — an incredible 95 percent. More incredible, perhaps, is the early stage at which Dr. Silverman can forecast dementia … as far as 20 years in advance. “There is the normal aging process where we all start to forget things,” Hobbick says. “But once you reach a certain age — in your 50’s or so — and you wonder if something is really wrong … at that stage, if you went to the neurologist you’d pass every test and forget about it. But if, at that time, you do a

PET scan, he can tell if you have early signs of Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia.”

baseline for your own healthy brain. For example, if you get scanned at age 45, you then have a normative healthy scan to compare against Benefits of Early as you age. Then, you could get Detection scanned at age 55 to compare the Typically, Alzheimer’s disease images and see any degeneration Hobbick and isn’t identified until it’s too late that might indicate problems. his team to treat the disease properly. “The Most hospitals can provide PET and are making neurologists say ‘The time to treat it CT scans. But what Mind Genesis™ progress with was 10 years ago, we can’t do much offers goes well beyond the standard. Medicare and now,” Hobbick explains. But early At Mind Genesis™, the equipment different insurdetection and an accurate diagnosis is better, providing more accurate ance compacan make a significant difference in images in less time (12 minutes) and nies, but the the treatment available. allowing them to use less of the radioMind Genesis “It’s at the point now that active glucose necessary for the image. program is there are drugs that can slow the And, after a team of local radiologists not currently progression [of dementia] and and neurologists examine the scan, covered by any they can stave it off, as long as it’s Dr. Silverman reviews every image caught early enough,” he says. “So that comes through Mind Genesis™ insurance. The that’s the real benefit of knowing himself. In short, explains Hobbick, cost is approxiearly, is that you can do something “We can actually get the best quality mately $3,700, when there’s still a chance.” images in the country read by the which includes While it may seem daunting or leading experts and the doctor who a free round of even premature, if a 55-year-old is literally wrote the book on all of this.” consultations diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — well A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in the and traditional before the true symptoms develop family is going to change your life. neurological — he can get into clinical trials So is the affirmation that it’s not testing to and start medication and cogniAlzheimer’s. Mind Genesis solves determine tive programs that boost the brain the mystery and provides families whether a full activity and delay the onset of the the answers they seek to move on scan is truly disease. “The longer you wait, the with life accordingly. needed. benefits of any treatment will be While they can’t cure dementia diminished,” Hobbick says. yet, they can curtail and delay the Beyond the promising preventive symptoms that are so devastating measures that are being developed, to so many. As Hobbick says, “To a positive diagnosis gives families the opportuknow what you’re in for and to begin treatment nity to capture life as it comes, to start creating early could change the course of your life.” great memories with the people they love when Learn More it matters most: now. For more information about Mind Genesis™, Another reason to get scanned early, with call 303-577-5800 or visit or without symptoms, is to establish a personal

What Does It Cost?

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Positivism Has


You can change your outlook on life with a simple shift in attitude Do you find yourself looking at the world with pessimism? Do negative thoughts invade your brain more often than positive ones? Could you be healthier? Does it seem like nothing is going right in your life? Then this article is for you. It’s never too late to have good things happen in your life. Even when you feel most down, you can change your thoughts and change your life with the help of positive affirmations. Anyone - at any age - can start looking at the world in a more positive way right now. Instead of looking at a glass as half empty, and always seeing the down side to a situation, you can train yourself to see the cup overflowing with good. You may think that you cannot possibly change your life’s circumstances by simply changing your thoughts, and you would be right if you continue to think that way. But, if you give these "positive thinking affirmations” a try for 21 days, you will be pleasantly surprised with the great changes that happen in your life, both big and small. You have nothing to lose and so much that you could gain.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, loving.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

You can use these daily affirmations to make you feel good and place you in a positive and grateful mood. Affirmations work by repetition, so ... repeat, repeat, repeat. There is little doubt that positive thinking has the power to change your life, so start with one positive affirmation today. A daily dose of

When you use positive affirmations on a daily basis, your mind will become free of negative thoughts that only get in the way of happiness. When you can approach your days in a more positive light, you will find that life is more harmonious. You might even be willing to try things that you wouldn't have tried before. By making a conscious effort to think positively, you'll be able to approach life with more hope and you'll simply feel better as a result. Because you feel better and are willing to do things that you wouldn't have done before, people will enjoy spending time with you and a bright new world will open up all around. And then, because you have fewer negative thoughts you will become a magnet for like-minded happy-seekers. When you start using positive thinking affirmations you may feel a bit foolish, but if you just believe that you can change you are already on your way. When you find yourself being negative, sometimes all you need is a reminder to think differently about a situation or about life in general. Positive affirmations are simple reminders that will help you change your thought process for good. Here are some examples of positive affirmations that can help change your old negative thought patterns into thoughts that attract joy, good health and happiness to your life.

positivity will help you feel and live better.

I feel full of vitality and strength I am open to receive abundance I am a wonderful person and I am appreciated for who I am I enjoy a life free of pain I am grateful for all the gifts that life brings me daily I am a generous person and I enjoy sharing what I have I am grateful for all the experiences in my life I choose to live a life of peace I am calm and I will deal today with any challenge in a successful way I am happy with myself and my circumstances now I choose to make the most out of my day I am grateful for the people that I have in my life I am willing to let the past go and enjoy this present moment

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Helping Those in Need Residents at Crestview Senior Living come together for Joplin Tornado Relief On a quiet Sunday, May 22, 2011, the deadliest tornado in 60 years swept through the city of Joplin, Missouri. More than 160 people died because of the tornado and the devastation was enormous. Schools, churches, even entire neighborhoods were wiped out. The estimated costs to repair and rebuild Joplin are expected to top $2.2 billion. Donations were desperately needed for the recovery and the residents of Crestview Senior Living in Crestwood Missouri, rose to

the challenge. They organized a clothing drive within the community and collected 22 boxes of clothing. They also had two separate fundraisers and hosted “A Taste of Crestview� where donations were accepted. The dining staff prepared some specialty dishes and the outside public was invited. The event was well attended by people from the community as well as Crestview residents. The residents of Crestview showed how much they cared and made a big impact on the community of Joplin.

Riding High at Crestview Crestview Senior Living resident Pat Hippe got a visit from her grandson, a firefighter and EMT from Cincinnati, Ohio, in October. When he took Pat for a spin around the neighborhood on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, it generated a lot of excitement with both staff and residents. Pictured, from left to right are: Joann Sontag (housekeeper), Bill Glass (resident), Eudora Keenoy (residents), Vernon Weiss (resident), Pat Beisel (Area Director of Community Relations), Joe Desmond (grandson), Gisela Pacheco (office manager) and Pat Hippe.


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Got Talent?

Rigden Farm Senior Living does! By Jamie Deines

Three residents from Rigden Farm Senior Living in Ft. Collins, Colorado got the attention of the audience and judges at the Northern Colorado Seniors Got Talent show in September. The event was held at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, with 16 different acts coming from around the state, ranging from a chorus group to yodeling. First up on stage from Rigden Farm was Bob Larsen, a retired high school vocal teacher, professional musical director and performer who did not need a microphone to share his singing talents with the audience. Listening to Bob sing, it was clear to everyone that he was and always will be a passionate vocalist. Singing “Rocka-bye Baby” with a Dixie melody and “Chicago,” Bob danced his way around the stage shaking his hips and showcasing his best “retired” performance yet. “Good Morning, Captain. Good Morning to the mules…” It’s only the start of the famous song “Muleskinner Blues” by Jimmie Rogers, but Rigden Farm’s Charlee Damon made it fun and exciting the whole way through, as she tickled the ivories while singing and yodeling this popular song. The audience’s bright shining smiles matched Charlee’s sparkling shoes and performance. The show ended with the perfect act: Olav Vik and Charlee Damon. Olav, a musician himself, is part of New Horizons, a Fort Collins band who perform at different venues throughout the city. He was the perfect signing partner for Charlee as the two stole the hearts of all, with “Sentimental Journey,” as well as their own composition of “Retirement Life at Rigden Farm Senior Living.” A roar of applause ended the show. As the judges put their heads together to declare

Charlee Damon and Olav Vik perform at the talent show.

the talent show winners, everyone lined up at the dessert bar, gathering decadent desserts prepared by contributing senior living facilities for their chance to win Best Dessert. Oh, was it a sweet afternoon! “Can we have your attention please?” was heard over the PA system, and it was time to announce the winners. Drum roll please … In third place: Bob Larsen. The crowd, especially Bob’s fan club, staff and residents from Rigden Farm Senior Living cheered with joy. Second place went to a Men’s Barbershop quartet from Greeley. And finally, in first place: Olav and Charlee! The crowd cheered with joy and once again thunderous applause came from the section in which Rigden Farm staff and residents were seated. After the talent show winners were announced, it was time to declare the winner of the dessert contest: Rigden Farm Senior Living had the best dessert, too! Our individual almond cakes covered in chocolate ganache with a cherry in the middle, topped with whip cream, fresh strawberries, and a chocolate cigar melted everyone’s taste buds. Congratulations and thank you to Bob, Charlee, Olav, and our chef Nathan Troop for making this a memorable event! It was a great outing for the staff and residents of Rigden Farm!

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egacy L


Creating a Personal memoirs can preserve family heritage for generations to come

In September, Spectrum asked if I could share my thoughts about creating a family legacy— sharing the history of parents and grandparents, and other family members, in such a way to By Gina Oldenburg preserve the family’s heritage for younger generations. The very next day, my mom passed away. As my family and mom’s friends gathered to share in the celebration of her life, we knew we were forever connected to her through the memoirs that she had just completed. I would like to share part of her story.

I helped my mother transcribe her story into the memoirs for the past several years. Her memories came alive as she revealed her deepest thoughts and fears, and the small stories that painted the larger picture of her life. Dad was alive when she started to write, and he helped her along the way by filling in where she left off. They took it day by day. Sitting at the kitchen table, they would reminisce about their past, how much they had endured and how time had gone by so fast. From the early years in Naples, through a World War filled with strife, two people found each other and, in America, created a better life. Our parents were part of a generation that shares honor, ethics and care. My mother’s memoir has recorded the complex textures of her life and saved the stories that we will cherish forever, stories that otherwise would have been lost. We are proud to share our parents’ journey, from their beginning to here.


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A S i x ty Y ear R omance

Poem Excerpt from Memoirs of an Italian War Bride: From There to Here ~ by Maria Korasick He was an American soldier amazed by the girl he had found. For him it was love at first sight but, she thought she could give him the run around. You see, they met at a dance in Naples hosted by the American Red Cross. Italians and allies together for a brief time to get lost. In laughter and camaraderie and to meet someone per chance. And that’s exactly what happened when the American soldier asked an Italian beauty to dance. They danced and they talked she introduced him to her mother who sat by so quietly. By the end of the evening, he had asked the girl to the opera for the next Sunday. He accompanied mother and daughter by carriage she showed him to her home. But when he returned the next Sunday the man who answered the door said in a laughing tone.

At a dance in the Palace where they had met before. Then in a heartbeat, he saw her there as he walked through the door. He dashed through the crowd she saw him approaching with such joy in his face. At that instant all she could think of was disappearing without a trace. He arrived at the table out of breath he had supplies he was carrying “Please don’t move, I’ll be right back” He knew she was the girl he would be marrying. She looked at her mother in disbelief “what am I to do?” Her mother’s eyes told the story “You played a game that’s come back to haunt you.” He returned to the table still out of breath, but he found his composure. He asked her to dance, she said yes, knowing the truth would bring her closure. She looked at him and said “I’m sorry, I was quite a fool, to treat you oh so badly you must think me very cruel.”

“This is but a dentist’s house and there is no Sara here. The young lady who gave you this number appears not to be so sincere.”

Before he could speak, she stopped him. “There is one more thing I must say. I am not Sara, my name is Maria. Please forgive me I’d like to see you again some day.”

He searched the streets high and low, back and forth he walked. Trying so hard to remember where the carriage had parked.

He smiled at her, didn’t seem to care What happened in the past. “I’m just glad I found you here, I know in my heart this could last.”

The war went on and six months passed. The soldier returned to Naples still longing to find the girl he had lost perhaps sitting at a table.

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If you have an opportunity to learn about your family’s past, by all means take it. Take the time to sit down with them and share the memories, to record them and to make them last. Gather pictures, write down dates and compile everything in a book. You will be surprised at what you learn, and be glad for the time you took. You’ll find a sense of joy by spending more time with the ones you love, sharing their

life story, and knowing that you’ve documented their history for the future generations of your family. Gina Oldenburg creates individualized poetry and photo collages for families to preserve the history of their lives together. Her company is called “Love Stories Remembered.” You can reach Gina by phone at 720-227-8685.

Hospice Care We care not only for the mind, body and spirit of patients like Steve, but of their family and loved ones, like his daughter Linda. Contact us anytime, or ask your physician for a no-obligation referral.



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of a Lifetime

Ocean Ridge resident commemorates 75th anniversary of being featured in National Geographic Magazine by Kim Goodwin

In 1936, when Doris “Dottie” Gross was 23 years old, she was asked to bring three of her friends and pose in a field of wildflowers for an article in National Geographic Magazine. At that time, the magazine was in black and white, but they did a special 12-page color display of the wildflowers in Bakersfield, California.  The article featured Dottie with her friends and family. Dottie’s father, Art Ferguson, was a leading authority on wildflowers and it was his knowledge of the local fauna that inspired National Geographic to contact them in the first place. Three different generations of the Ferguson family were featured, and Dottie is the only person from the photos who is still living today.

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When Dottie was asked to be in the magazine, her first thought was about how much money she would get paid for it. She needed the money, but later found out her payment was the honor of being featured and the memories that it created. “It was an honor though, and now naturally I appreciate it very much. I have enjoyed it, and it’s been very fun,” Dottie said. “It has been worth it, a million dollars worth. So I have been paid wonderfully.” In the 1930s, Bakersfield was a small town with hills of wildflowers, and a river running through the middle. Today, the colorful hills featured in the photos are filled with homes, as the town has expanded over the years. Dottie’s friend called her a few months ago to inform her that he had just bought a home on the very land that is featured in the photo of her with her three friends. Today, Dottie Gross resides in Ocean Ridge Assisted Living, in Coos Bay, Oregon. Five generations of family members live within 16 miles. She is 99 years old, but very young at heart. Being featured in National Geographic Magazine created many opportunities for Dottie throughout her life. “Beautiful, beautiful memories that I have,” she says. “And that means everything in the world to you when you get up to this age, believe me.”

To commemorate the article, Dottie Gross, 99, and her daughter Diane Barrett, 80, sat down for an interview with Gardiner Falls Media in August 2011. The interview can be seen online at:


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Century Mark Three Spectrum centenarians share their reflections on life and what matters most What are the most important things in life? Good health and being able to take care of yourself. What should one’s priorities be?

To have a positive attitude and be satisfied with your choices. What was the greatest adventure in your life? Traveling the country. What did your parents do? They were farmers in Sidney, Michigan. My father also worked as a clerk in a furniture store. What role does attitude play in your health and longevity? You must have a positive attitude and look forward to each day. What about exercise and diet in your life? I go walking everyday and I love fresh vegetables! I am thankful that I am cancer free. I have been so lucky to have the great life I have had. What do you enjoy doing? Having company; I love my apartment and have the best views.

“You must have a positive attitude and look forward to each day.�

Orletta Mims

Maple Heights Retirement Com munity Allen Park, Michi gan Birthday: 09/10/ 1911

What keeps you going so strong today? Loving life and a strong determination to remain independent. If you could do one thing in life again, what would it be? I would get married to my husband again. Any regrets? None. I take the bitter with the sweet. s p e ctrum / win t e r 20 1 1 / 20 1 2


Centen What keeps you going so strong today? Having no fear and knowing that I am right about what I believe and expressing it. I am not afraid to try anything.

Bea Pender or Living Seni Park Meadows Kansas Overland Park, 1911 Birthday: 10/15/

What are the most important things in life? Family, holidays and golf. What should one’s priorities be? Love of life and fulfilling your dreams! What did you do for a living? I was a teacher of Drama and English, and worked with H&R Block after retiring from teaching. What role does attitude play in your health and longevity? It is all about expressing what you think, and being who you are. What do you enjoy doing? Spending time with family, going to plays, dancing (especially swing dancing) and playing or watching golf. 20

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If you could do one thing in life again, what would it be? Drive. I drove until I was 97. I always loved to travel and would enjoy talking to the truck drivers on the road with my handle, “Busy Bea.” Do you have any regrets? I would love to have cared for my husband rather than take him to the VA in Leavenworth. If you could do anything today, what would it be? Dance!

Deep Roots Bea is very proud of her southern heritage, and has roots back to the pioneers. A county in Texas is named after her direct relative, Bailey Hardeman, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Her great grandfather Thomas Jones Hardeman was a Captain during the War of 1812, a Colonel of the Tennessee Militia, and quartermaster of Jackson’s Natchez Expedition in 1812. Also, Peter Hardeman Burnett was the Governor of California in 1848. Blackstone Hardeman, Jr. was a Confederate Major and a prominent landowner in Nacogdoches, Texas.

narians What role does attitude play in your health and longevity? I have always been very active and eaten healthy. I have always worked hard, especially when I retired from my business and then bought a farm and worked for another 10 years, raising crops and about 50 cattle.

Don Koontz

Lakeview Senior Living Lakewood, Color ado Birthday: 09/04/ 1911

What are the most important things in life? Honesty and the ability to appreciate what you have and be satisfied with it. What matters most? Companionship and being happy. What should one’s priorities be? Good health. Can you share some favorite memories from your childhood? One year we had a real Christmas tree and it was such a joy for the family. What did your parents do? My father did whatever he could to make a living: carpentry, gardening, fur trading, and shoe repair. My mother worked in the home.

What about exercise and diet in your life? Do what you like doing. What do you enjoy doing? I loved to hunt, and would go hunting several times a year for pheasant and deer. What keeps you going so strong today? I love to do puzzles, and work on them at Lakeview several times a day. If you could do one thing in life again, what would it be? I would have kept my first farm. Did you marry? I had a girlfriend in high school, named Fern, when I was 14. We dated for a while but ended up with different spouses. Then, we got back together for a short while, but our lives went in different directions. Years after my wife died, I heard Fern’s husband had also passed. I got up the nerve to call her, then went to visit her in Denver and we fell in love all over again. We have been married for 10 wonderful years. If you could do anything today, what would it be? Just what I am doing. s p e ctrum / w in t e r 20 1 1 / 20 1 2



The Gift of Time

As our parents age, we should remain attentive to their feelings and provide them peace of mind By Pat Beisel

When we grow up, become adults difficult times, temper what you tell them, and form our own family, we better understand unless it is extremely important. By doing so, the role our parents played when they you will save them the stress of worrywere raising us: The joy, pain, ing about you and make them blessings and challenges that feel better. come with having a family. Show respect and Naturally, we can appreciate appreciation to your parents them and what they did, and A great gift for at all times. It brings great take the opportunity to give the upcoming holidays happiness to them when they back with the greatest gift of is satellite radio which feel honored by their children. all: time together. Aging can be a lonely offers hundreds of Be grateful. Showing experience for our parents, stations and continugratitude to your parents for as they miss the chaos and ous entertainment everything they have given to fun of having their children including music and you in the past, as well as the around, like when we were radio programs from role they play in your family still small and growing up. life in the present, makes them Recognizing this is importhe 1930’s, 40’s and happy. Acknowledge your tant and, as a tribute to your 50’s featuring Lucille parents’ contribution to your parents, you can do someBall, Jack Benny, growth as a person and don’t thing to make them happy. suspense series, and forget to thank them for every Being attentive to their much more. This is a moment. needs and emotions goes a long way. Simply thinking great chance to spend Remember your of them, and reaching out to time reminiscing and parents’ birthdays and show you care is vital. listening together. important anniversaries. For a special touch, Let your parents know There’s no better way to make purchase a decorathat all is well in your life. your parents feel special than They worry about you and remembering important dates tive nightlight that what’s going in your life that matter to them and doing displays a photograph at any point. Letting them something for them on those of family, friends, pets know you are doing great special days. Composing a or a favorite place. will put them at ease. Even personal letter will touch if you are going through them on many levels; perhaps 22

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a note of thanks is in order explaining why you are grateful for them and how they blessed your life. Send cards, treat them to special dinners and spend time with them on those occasions. The memories you create will stay in their hearts forever. Keep your parents involved. Invite them to parties, birthday celebrations, holiday events and other family activities. It makes them happy to be part of the fun regardless of age. Stay in touch with your parents and update them about what’s going on in your life. Give them a call and ask how they are, especially if you don’t see them everyday or you live far from them. Send photos of yourself and your family. Simply reaching out to say “hello” will make them happy.

Verbally give thanks for having special times together, no matter what condition your aging parents may be in now. Savor the moment, make no assumptions and stay tuned in to what your parents need. Take a moment to reflect on what you have, rather than what you don’t. That simple appreciation will bring you joy. Never stop learning. The more you learn about the aging parent caregiving period of life, the more you can help family members move gracefully through the aging process. Along the way you can also become an effective Advocate and even dispel a few of your own fears about getting older. Pay tribute to the amazing people in your life, individuals who are experiencing the later years of their lives.

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Mind Your P’s and K’s When should your finances become a family affair? By Marion Delanoy, Partner, Brinkerhoff Revenig & Corrigan

While taking a class in Estate Planning in graduate school, my professor introduced me to his theory of “P’s and K’s” (P’s being parents and K’s being their kids). The basics of this theory are that the P’s don’t trust the K’s and therefore want to retain control over their assets for as long as possible as they age. His premise was that the estate planner should always consider this when working with families. Being a K at the time, I felt this theory was unfair, but now, many years later as a P of grown K’s ... I get the point. But the greater point is that it is advisable on many levels to let one or more K’s in on the inner workings of your financial situation. Like it or not, most of us will eventually need assistance from people outside of our immediate families for our day-to-day needs. The level of care needed can range widely and cost can often be a significant factor in making decisions related to what level of care you need and when. Having your kids frantically look through your checkbook and bank statements while you recover from the effects of a stroke 24

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is not the best way to determine what you can afford. You need to plan ahead, as a family, and bring the K’s in on your financial situation.

Sharing With the Family You should be able to determine what type of care you can comfortably afford using your regular sources of income and how much will need to be supplemented through other means such as long term care insurance and dipping into invested funds. Most professional advisors such as attorneys, CPAs and financial planners, will be more than happy to sit down and have these discussions with you. It’s important to have at least one adult child in on these discussions as well because if you are not up to making decisions at a critical time, an adult child who is able

to keep a straight head will be the best resource. Additionally, it will be important to have “buyin” from your kids on where you and/or your spouse will eventually be living — especially if they will need to contribute to the costs or assist with basic needs. Scheduling planning meetings jointly with you, your spouse, one or more of your kids and a professional advisor can be very helpful. The presence of an independent professional can keep family baggage from weighing the discussions down. The idea is for the planning to be in place long before it’s needed and for family members to understand their roles ahead of time. This can also be a good time to ensure basics are in place such as powers of attorney for financial and medical decisions, a recent notarized will and a living will (also known as an advanced directive). If your assets are such that an estate tax would be incurred, a professional can help you plan to minimize taxes and determine what assets should be used for payment. If one or more of your children will act as personal representative of your estate, having access to all this information in advance will make the process much easier for all concerned. Sharing your financial information with your spouse is also a good idea. Frequently, one spouse (and not always the husband!) handles most of the family finances, pays the bills, and knows what you can and cannot afford. In the case of a sudden death or serious disability of the “financial” spouse, the other is left taking a crash course in finance when they are least prepared to, while they are grieving. At a minimum, both spouses should understand what the family assets are, where they are and how they are titled, how much monthly income is being received and what the major monthly bills are. Switching roles every

couple of months so the ‘non-financial’ spouse gets a chance to experience bill paying and balancing the checkbook can save a surviving spouse extra grief down the road. Another compelling reason for sharing financial information with the younger generation is for financial protection. Fraud against older people is unfortunately on the rise and results in large financial losses every year. In addition, older people may not be targets of outright fraud but may just be given poor financial advice by people who are looking for commissions and fees.

It is advisable on many levels to let one or more “K’s” in on the inner workings of your financial situation. An example that I have encountered several times is an attempt to sell life insurance to older people who do not need it, simply so that the seller can earn large commissions. Having a good working relationship with your adult children about your finances can make it easier to determine if you are being scammed or pressured into purchasing something you do not think you need. So while I still believe my old professor’s theory is valid, there are many reasons for P’s to cut their K’s a little slack and educate them about family finances. Make sure that both spouses and at least one adult child know the basics of your income and expenses, what your assets are, where they are and, most importantly, what your wishes are if you are not in a position to express them for yourself. It’s simply a matter of planning for the unexpected. Sharing your financial situation with the family will make life easier for everyone down the road, no matter what situation may arise.

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New Spectrum community offers an entirely unique approach to memory care Spectrum Retirement

Communities is excited to announce the latest addition to its growing profile. Spectrum will be adding a standalone Memory Care community making this the third level of care to Park Meadows Senior Living in Overland Park, Kansas. The new community will follow Spectrum’s “Path to the Present™” Memory Care Program that offers a unique and very effective approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. By focusing on the individual, we create

Features include safety and accessibility, as well as unique way-finding avenues that create a home-like environment for residents. Apartments will follow the month-to-month rental structure.

By focusing on the individual, we create an environment that caters to one’s personality, core values and personal preference. an environment that caters to one’s personality, core values and personal preference. The freestanding memory care community will be able to hold 40 residents, and will be the first of its kind for Spectrum Retirement. It will be a single story building with approximately 26,000 square feet. More than 55 percent of this space will be devoted to common areas uniquely designed for Memory Care residents. The building will be shaped like a square, and the center courtyard will be the Memory Care garden.


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Spectrum Retirement Communities, LLC, a Denver-based senior housing owner and developer, was founded in 2003. Spectrum currently operates 25 communities in 10 different states, employing more than 1,200 compassionate and caring team members. With no expensive buy-in fee, Spectrum Retirement Communities offers spacious retirement apartment homes at an affordable month-to-month rent. For more information on Spectrum Retirement Communities, visit





• Marvelous Minds • SpectraFitness • What’s News • Spectrum Travel Adventures • Just For Laughs

E V E N T S • Great Moments in Entertainment • Reflections of a Life Well Lived • History’s Mysteries • Quality Living

Visit a Spectrum Community today and be a part of what’s happening. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!




Treat yourself or someone you love

Due to its increasing popularity, Spectrum Retirement is pleased to continue our Treat Yourself Dining Program. TREAT YOURSELF is a unique dining program that offers a new special every quarter. Featuring such items as steak and lobster for only a third of the price of an upscale restaurant. This program is separate from the dining program. Selections and prices may vary. Purchase tickets at participating Spectrum Retirement Communities.

Tenderloin and Lobster for $16.95 Angus choice beef and Canadian cold water lobster tail.

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Spectrum Enriched Senior Living Magazine  

Memories. Creating, sharing and protecting life's most precious gift.