Active Seniors 2024-Lampasas Dispatch Record

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MAINTAINING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES & COMMUNICATION

UNLOCKING THE POWER OF MOVEMENT

STAYING ACTIVE THROUGH COMMUNITY SERVICE

OFF-THEBEATEN-PATH ADVENTURES

2024
Meal Planning and Cooking Tips for Managing Diabetes Diabetes
MEMBER FDIC

Meal Planning and Cooking Tips for Managing

Diabetes Diabetes

Volunteer Service Comes Naturally to These Retirees

5. RECIPE

Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Pumpkin Seeds & Grapes

7. RELATIONSHIPS Maintaining Healthy Boundaries and Communication

8. FINANCE Getting Your Affairs in Order

12. FEATURE Off-The-Beaten-Path Adventures 14. RECIPE The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

20. GRANDCHILDREN Navigating Grand Parenting Balancing Love and Boundaries

25. TRAVEL Embark on Adventure Group Travel Opportunities for Seniors

26. WELLNESS Can CBD Improve Sleep for Seniors?

28. RECIPE Easy Game Night Appetizer

29. RELATIONSHIPS 5 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

Movement
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16. EXERCISE Unlocking the Power of
18. WELLNESS Why We Worry and What We Can Do About It
contents
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ROTISSERIE

CROISSANT WITH PUMPKIN SEEDS & GRAPES Chicken Salad Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS

• 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded

• 1/2 cup seedless grapes, halved

• 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

• 1/4 cup mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 tsp black pepper

• 4 croissants, sliced in half

• Lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)

• Sliced tomato, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

 Remove the meat from the rotisserie chicken and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin and bones. Place the shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl.

 Add the halved grapes and pumpkin seeds to the bowl with the shredded chicken.

 In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and black pepper until well combined. Pour the dressing over the chicken, grapes, and

pumpkin seeds in the mixing bowl. Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

 Place a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato (if using) on the bottom half of each croissant. Spoon the chicken salad mixture over the lettuce and tomato. Place the top half of the croissant over the chicken salad to form a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining croissants. Serve immediately and enjoy!

RECIPE
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ACTIVESeniors

publisher

David Lowe

co- publisher

Gail Lowe

managing editor

Alexandria Randolph

ad director

Teresa Thornton

graphic designer

Trish Griffith

staff writers

Hunter King

Joycesarah McCabe

Erick Mitchell

The information contained in Active Seniors is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Active Seniors for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Active Seniors, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Active Seniors and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Active Seniors. Readers should not use the information in Active Seniors for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem.

© AS20-0224-0424 Fox Printing & Creative Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services (igofox.com)

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MAINTAINING HEALTHY

Boundaries and Communication

As we journey through life, the relationships we cultivate with family members and friends play a vital role in our well-being and happiness. However, as active seniors, it's essential to maintain healthy boundaries and effective communication to ensure that these relationships remain positive and fulfilling. Let's explore some strategies for navigating relationships with loved ones while preserving our own autonomy and emotional well-being.

Maintaining healthy boundaries is essential for preserving our sense of self and protecting our emotional energy. It's okay to establish boundaries that prioritize our own needs and limits. This may involve setting clear expectations with family members and friends regarding personal space, time commitments and emotional support.

Boundaries can take various forms, such as establishing designated "me time" for

self-care activities, politely declining requests that exceed our capacity or communicating our needs assertively yet respectfully. By honoring our boundaries, we cultivate a sense of self-respect and empower ourselves to maintain balanced and fulfilling relationships. Effective communication is the cornerstone of healthy relationships, allowing us to express ourselves authentically and connect with others on a deeper level. It's important to cultivate open and honest communication with family members and friends, fostering mutual understanding and respect.

Active listening is a fundamental aspect of effective communication, allowing us to empathize with others' perspectives and validate their feelings. By practicing active listening techniques, such as maintaining eye contact, paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions, we demonstrate our genuine interest and support for our loved ones.

Additionally, expressing our thoughts and feelings assertively yet tactfully can facilitate constructive dialogue and problem-solving within relationships. Using "I" statements to express our emotions and needs, avoiding blame or criticism and seeking common ground can foster mutual respect and strengthen our connections with others.

Finding balance in our relationships means prioritizing our own well-being while nurturing meaningful connections with loved ones. It's important to recognize when a relationship may be causing undue stress or emotional strain and to take proactive steps to address any concerns.

This may involve assertively communicating our boundaries, seeking support from trusted friends or professionals or reevaluating the dynamics of the relationship. Remember, it's okay to prioritize our own needs and to cultivate relationships that bring joy, fulfillment and mutual respect into our lives.

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GETTING YOUR

Affairs in Order

A VITAL STEP FOR EVERY AGE

Life happens, so it's easy to put off planning for the future, especially when it involves confronting our own mortality. Regardless of age, ensuring that our affairs are in order is a crucial responsibility that should not be overlooked. From life insurance beneficiaries to funeral planning and everything in between, taking proactive steps to organize our affairs can provide peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries

One fundamental aspect of financial planning is designating beneficiaries for life insurance policies. Without proper beneficiaries listed, the distribution of assets from life

insurance policies can become complicated and may not align with your wishes. It's essential to regularly review and update these designations to reflect any changes in your life circumstances, such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children.

Digital Assets

In today's digital age, it's equally important to consider the management of digital assets, including passwords for phones, computers and online accounts. Failing to provide access to these accounts can create significant challenges for loved ones trying to handle your affairs in the event of an emergency or incapacity. Consider creating a secure document or digital vault to store this information,

ensuring that it is easily accessible to trusted individuals when needed.

Power of Attorney

Granting power of attorney for bank accounts and other financial matters is another critical step in estate planning. This legal document allows a designated individual to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so yourself. By appointing a trusted agent, you can ensure that your financial matters are handled according to your wishes, even in unforeseen circumstances.

FINANCE
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Deed Transfer and Estate Planning Documents

For homeowners, ensuring that property deeds are properly transferred and estate planning documents are in order is essential. This includes drafting a last will and testament, establishing a living will to outline your medical preferences in case of incapacitation and planning for the distribution of assets through trusts or other mechanisms. Keeping these documents up-todate and easily accessible is vital for ensuring that your wishes are carried out effectively.

Funeral Planning and End-ofLife Wishes

Planning for end-of-life arrangements and detailing your funeral preferences can provide invaluable guidance to your loved ones during a difficult time. Whether you prefer a traditional funeral service or have specific requests for cremation, burial or memorial services, documenting your wishes can alleviate stress for your family members and ensure that your final wishes are honored.

The Importance of Organization

One of the most critical aspects of estate planning is organization. Keeping all relevant documents in one centralized location, such as a binder or digital file, can simplify matters for your loved ones in the event of an emergency. This includes not only legal documents but also important information such as contact lists, insurance policies and account information.

Meal Planning and Cooking Tips for Managing

Diabetes Diabetes

For seniors living with diabetes, maintaining a balanced diet is key to managing blood sugar levels and promoting overall health and well-being. With careful meal planning and simple cooking strategies, seniors can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while effectively managing their diabetes. Let's explore some helpful tips for meal planning and cooking tailored specifically for seniors living with diabetes.

Focus on incorporating whole, unprocessed foods into your meals. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, fish, tofu and legumes, along with plenty of non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli and bell peppers. Whole grains like

brown rice, quinoa and oats are also excellent choices for adding fiber and nutrients to your diet.

Be mindful of carbohydrate intake, as carbohydrates can significantly impact blood sugar levels. Aim to include

complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as sweet potatoes, beans and whole grains, which are digested more slowly and have less of an impact on blood sugar.

Pay attention to portion sizes to help regulate blood

NUTRITION
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sugar levels and manage weight. Using smaller plates and measuring portions can help prevent overeating and keep portions in check. Aim to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with whole grains or other carbohydrates.

Incorporate healthy fats into your meals, such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. These fats can help improve insulin sensitivity and promote heart health. Limit saturated and trans fats found in fried foods, processed snacks and fatty meats, as they can increase the risk of heart disease and worsen insulin resistance.

Enhance the flavor of your meals without adding extra salt or sugar by experimenting with

herbs and spices. Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley, along with spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and ginger, can add depth and complexity to your dishes while providing antioxidant benefits.

Simplify meal preparation by planning your meals in advance and batch cooking larger quantities of healthy dishes to enjoy throughout the week. Invest in convenient storage containers to portion out meals and snacks, making it easy to grab a nutritious option when hunger strikes.

water flavored with fresh fruits or herbs.

Don't forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Limit sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice, opting instead for water, herbal tea or infused

By incorporating these meal planning and cooking tips into your routine, seniors living with diabetes can take control of their diet and effectively manage their condition while enjoying delicious and satisfying meals. Remember to work closely with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to develop a personalized meal plan that meets your individual needs and preferences. With dedication and mindful eating habits, you can nourish your body and thrive with diabetes.

OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH ADVENTRUES

CULTURAL EXPERIENCES FOR ACTIVE SENIORS

For adventurous seniors with a passion for exploration and a desire to immerse themselves in new cultures, off-the-beatenpath destinations offer a wealth of exciting opportunities. Far from the tourist crowds, these hidden gems provide a unique chance to connect with local communities, discover hidden treasures and create unforgettable memories. Let's delve into the world of off-the-beaten-path travel and explore cultural experiences tailored specifically for older travelers seeking authentic and enriching adventures.

CULTURAL IMMERSION IN REMOTE VILLAGES

Venture off the tourist trail and discover the rich cultural heritage of remote villages and indigenous communities. Whether nestled in the mountains, nestled along the coastline or hidden deep within lush forests, these hidden gems offer a glimpse into traditional ways of life, ancient customs and time-honored traditions. Engage with locals, participate in traditional ceremonies and savor authentic cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

HERITAGE AND HISTORY TOURS

Uncover the secrets of the past with heritage and history tours that take you beyond the well-trodden paths to lesser-known archaeological sites, historic landmarks and cultural monuments. Explore ancient ruins, medieval castles and sacred temples, as expert guides share fascinating stories and insights into the history and significance of each site. From the majestic pyramids of Egypt to the remote temples of Cambodia, these immersive experiences offer a deeper appreciation for the world's diverse cultural heritage.

ARTISAN WORKSHOPS AND TRADITIONAL CRAFTS

Immerse yourself in the world of traditional crafts and artisanal techniques with hands-on workshops led by skilled local craftsmen. From pottery and weaving to woodworking and painting, these interactive experiences allow you to learn from masters of their craft and create your own unique souvenirs to treasure for years to come. Whether shaping clay on a potter's wheel or weaving intricate textiles on a loom, these workshops offer a creative outlet for seniors to express themselves and connect with local traditions.

FEATURE
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CULINARY ADVENTURES AND FOOD TOURS

Embark on a culinary journey through off-the-beatenpath destinations, sampling regional delicacies and traditional dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. From street food markets and bustling bazaars to intimate family-run eateries, these food tours offer a feast for the senses and a chance to discover the flavors of the world. Engage with local chefs, learn traditional cooking techniques and savor the authentic tastes of each destination.

NATURE AND WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

Escape the crowds and reconnect with nature in remote wilderness areas and pristine natural habitats teeming with wildlife. Whether trekking through lush rainforests, embarking on safari adventures or cruising through remote fjords, these nature-based experiences offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Spotting rare wildlife, marveling at breathtaking landscapes and immersing yourself in the beauty of the natural world are all part of the magic of off-the-beaten-path travel.

THE NEXT BEST THING TO Robert Redford Robert Redford

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

• 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Layer

• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

• 1 cup powdered sugar

• 1 cup whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)

For the Pudding Layer

• 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix

• 2 1/2 cups cold milk

For the Topping

• 1 cup whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)

• Chocolate shavings or chopped nuts for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

 Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

 In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, softened butter and chopped nuts (if using) until a dough forms. Press the dough

evenly into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

 Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

 In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust.

 In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the instant chocolate pudding mix and cold milk until thickened, about 2 minutes.

 Pour the pudding mixture

over the cream cheese layer, spreading it out evenly.

 Spread the remaining 1 cup of whipped topping over the pudding layer. If desired, garnish with chocolate shavings or chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.

 Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the dessert is set.

 Once chilled, slice the dessert into squares and serve cold.

Enjoy this decadent and creamy dessert that's truly the next best thing to Robert Redford!

Note: Feel free to customize this dessert by using different flavors of pudding or adding your favorite toppings, such as caramel sauce or fresh berries, for a unique twist.

RECIPE
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FOR ACTIVE SENIORS, STAYING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE ISN'T JUST ABOUT MAINTAINING A HEALTHY BODY—IT'S ALSO ABOUT NURTURING A SHARP MIND, BOOSTING MOOD AND ENHANCING OVERALL WELL-BEING. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OFFERS A MULTITUDE OF BENEFITS FOR COGNITIVE FUNCTION, MOOD REGULATION AND OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE. LET'S EXPLORE HOW STAYING ACTIVE CAN POSITIVELY IMPACT THE MIND AND BODY, ALLOWING SENIORS TO THRIVE WELL INTO THEIR GOLDEN YEARS.

UNLOCKING THE POWER OF Movement

EXERCISE
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Sharpen Cognitive Function

Regular physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of cognitive decline in older adults. Engaging in activities such as walking, swimming, dancing or strength training can enhance blood flow to the brain, promote the growth of new brain cells and improve cognitive abilities such as memory, attention and problem-solving skills. Studies have shown that seniors who exercise regularly experience better cognitive performance and a lower risk of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Elevate Mood and Mental Health

Physical activity has a powerful impact on mood regulation and mental well-being, helping to alleviate symptoms of

stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and relaxation, while also reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Seniors who engage in regular physical activity report improved mood, reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation and a greater sense of overall happiness and life satisfaction.

Boost Physical Health and Function

In addition to its mental benefits, regular physical activity also plays a crucial role in maintaining physical health and function as we age. Exercise helps to strengthen muscles, improve balance and coordination and enhance flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. It also supports cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure

and reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. By staying active, seniors can enjoy greater independence, vitality and longevity well into their later years.

Enhance Your Quality of Life

By incorporating regular physical activity into their daily routine, active seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life and greater overall well-being. Exercise provides a sense of accomplishment and mastery, boosts self-confidence and selfesteem and fosters a greater sense of connection to the world around us. Whether it's taking a brisk walk in nature, practicing yoga or joining a dance class, staying active allows seniors to embrace life to the fullest and enjoy each day to its fullest potential.

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Worry WHY WE

& WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT

As we age, it's natural to have concerns about various aspects of life. Worrying triggers the body's stress response, leading to the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged activation of the stress response can contribute to elevated blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension, placing strain on the cardiovascular system and increasing the risk of heart disease and other health problems. In other words, the very things that we worry about can cause those symptoms.

Weakened Immune System:

Chronic stress resulting from excessive worrying can suppress the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections, illnesses and inflammatory conditions. A weakened immune system may also impair the body's ability to heal and recover from injuries or illnesses.

Sleep Disturbances:

Worrying can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep or experiencing restful sleep. Sleep disturbances can further exacerbate stress and anxiety levels, creating a vicious cycle that negatively impacts overall health and well-being.

Mental Health Concerns:

Excessive worrying is closely linked to anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder. Chronic worry

can contribute to feelings of nervousness, apprehension and fear, impairing daily functioning and quality of life.

Cognitive Impairment:

Persistent worrying can impair cognitive function, including memory, attention and decisionmaking abilities. Individuals may experience difficulty concentrating, processing information and making sound judgments, which can hinder performance in various areas of life.

Negative Impact on Relationships:

Worrying excessively can strain relationships with family members, friends and colleagues, as individuals may become preoccupied with their own concerns and less able to engage fully in social interactions. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness and disconnection from others.

Physical Symptoms:

Physical manifestations of chronic worrying may include headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal problems and fatigue. These symptoms can contribute to discomfort and distress, further exacerbating feelings of anxiety and stress. Here are some ways we can be proactive and prevent unnecessary anxiety.

HEALTH ISSUES

 Schedule regular check-ups, screenings and vaccinations to stay proactive about health.

 Maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise and prioritize sleep for overall well-being.

 Adhere to medication regimens and attend medical appointments to manage chronic conditions effectively.

 Seek support from healthcare professionals and support groups to stay informed and empowered about healthrelated matters.

WELLNESS
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FINANCIAL SECURITY

 Develop a budget and financial plan that includes savings goals and strategies for managing expenses.

 Explore resources such as financial planning services and government assistance programs.

 Consider long-term care insurance options and consult with a financial advisor to address specific concerns.

LONELINESS AND SOCIAL ISOLATION

 Stay connected with family and friends through various means, including phone calls, video chats and in-person visits.

 Join social clubs, volunteer for community events, or consider pet adoption for companionship.

 Engage in group activities and maintain meaningful connections to combat feelings of loneliness.

COGNITIVE DECLINE

 Stimulate the brain with activities such as puzzles, games and learning new skills.

 Stay physically and socially active to support brain health and cognitive function.

 Seek medical attention for concerning symptoms and follow treatment recommendations.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

 Enhance home safety with security systems and remove hazards to prevent accidents.

 Stay informed about common scams and frauds targeting seniors and be cautious with personal information.

 Consider self-defense classes and build a support network of trusted individuals for assistance.

ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

 Research healthcare options and stay informed about changes to policies and regulations.

 Advocate for improved healthcare access within the community and explore telehealth options for remote consultations.

 Seek support from healthcare providers and utilize available resources to ensure quality medical care.

Advocate for improved healthcare access within the community and explore telehealth options for remote consultations.

LOSS OF INDEPENDENCE

 Take proactive steps to maintain independence through physical activity and self-care.

 Utilize assistive devices and adapt the home environment to support daily activities.

 Communicate openly with caregivers and maintain autonomy in decision-making processes.

END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

 Initiate conversations about end-of-life wishes with loved ones and create advance directives.

 Consult with legal and financial professionals to establish estate plans and wills.

 Seek emotional support from spiritual advisors, grief counselors, or support groups to cope with end-of-life concerns.

By addressing these common worries with practical strategies and seeking support when needed, seniors can navigate life's challenges with resilience and confidence, enhancing their overall well-being and quality of life.

Balancing Love & Boundaries NAVIGATING GRAND PARENTING

For active seniors, the role of grand parenting is a cherished opportunity to create lasting bonds with grandchildren while offering love, guidance and support. However, navigating this role requires a delicate balance of nurturing relationships with grandchildren while respecting the boundaries set by their parents. Effective communication is essential for building strong relationships with both grandchildren and their parents. Take the time to openly discuss expectations, concerns and boundaries with the parents,

ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Listen attentively to their preferences and be willing to adjust your approach accordingly. Respect the parenting decisions and rules established by the parents, even if they differ from your own preferences. This includes adhering to dietary restrictions, bedtime routines, discipline strategies and screen time limits. By honoring the parents' wishes, you demonstrate your support for their role as primary caregivers while fostering trust and cooperation.

As grandparents, your role is to offer love, encouragement and

support to both grandchildren and their parents. Avoid criticizing or questioning the parents' choices, as this can strain relationships and create tension. Instead, focus on providing a safe and nurturing environment where everyone feels valued and accepted.

Recognize that parenting styles may vary between households and be willing to adapt to different routines and expectations. Remain flexible and open-minded, embracing new experiences and perspectives while maintaining consistency and stability for grandchildren. Flexibility is

GRANDCHILDREN
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key to navigating the evolving dynamics of grand parenting.

Respect the privacy and boundaries set by the parents when it comes to sharing personal information or posting photos of grandchildren on social media. Always seek permission before sharing any photos or details about grandchildren online and refrain from oversharing or intruding on family matters without consent.

Make the most of your time with grandchildren by creating meaningful experiences and lasting memories. Plan fun activities, outings and adventures that cater to their interests and preferences, fostering a strong bond built on shared experiences and mutual respect. Remember to prioritize quality time together over material gifts or lavish gestures.

Lead by example and demonstrate positive values, attitudes and behaviors that reflect your love and commitment to your family. Show grandchildren the importance of kindness, empathy and respect for others, instilling valuable life lessons that will shape their character and future relationships.

Volunteer Service Comes Naturally to These Retirees

FEATURE 22
Bonnie Millican, left, and Ruthie Martin were honored by the Beta Mu sorority for their more than 50 years of service to the Lampasas community.

When asked why some people grow old and others never seem to age except for a change in appearance, Bonnie Millican responded with laughter in her voice.

"Because they retire and stop living,” she said. “We aren't supposed to retire from life. Retirement just gives us more time to do the things we really want to do."

She and Ruthie Martin have lived this philosophy.

Beta Mu, a local philanthropic organization, recently celebrated both ladies for their 50 years of community service.

That's half a century of answering the call to do their part to make life in Lampasas a little better, a little easier and a little more fun.

Martin said when she first got the invitation to attend a Beta Mu meeting, she was new to town and happy to go. She and her husband Mike, a young attorney, and she, a budding teacher, had chosen Lampasas because they wanted to live in a small town where they could really get to know their neighbors.

"Getting involved with Beta Mu was something I really wanted to do, and I was really glad to be a part of the group," Martin said.

Millican also talked about her introduction to Beta Mu and how, over the years, it has allowed her to be very active in many worthy events.

FUNDRAISER FOR ST. JUDE HOSPITAL

Millican and Martin agreed that one of their biggest undertakings with the organization was participating in a bike ride to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Martin smiled as she reminisced about the event.

"Boy, that was really big, and even [Johnny Jones] came and rode part of the way with us," she recalled.

"Gosh, that was a lot of work,” Millican said of the same event. “It was really great and was a big job. A lot of high school boys came out and rode with us. That was probably our biggest project, and we raised a lot of money [for St. Jude's].”

Millican also mentioned the late Johnny “Lam” Jones, a talented Lampasas athlete who went on to win an Olympic gold medal and play football in the NFL, had participated in part of the bike ride with them.

"That was really something," Millican said of the Lampasas athlete and his support of what the Beta Mu sorority women were doing. “When you have somebody famous riding with you, you tend not to ever forget that!"

Millican said after they accomplished so much through the bike ride, the organization began to turn more toward meeting community needs and enriching the lives of fellow citizens.

"Raising money for St Jude's was a very good thing, and what they do is amazing, but we recognized that there were a lot

of things we could do locally to really make a difference,” she said. “So that's when we really turned our attention completely to our community.”

SUPPORTING THEIR COMMUNITY

Both women and their husbands were recognized in 2012 for their years of service to Lampasas when they were named parade marshals for the annual Spring Ho Festival.

Martin mentioned several of her favorite festival events, the one at the top of her list being the Diaper Derby.

"It is so funny and just sweet seeing those babies and toddlers racing or crawling along," Martin said with a twinkle in her eye.

"Oh, the Diaper Derby!” Millican added. “Let me tell you that is hilarious! It is so much fun."

Both ladies mentioned several other things they've especially enjoyed being a part of through the years: participating in the summer reading program at the Lampasas Public Library; supporting Lampasas Mission; taking trays of cookies and other goodies to the sheriff, police and fire departments once a year; helping to supply the Rainbow Room that is maintained by the local Child Welfare Board; supplying the bingo prizes for local nursing home residents; and providing scholarships to high school seniors.

Martin said volunteer service was a value instilled in her at a very young age.

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"Helping people and service was taught to me when I was growing up,” she said. “It was just what you did. You helped your family, served to make things better for your community and helped your neighbor."

Millican agreed and said retirement should not mean giving up service.

"If anything, you've got much more time to do things that matter,” the former English teacher said. “You might not be able to go from sun-up to sundown like you once did, but you are still capable of doing a lot. Nobody should ever think even for one minute that they are no longer capable, because that is not true."

Millican said she has worked with some wonderful people through the years who retired, and she never saw them again.

"It was like they retired from life itself, and that is what makes you old,” she said.

"You know, we're all seeking the same thing in life,” Martin added. “We all want to know that there is somebody out there that cares for you. [Longtime teacher] Viva Mae Wright was like that. When things were bad, she'd say, 'This too shall pass,' and she was right."

Martin said she feels it is important to "do what we can to let others know that someone cares and that they matter. Don't spend your time sitting around complaining about this ache or this pain and doing nothing. What's even the point in talking about that? There are too many wonderful things in the world to be a part of."

"And don't ever stop laughing," Millican said. "Don't

be so serious! If you see something funny or something funny happens, call up somebody and tell them about it. Let them laugh with you."

Martin’s and Millican's reminiscences are a testament to the idea that giving back to the community is beneficial not only to those in need but also enriching for the volunteers themselves. Their lives are filled with purpose, joy and fulfillment, derived from their half-century of selfless contributions to the community.

The longtime friends are living proof that age is no barrier to making a significant impact and leading a life full of purpose. Their legacy of kindness, resilience and vitality will inspire many to follow in their footsteps as they seek to serve others.

Ruthie Martin and her husband, Mike, and Bonnie Millican and her husband, Pat, were named Spring Ho Grand Parade marshals in 2012, in recognition of the couples’ commitment to helping build and grow the community. The husbands were in legal practice together, and Ruthie and Bonnie taught Lampasas ISD students for years before their retirement.

FILE PHOTO DISPATCH RECORD

Embark on Adventure

GROUP TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTIVE SENIORS

For active seniors with a thirst for adventure and exploration, group travel offers an exciting opportunity to journey to new destinations and create unforgettable memories with like-minded companions. Whether you're drawn to cultural immersion, scenic landscapes or thrilling adventures, there's a group travel experience to suit every taste and interest.

One of the greatest advantages of group travel for seniors is the enhanced safety and convenience it provides. Guided tours and cruises are carefully planned and organized by experienced professionals who handle all the logistics, including transportation, accommodations and activities. This allows seniors to relax and enjoy their journey without worrying about the details or navigating unfamiliar surroundings on their own.

Group travel experiences often include knowledgeable tour guides or cruise directors who provide expert guidance and local insight throughout the journey. These professionals offer valuable information about the destinations visited, sharing historical and cultural context, insider tips and recommendations for must-see attractions. Their expertise enriches the travel experience, allowing seniors to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the places they explore.

Traveling with a group offers seniors the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share their passion for adventure and discovery. Group tours and cruises foster a sense of camaraderie and companionship, providing opportunities to form new friendships and create lasting bonds with fellow travelers. Shared experiences and shared laughter create a sense of

community that enhances the travel experience and makes memories even more special.

Group travel experiences are often designed with seniors' interests and preferences in mind, offering tailored itineraries and activities that cater to their needs and abilities. Whether you're interested in cultural excursions, outdoor adventures, culinary delights or relaxation by the sea, there's a group travel experience that aligns with your interests and desired level of activity.

Traveling as part of a group provides seniors with peace of mind and a sense of security knowing that support is readily available if needed. Whether it's assistance with mobility, medical care, or simply having someone to lend a helping hand, group travel experiences offer support and reassurance that seniors can rely on throughout their journey.

TRAVEL
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CAN CBD IMPROVE SLEEP FOR SENIORS?

Over the past few years, 'CBD' has become something of a buzzword in the health and medical field. You have probably encountered a CBD product ad at some point over the past few days. CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound that can be extracted from hemp and cannabis plants. It is not psychoactive (doesn't cause a 'high'). So, amongst its many health benefits, can it improve sleep quality for seniors?

Q.WHY IS SLEEP AN ISSUE FOR THOSE OVER 60?

A.

As humans age, they face problems falling asleep, and their sleep patterns feature more interruptions. This is partly because sleep disorders like insomnia and apnea are more prevalent among seniors. With age comes medical complications such as arthritis, Alhzeimer's, Parkinson's disease, urinary incontinence and chronic pain, which interrupt sleep. Some medications issued to seniors to manage cardiac,

blood pressure and neurological complications also affect sleep. This is why anyone over 60 needs to be proactive if they are to enjoy a healthy sleep cycle.

Q.HOW DOES CBD IMPROVE SLEEP?

A.One of the ways CBD improves sleep is by addressing the reasons why seniors lack sleep or have their sleep interrupted.

Research has shown that CBD can be effective in the management of stress and anxiety–conditions that feature prominently as insomnia causes. CBD is also widely used in the management of chronic pain and arthritis. These are two conditions that disproportionately affect seniors, and interrupt normal sleep patterns.

Scientific studies have also shown that CBD has a direct impact on improving sleep quality. It is still unclear how this happens, but it has been attributed to the complex way CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid

system which has receptors in the brain and throughout the nervous system. CBD works both directly and indirectly to improve sleep quality.

Q.WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?

A.A healthy sleep cycle is important because of its far-reaching health impacts. Sleep is important for the body and mind's rest and rejuvenation.

A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP IMPROVES

• Mood

• The immune system

• Memory and concentration

• Metabolism

• Appetite

CBD is effective since it not only impacts sleep patterns, it also relieves conditions that interrupt sleep such as chronic pain and anxiety. This is import ant for seniors as healthy sleep improves many aspects of their health including mood, memory and immunity.

WELLNESS
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Easy Easy

Game Night Appetizer

INGREDIENTS

• Cherry Tomatoes

• Green Onions

• Vegetable Cheese Spread

• Crackers

DIRECTIONS

 Use a sharp paring knife to hollow out the cherry tomatoes. Get creative by cutting the edges with points so they look like flowers.

 Stuff with your favorite ready-made cheese spread!

 Use the green onions to display the appetizer in the form of a bouquet of flowers. This is a great accompaniment to your charcuterie board or a beautiful stand-alone appetizer.

 Serve with your favorite crackers on the side.

RECIPE

Dogs can make great companions for senior citizens. It's important to keep in mind that certain dog breeds tend to be better suited for older people. Certain dog breeds may require too much exercise or require other care that seniors won't be able to easily provide. So, which dogs make the best companions for older people? Here are some of the 5 best dog breeds for seniors.

POODLE

Poodles can be an ideal option for senior citizens. For starters, poodles tend to be very clean dogs. They are non-shedding and while they do require regular grooming, they are perfect for the senior who has a difficult time with housekeeping. Poodles are also lovable, loyal and easy to train. Though the poodle is a fairly active breed, mini and toy poodles tend to be content as lap dogs and fare well in small apartments or condos.

BEST DOG BREEDS FOR SENIORS 5

MALTESE

Another low-shedding dog breed, the Maltese can make an excellent companion for seniors. One of the main advantages of this breed is they were bred for companionship. Not only will a Maltese be a loyal lap dog, but they are also small. The breed is a great option for seniors who live in small apartments or condos.

PUG

Pugs offer a number of benefits to senior citizens. For starters, they're small in size. Not only will they generally do well in apartments or condos, but they're also small enough for most seniors to easily handle. They are often called a "lazy" dog breed, since they don't require a whole lot of exercise. One thing to note, however, is that pugs do tend to be moderate to heavy shedders.

CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL

Just like the Maltese, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred as a companion dog. They are loyal to their owners and tend to be very playful. While they love to take walks, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels also love to cuddle up with their owners.

SHIH TZU

Shih Tzus can make great pets for senior citizens. This dog breed is known to be devoted to their owners and are often content as lap dogs. Their small size makes them a good choice for living in small spaces. Though they do enjoy taking walks, Shih Tzus are also often content getting indoor playtime. No matter what breed you decide on, consider adopting an older dog that's already trained.

RELATIONSHIPS
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