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Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 1

Table of Contents Summer 2019

“We Are In This Together”.................4

Downsizing Does Not Mean Stop..................... 22

Owners, Renters May Gain Refunds................ 35

Report from the Legislature........................6

Robotic Surgery............ 25

Your Financial Co-Pilot......................... 36

St. Cloud Flower & Garden Club....................8 Healthy Body, Heathy Mind................. 10 In the Kitchen with Cassie & Kristina.......... 12 Foster Grandparent Program........................ 14 Grandma's Letter ......... 16 Lessons, Suggestions And Humility................ 18 Up North with Josie & Katherine......... 20

The Big Bird.................. 28 Take Advantage Of Summer................... 30 Insight Eye Care Offers Innovative Test To Detect Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Amd) Before Vision Loss Occurs.................. 32 Project Care.................. 33 Why Leveraging An Ira Can Help You Save Smarter For Retirement.................... 34

Rediscovering Dining And Dementia.............. 38 When Hearts Are Heavy..................... 40 Myths In Eye Care........ 42 Frequently Asked Questions: Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids.............. 44 Mended Hearts............. 46 Medical Alert Services Provide Help And Increased Independence For Seniors.................... 48

The Bright Side of 50 Copyright ©2019. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

Please direct all comments, letters and suggestions to: Classic PrintWorks LLC 25623 Lena Lane St. Cloud, MN 56301 Phone 320-654-9680 • Fax 320-252-9259 Publisher: Classic PrintWorks LLC Editor: Cleo Nistler • Marketing Director: Paula Woischke Advertising Sales: Cleo Nistler and Laura Buckner Publication Design by Lora Honer

Publication Dates Fall 2019............... September 22 Winter 2019........... December 21 Spring 2020...................March 21 Summer 2020...................June 22 The Bright Side of 50 will be published quarterly by Classic PrintWorks LLC, St. Cloud, MN 56301. All rights reserved. Classic PrintWorks LLC nor its contributing editors, sponsors or advertisers will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, typographical errors and omissions contained herein. Reproduction without permission from Classic PrintWorks LLC is strictly prohibited.

Attention Readers

On July 11th, we will be posting this issue of The Bright Side of 50 online at Please share this news with your out state friends.

Cleo Nistler, Publisher/Editor

Welcome to “The Bright Side of 50” Summer 2019 Happy Summer Days to all of you! I’m so ready for some sunshine! Our seasonal weather keeps going backwards for some reason and it’s really hard to get my outdoor work completed. As I write this (May 19) there are some areas in Minnesota getting snow again and there are frost warnings for this area. Seriously depressing! We really need to look at “The Bright Side”, it will eventually warm up, I will get the garden planted, and eventually all the flowers will start blooming and all will be good — just not this week! I’m sure all of you have a busy summer season filled with planned events, but please mark your calendars for the Senior Expo on August 17th at the River’s Edge Convention Center, downtown, St. Cloud. Also mark the Walk to End Alzheimers on September 20th. The Pantowners Auto Show is on August 18th for all of you Antique Car buffs. See the ads for more information.

Simon Says... I got a really short hair cut - so when I roll in that “stinky stuff” out in the backyard it’s easier for Gramma to hose me down!

A special thank you to all of you that take the time out of your busy schedule to write for us. The knowledge you share can only come from your experience and what’s in your heart — We also want to thank all of our advertisers for their continued support. They are the people that make “The Bright Side of 50” happen! To you, all our readers, we wish you the best, happy and healthy summertime ever!

Cleo Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 3

G ra n dm a K el se

Me gh a n & H e


“We Are in This


Te am Gramm ys Ga

Four years ago, Mom *Submitted on behalf of quit her job so that she Meghan Kelsey could come help me with my twin boys after they were born. I was an exhausted first-time mom who had no clue what I was doing. It was a huge relief to have her by my side during that time. I started to notice little things about Mom that were different; rather than read too much into anything, I figured that we were both just exhausted. Then the little things started to happen more often. After many doctor’s appointments and tests, we found out that my mom had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 59. I was stunned, paralyzed with fear. People that young didn’t get Alzheimer’s, did they? Would she wake up and just not know me? What is Alzheimer’s, really? Now what? What do we do? These were all questions that went through my head. I lived in denial for a long time, doing more research than I knew what to do with. The doctors were wrong, I thought. Some days she seems fine! It took me a long time to accept the “new version” of Mom. I would get so frustrated, not knowing how to comprehend the disease. I finally sat down with her one day after we put the boys down for a nap, and I asked her what it was like. I wanted to know. I wanted to understand. It was then that I decided, since I can’t change Mom’s diagnosis, I was going to fight like crazy to change it for someone else. 4 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

r Mom


This last September was my family’s fifth time participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in St. Cloud. Joining the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is about more than just raising money for me. While it’s so important to fund research that leads to a cure, my biggest mission is to spread awareness. I want to educate people about what Alzheimer’s really is, and how the ability to complete daily tasks that so many people – including me –take for granted are a huge struggle for my mom and so many others with the disease. Connecting with others in our community at Walk who understand what we are going through is so comforting, and uniting to make a difference is such a great feeling! Being involved with the Alzheimer’s Association has been very therapeutic for me, because I know I am working hard to make a difference. I also know my mom is proud and grateful for what I am doing.

Join us at the following events: 8.20.19 – Remember Me Patio Party; 5-8pm at Thomsen Garden Center; Tickets available at the Green Mill downtown St Cloud 9.14.19 – St Cloud Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Lake George; Registration 9am; call 320.257.0699 for more info or register at 9.14.19 – Rock 4 Alzheimer’s; 1-8pm at Bad Habit Brewing in St Joseph; Enjoy famous bands: Slip Twister, Collective Unconscious, Killer Vees, Walter’s Wheelhouse, and more! For resources and information, call the Alzheimer’s Association: 800.272.3900 (24 hours a day; 7 days a week)

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 5

I believe Summer is finally on our radar. It took us a moment to get there, but sunny, warm days are here! It took us a moment to get to the end of Session as well. We did have a very long day for a Special Session, starting at 10am Friday, May 24th and ending at 7am Saturday, May 25th. I haven’t done that for a long time, and I have found that staying awake the entire time is difficult but better. My 3am cup of coffee was much needed. We had passed one of the budget bills, Higher Education, before we gaveled out of regular Session. We did have the Agriculture, Housing and Broadband come to us at 11:45pm and we requested time to read it before we voted. It was laid on the table until Special Session. It was a hard thing to do, but I feel it was the right thing to do.

that important to our district. The formula was increased 2% for each year of the biennium, funds the special education cross-subsidy reduction, and includes one-time funding for Safe Schools. I am a committee member for Environment and Natural Resources. I was late to the committee as I filled a vacancy for Senator Rarick. Some of the highlights are funding youth firearm safety, trap shooting, archery and hunting and fishing activities in schools. Getting youth to be a part of our outdoor activities has been challenging. The bill provides grants for youth outdoor environmental and natural resources program, adds three additional free “Open House” days at State Parks. The bill also names the Rusty Patched Bumblebee the State Bee.

I am very excited that the Ag Bill included Rural Mental Health Grants for farmers and some dairy assistance. Housing included money for the Challenge Program which provides loans for development of workforce housing, money for manufactured home park infrastructure grants, and money for Homework Starts with Home Program, which helps families with children stay in homes to keep constancy in the child’s life. The results have been outstanding. There is money for Broadband Grants as well.

The Health and Human Services Bill was our biggest Omnibus Bill. It went from 1123 pages as passed on the House floor to almost 700 pages as passed after the Conference Committee Report. The Highlights include extending the reinsurance program to keep insurance rates lowered, continues to fund Nursing Homes, provides funding for Mental Health Grants and funding tobacco cessation programs, prevents an increase in Child Care Assistance Program and expansion of the program and begins to address fraud prevention and program integrity. Child Care is in crisis in MN as we are losing providers in historic numbers which ties in with the fact that we do not have enough folks to fill the jobs that are available – there is no one to watch the children.

Education is always a bill we look forward to. I was disappointed that several programs that have been having wonderful results in District 742 were not included in the bill. I will be working next year to see if they can be included in a supplemental budget as they are

The Jobs and Energy Bill includes Greater MN Business Development Public Infrastructure Grants, Business Development Competitive Grant Program, Child Care Economic Development Grants, and Dairy Assistance, Investment, Relief Initiative.

Here are some of the highlights of the bills that were passed and signed:

6 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

I am pleased to see that the Public Safety and Judiciary Bill provides funding for key public safety and judiciary programs which included funds for the Courts, Corrections, sentencing guidelines commission, Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, and more. Most folks asked about the tax bill regarding the extra taxes and gas tax. The gas tax did not make it into the omnibus bill along with most of the new tax provisions. The Provider Tax was reduced to 1.8% from 2% and the sunset was repealed. I supported the repeal as it is very burdensome to many of our local smaller clinics and raises the cost of all of our health services. Finally, the Transportation Bill continues to use the auto-part sales tax proceeds to fund roads and bridges. Deputy Registrars get relief for the money they have tied up due to the MNLARS bugs and issues because the new software is not working. A new vendor will be providing the software now so no new work will be completed by MNIT, Minnesota’s software division. Thank you for the emails, whether they are for questions, issues, encouragement, or just saying hello. It is my honor to represent my community and I look forward to continuing to do so. Tama

Assumption Community

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Call Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 for more information or to register for an upcoming class! Senior LinkAge Line® is a service of the Central MN Council on Aging and the MN Board on Aging. It does not sell, market, or endorse, any insurance products. Partially funded by the United Way of Central MN.



Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 7

St. Cloud Flower & Garden Club 2019 Meetings & Event Schedule Monday, July 8th, 2019 Combined St. Cloud Flower and Garden Club Flower Show / Granite City Rose Society Show. Entries taken from 8 - 9:45 a.m. Public viewing of the show from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Location is Whitney Senior Center in St. Cloud.

Monday, July 15th, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Tour of Local Gardens. Meet at Whitney Senior Center east parking lot at 5:30 p.m. to pick up maps and arrange to car pool. Itinerary announced at the time of the tour.

Monday, September 15th Meeting at Whitney Senior Center. Topic to be determined.


8 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Hospital Beds Nutrition Products Manual Wheelchairs Seat Lift Chairs Walkers, Canes & Crutches Patient Lifts Bathroom Safety Patient Room Equipment Self Diagnostic Equipment

 Catheters & Urinary Care  Wound Care & Surgical Dressings  SAD Lights (Seasonal Affective Disorder)  Pull-ups, Diapers, Pads & Chux  Ostomy Supplies  Traction & Back Support  Heat & Cold Therapy Aid

Happy Trail Tours

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Check our website for many other great tours not listed.

“Taking you places you’ve always dreamed of and beyond” P.O. Box 432, Forbes, MN 55738 Dec 3-11 ���������������A San Antonio River Walk - Cowboy Christmas 8 Nights / 9 Day Sep 5-21 ���������������The Pacific Northwest! - Oregon, Washington and Idaho 16 day motor coach;featuring Portland, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge & Christmas tour to TEXAS! Hee Haw! We have 3 nights lodging on the Waterfalls, Sternwheeler Dinner Cruise, Multnomah Falls, Willamette Valley, Northern beautiful River Walk at the Holiday Inn; caroling boat rides; historic Market Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, Nature Center & Mount Hood, Seattle, Mount St Helen, Square; Seaworld’s, Shamu “Miracle”; dinner with Mariachi players; visit Johnston Bridge Observatory, many meals and so much more. to Fort Worth (Long horn cattle drive!); and Grapevine for their “Wild West Sep 27-Oct. 16 �����Autumn in New England - New Hampshire, Vermont, Christmas Dinner Show”, 13 meals also included. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island All New Jan 16–25, 2020 ���Hawaiian Adventure Oahu - Kauai and Maui (Save $100 with early England States and so much more! 19 day motor coach; featuring Niagara Falls, ON,(Beautiful Falls) Stockbridge, MA (Norman Rockwell Museum); Mystic, CT (Mystic Sea Port Village); FOUR NIGHTS in CAPE COD -Hyannis, MA; (Martha’s Vineyard; Provincetown, Plymouth Rock, Salt Pond Visitors Center);TWO nights in BOSTON; (Freedom Trail, Paul Revere’s Home; USS Constitution; Tea Party Ship; Salem Witch Museum, JFK Museum); 2 Nights in BAR HARBOR; (Acadia National Park and Lobster Museum); North Conway, NH (Scenic RR); Stowe, Vermont (Von Trapp Family) and Lake Placid, New York (Olympic Village - Miracle on Ice), many meals & more.

Oct 24- Nov 2 �������Rome and the Amalfi Coast Join our friends from Collette Vacation and Save $100 with registrations in by April 22nd. Highlights of this tour: Rome, Colosseum, Montecassino, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Buffalo Milk Mozzarella Factory, Paestum, Capri, Pompeii, winery visit, Naples, National Archaeological Museum. Nov 18-24 �����������Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas 6 Nights / 7 Day Ozark Mountain holiday tour to Missouri ... Includes 4 nights in Branson at the Holiday Inn Express; Show Line Up: Texas Tenors; the Lennon Sisters; Danny O Donnell; Neal McCoy, the Oak Ridge Boys, Silver Dollar City and 14 Meals. More yet to be announced!

registration!) Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, Oahu’s North Shore, Waimea Canyon, Coffee Estate, Fern Grotto, Iao Valley, Lahaina, Polynesian Luau and so much more! (with our friends from Collette)

Jan 21–Feb 2, 2020 �� Panama Canal on the Caribbean Princess with Costa Rica and the Caribbean Round-trip air; balcony cabins, airport shuttle, Pre-night in Fort Lauderdale Feb 15-Mar 6, 2020 Palm Springs, CA & Lake Havusu, AZ with the Grand Canyon This 21 day motor coach adventure includes 7 nights in Palm Springs and 5 nights in Lake Havusu plus 2 nights in Williams, AZ at the Grand Canyon Hotel. (Train to the Grand Canyon); Other inclusions are Joshua Tree NP; Grand Tour of Celebrities; High Desert Tour and a day trip to Julian; Also included while in Lake Havusu-Blue Water Jetboat Tour on the Colorado River; English Village; Antique Car Show; Oatman (Miniature Donkees) and London Bridge. Add to this many wonderful meals and good company!

Watch our website for many wonderful tours yet to be annouced. Like us on Facebook!



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Healthy Body, Healthy Mind By Paula Woischke, Certified Senior Fitness Specialist In the last month I have been working on a project around Brain Resiliency in which you will probably hear about in the near future. We see it in the news and hear quite often the statistics of the growing numbers of Dementia. We become fearful of having Dementia as we get older. We start looking for the magic bullets on how to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s. What I want you to keep in mind, What is good for your body, is good for your brain. What is good for your heart, is good for your brain. So yes – leading a healthy lifestyle is the first step you can take. Of course you know my favorite subject is physical activity. What kind of physical activity will help your mind? The answer is simple – the one you are willing to do! But here is a little more detail on an article I found from Psychology Today.

How Exercise Improves Brain Health, author Mylea Charvat, PH.D. There are many ways exercise improves cognitive health. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your brain. Your increased heart rate is accompanied by harder and faster breathing depending on the intensity of your workout. As your increased breathing pumps more oxygen into your bloodstream, more oxygen is delivered to your brain. This leads to neurogenesis2—or the production of neurons—in certain parts of your brain that control memory and thinking. Neurogenesis increases brain volume, and this cognitive reserve is believed to help buffer against the effects of dementia. Another factor mediating the link between cognition and exercise is neurotrophins, which are proteins that aid neuron survival and function3. It has been noted that exercise promotes the production of neurotrophins, leading to greater brain plasticity, and therefore, better memory

and learning. In addition to neurotrophins, exercise also results in an increase in neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, which boost information processing and mood4.

encompassing exercise routine that significantly enhances cognition.

In a longitudinal study conducted by Dr. Zhu from the University of Minnesota, exercise tests were administered to a group of participants to determine their fitness levels. Those who were the most active in 1985 tended to still be on the fit side of the spectrum decades later. That same “fit” cohort also performed better on cognitive tests decades later5.

So, pick your exercise of choice! Go walking, running, swimming, hiking, or biking. Enjoy the fresh air. Get in touch with nature. And reap the many health benefits of exercise—both physical and mental.

Furthermore, exercise gives hope to people with a rare genetic mutation that programs them for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Although exercise cannot completely counteract their genetic predisposition, people who exercised for at least 150 minutes per week had better cognitive outcomes compared to those who did not. Incredibly, exercise could potentially delay their dementia onset by up to 15 years6.

Does Workout Type Matter?

However, any exercise is better for your brain than none at all.

References 1. 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018. 2. Van Praag, H. (2008). Neurogenesis and exercise: past and future directions. Neuromolecular medicine, 10(2), 128-140. 3. Livingston,G., Sommerlad, A.,Orgeta,V., Costafreda,S.G.,Huntley,J.,Ames,D.,...&Cooper, C. (2017). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet, 390(10113), 2673-2734.

Both the type of workout and method of staying fit are important to whether or not you experience cognitive benefits. It’s not enough to just count calories to stay thin, you still need to exercise. In fact, there is a term in medicine for people who are not healthy overall but manage to stay thin: TOFI (Thin Outside Fat Inside)7. Rather than exhibiting fat externally and appearing overweight, these individuals carry weight viscerally, around their internal organs. This is harmful to overall health—including brain health. It’s most important to concentrate on the type of exercise you perform if your goal is to maximize your cognitive health. A multi-component routine focused on balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness is better than focusing on just one type of exercise. For example, tai chi has been heralded as an example of an allSummer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 11

In The Kitchen with Cassie & Kristina Cassie and I just finished another year of school. We’ve got a fun summer ahead of us! We’ll be spending a lot of time at the campground and going on hikes with our dogs. We also are getting the chance to go to Washington D.C. Have an awesome summer and don’t forget to try out Grandma’s new recipes.

Cassie and Kristina

Pour batter into greased baking dish, then top with 1-2 tablespoons sugar. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove dish from oven and let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Bake Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided 2 cups fresh blueberries 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on cake 1 /2 cup buttermilk 1 /2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1 lemon, zested 1 large egg, room temperature 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon kosher salt Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a square baking dish with butter or non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar and lemon zest for 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy and lightened in color. Add in egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat until incorporated. Starting with the liquid, take turns adding in buttermilk and flour mixture until everything is just combined. Toss blueberries in remaining 1/4 cup flour until coated, then fold blueberries into batter.

Yield: 12-16 Servings

Pickle Dip Pinwheels

Ingredients 16 ounces cream cheese softened 1 1/2 cup diced deli ham 1 1/2 cup diced dill pickle spears 6-7 taco sized tortillas Dice your ham and pickles in smaller pieces and set aside. In medium sized bowl beat your cream cheese until smooth. Fold in your diced ham and pickles until combined. Spread your mixture evenly among tortillas leaving about 1/2” on the side and roll up tightly. Place on plate and wrap in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for about one hour. Remove from refrigerator and slice into about 1” rounds. Yield: 48 Servings

12 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Pasta Salad Ingredients 1 package (16 oz.) tri-color fusilli or rotini pasta 3 /4 cup mayonnaise 3 /4 cup Greek yogurt 1 (1 ounce) package powdered ranch dressing mix 1 medium cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced 2 cups broccoli florets (1 small head), roughly chopped 2 cups asparagus, woody ends removed, chopped 2 bell peppers, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 3 /4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 1 /2 cup cheddar cheese, sliced into matchsticks or grated 1 /2 teaspoon garlic powder Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Two minutes before pasta is fully cooked, add broccoli and asparagus to the pot. Strain pasta and vegetables and set aside. Add mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, ranch mix, and garlic powder to a large serving bowl and whisk to combine. Add pasta, cooked and raw vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, red

onion, bell pepper and cucumber), and cheese and toss to combine. Cover and chill in refrigerator until you’re ready to serve! Yield: 8-10 Servings

Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter Ingredients 2 1lb bone-in strip steaks cut 11/2” thick (or your steak of choice) grapeseed or vegetable oil For the Steak Seasoning: 3 /4 Tablespoon rock salt 11/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns 1 /2 teaspoon dried minced garlic 1 /2 teaspoon dried minced onion 1 /4 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 /8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes For the Herb Butter: Big pinch steak seasoning 1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup,) softened to room temperature 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced For the Steak Seasoning: Add ingredients to a mortar and pestle then coarsely grind. Alternatively, add ingredients to a heavy duty Ziplock bag, squeeze all the air out, then crush ingredients with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or heavy bottomed skillet. For the Herb Butter: Add ingredients to a bowl then stir with a fork to combine. Scoop herb butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap wrap then shape into a thick log and refrigerate until firm (if time is of the essence you can freeze for 20-30 minutes.) Can be done ahead of time.

For the steaks: Trim steaks of any big hunks of fat to avoid flare ups on the grill then pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle each side lightly with oil then season generously with the steak seasoning and rub into steaks you should use most if not all of the seasoning. Light 2/3 or 1/2 of your grill burners (2 of 3 burners, or 1 of 2 burners) then heat on high for 10-15 minutes. Add steaks then sear on each side for 11/2 minutes (adjust accordingly if your steaks are bigger or smaller than 1 pound cut 11/2” thick,) keeping the lid closed when not flipping. Transfer steaks to unlit portion of grill then continue cooking for 7-10 minutes with the lid closed for medium, or until they’ve reached your preferred level of doneness. Remove steaks to a platter then let rest for at least 5 minutes. Top with herb butter slices then serve. Yield: 2-4 Servings

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers Ingredients 1 Tablespoon butter 1 onion, sliced thinly 1 cup sliced mushrooms 6 green peppers, tops removed and deseeded 6 ounces deli sliced roast beef, sliced into thin strips 12 slices provolone cheese Preheat your oven to 400ºF. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms and onions are caramelized, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the roast beef to the onion mixture and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Line each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese. Add the meat mixture to each pepper and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Place peppers in a large baking pan. Bake until cheese is browned and peppers are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. Yield: 6 servings

Apple Slab Pie Ingredients 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as direct on box 1 cup granulated sugar 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 /4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 /4 teaspoon salt 11/2 Tablespoons lemon juice 9 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium) 1 cup powdered sugar 2 Tablespoons milk Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. Unroll and stack crusts one of top of the other on lightly floured surface. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold extra pastry crust under even with edges of pan. Crimp edges. Mix granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Stir in apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture into crust-lined pan. Bake 33-38 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on rack 45 minutes. Mix powdered sugar and milk until well blended. Drizzle over pie. Allow glaze to set before serving, about 30 minutes.

Foster Grandparent Program I recently came across an obituary of a 95 year old whose name I immediately recognized, for story sake we’ll call her Clara. Clara substituted for my 4th grade class for an extended period of time while our regular teacher was out because her father had passed away. I don’t remember Clara because of a negative experience, I remember things that she taught me. First, there was this silly song about a donkey that we had to sing after every recess and Phy.Ed. I still remember the song and have recited it to my kids to break up a bad mood. Second, she taught me a way to remember how to spell ‘friend’ a word I struggled with at that time, to this day, I still hear her words in my head when I spell it. Lastly, she taught me a little poem about the words “good, better, & best”, although I don’t know what the point of it was, I still know the poem. This is my impactful story of how one person stepped in and made a difference. The Foster

ndparent! a r G Vol r unteer as a Foste

Grandparents I work with have the opportunity to be a “Clara” to someone else. Never underestimate the impact you could have, I’ve been out of 4th grade for 28 years. About Catholic Charities Central MN Foster Grandparent Program Adults age 55 and over can receive an hourly tax-free stipend ($2.65/ hour) for volunteering to help children with activities, reinforce learning, assist with art projects, and more, for as little as 5 hours a week. This is a great opportunity if you, love to be with children, and could use some extra non-taxable income, and some hugs. For more information, please call Sara Heurung at 320-229-4589 or toll-free at 1-866-895-7992. You can also email for more information:

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Bob Byers 320.492.3017 Local schools and organizations need caring adults like you! Orientation and training are provided. All volunteers receive ongoing support from school and staff. • Mentor kids who need extra support • Provide one-on-one academic help • Know that you are making a difference • Earn a tax-free stipend For more information please call 320-229-4588 or toll free 1-866-895-7992. 14 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Attention Readers Beginning July 11th we will be posting The Bright Side of 50 online at Please share this news with your out state friends.

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Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 15

Grandma’s Letter

Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She writes: Dear Grand-daughter, The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a 'Honk if you love Jesus' bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting. So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.. Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed. I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed. I found that lots of people love Jesus! While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, 'For the love of God!' 'Go! Go! Go! Good Lord, GO!' What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all those loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach. I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant. He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back. My grandson burst out laughing. Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!! A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared. So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!! Will write again soon. Love, Grandma 16 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019


Whitney Senior Center Health Workshops ICAN Prevent Diabetes

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Living Well with Diabetes

Learn how to create a healthier lifestyle to prevent or delay adult type 2 diabetes. If diabetes runs in your family, if you are overweight or inactive, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or if you are prediabetic, now is the time to reduce your risk of diabetes. ICAN lifestyle course and coaches can help you lose weight, eat healthier and increase physical activity. Register by June 28. DATE: Saturdays, July 6-Oct.26 (no class Aug. 10, 16 sessions + once per month for one year) Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m. | COST: Cost Share Location: 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud 320-255-7245

Support the health and well-being of yourself as you care for your loved one. Whether you’re helping a parent, spouse, friend or neighbor’ whether they’re at home, nearby, or across the country-you will benefit from this class. Through discussions and activities, discover positive ways to reduce stress, change negative self-talk, communicate more effectively, deal with difficult feelings, and make tough decisions. Register by July 2. DATE: Tuesdays, July 9-Aug. 20 Time: 1-3:30 p.m.| Cost: Cost share Location: 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud 320-255-7245

Designed to help people with type 2 diabetes learn how to live well. Topics include: techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes: fatigue, pain, hyper/ hypoglycemia, stress, depression, anger, fear and frustration; appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance; healthy eating, appropriate use of medications/ and working with healthcare providers. Learn how to live better now! Register by July1. Date: Thursdays, July 11-Aug. 22 (6 sessions, no class Aug.1) Time: 9-11:30 a.m. | Cost: Cost Share Location: CentraCare Health Plaza, River East Entrance, Diabetes Classroom, 1900, CentraCare Circle, St. Cloud

Be Part of the next issue of “The Bright Side of 50” Just mail your $14 check for four issues (1 year) and your mailing address to: Classic PrintWorks LLC 25623 Lena Lane, St. Cloud, MN 56301

For advertising information call Cleo at 320-654-9680 or email Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 17

LESSONS, na Suggestions d


By Dennis Waller I’ve always appreciated lessons from biographies and autobiographies, so bear with a bit of mine. Without lecturing, you may identify with my reluctant transition into old age. I don’t know if it’s actually the “Golden Age,” but we all deal with it.

Facing such deprivations, a boring retirement and the pain of losing loved ones, at least I could relax with a cocktail at dinner or evening glass of wine. That didn’t work for me because I’d lost control over alcohol long ago. Still, in old age my life has gotten immeasurably better. How’d this happen?

Some 15 years ago at my annual physical I listed my concerns to the doc. Nodding as we went over them, he finally said “Denny, you need to pray for humility.” I’ve done that ever since and it’s a good thing because the list is considerably longer. But don’t get depressed over familiar issues there is a bright side forthcoming.

Many people had suggested books on how to deal with this phase of life. My wife and I landed on a good one written by two elderly men, an attorney and a doctor. It’s “Younger Next Year,” by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, M.D. The subtitle is “Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond.”

I can no longer throw a fastball to my grandson or make a free throw for my granddaughter. I can’t flip off a diving board, nor hike up a mountain or water ski. Touch football is out of the question and best I not put the little ones on my shoulders. I’m heading for hearing aids. The last time I bowled I couldn’t stay out of the gutters, but I remain hopeful. For shuffleboard.

18 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Briefly: they emphasize common sense actions like regular exercise, adequate rest, meaningful relationships, socializing, moderate diets, using our brains and doing what we can. We make exercise a priority six days a week – 30 to 60 minutes daily – anything that will get us out of the recliner and away from the television. We walk, bike or use cardio equipment and our doctors note the benefits. Interaction with others is vital, such as churches, civic organizations or veteran groups. The authors feel the best social organization they’ve seen is Alcoholics Anonymous, but counter that by recommending a glass of wine on occasion.

I’d agree with the first part and this brings up a hidden and hushed problem – seniors drinking too much. Family members may not wish to disrupt the elder person, so they keep it to themselves. After all, don’t they deserve a toot now and then? What harm is it doing? It’s often claimed to be calming, but there are warning signs. Too much slows thinking, impacts judgment and impairs coordination. If that isn’t enough, senior alcohol abuse affects memory, anxiety, depression and mood changes. It can hasten medical issues and death, though some of these changes are often mistaken for natural aging. There may be a turning point, as it was for me, when alcohol changes behavior and unravels family harmony. It’s never too late to deal with a booze or drug problem. A former co-worker made a decision to face it in her late 70’s and celebrated a number of sober, serene years prior to her death. If you’re unsure, you can ask a pastor, medical or legal professional for guidance on how to proceed. You can research Google for answers. However, remember that seldom does anything change unless the drinker wants to change. I made that decision years ago. And remember the growing list of inabilities? I have never, in my 76 years, been more content that now. Sure, life throws problems in my path, but a 12-Step program gives me a tool box with which to face them. I have friends sharing trials, tribulations and solutions to challenges we all face. I am a grateful, recovering alcoholic, still giving thanks and praying for humility. May you be well. The author has written two childhood memoirs:

Your Hometown Five Star Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Store for 90 years!

Lifetime Powertrain Warranty on New Lifetime Powertrain Warranty on Pre-Owned

A.M. Maus & Son 800-510-2732 • 320-398-3210 21 Maus Dr. (Intersection of Hwy 15 and 55) Kimball, MN 55353 Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 19


Josie & Katherine Lakes Jam

June 19, 2019 - June 21, 2019 Lakes Jam at Brainerd International Raceway is an annual event that unites rock and country music fans from all walks of life and brings them to the beautiful Brainerd Lakes area. Located in lakes country, the area boasts beautiful scenery and allows Lakes Jam to offer optimal camping and weekend fun.

2019 Celebrate America - Crosslake’s 49th Annual Fireworks July 9, 2019 • 10:00 PM - 10:30 PM CDT Join us on Saturday, July 9, 2019 on the water or from the shores of Cross Lake to view the display from Sand Island beginning at dusk.

2019 Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes July 9 - July 10, 2019 Come and celebrate Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes July 9-10, 2019! The huge cast iron kettles of beans are buried on July 11 so they can cook overnight and be served free of charge on July 11 at noon.

12th Annual Chokecherry Festival

August 3, 2019 The Chokecherry Culinary Contest starts at 10:00am. Kid’s arcade area on the north side of Trailside Park. There’s an Arts Festival all day featuring artisans to satisfy the most prudent shopper.

For more information go to:

20 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Greetings from Up North, Josie and I are thankful to finally be done with all of this year’s snow! We both have very busy summers, with Josie continuing her medical school program and me finishing my Masters of Education. We are looking forward to being with family more this season and doing some traveling, especially Josie who will be traveling out of the country! Have a warm and fantastic summer,

Katherine The Nistler Girls

The Looney Lutherans Music and Comedy

•• • •• •

Informative bi-monthly newsletter Free photocopies, lamination, and notary services Educational opportunities, such as our annual AARP Safe Drivers Course Annual casino trips Day trips Annual holiday dinner

TUE, JUN 25 • 1:30PM

“Beautiful Vision” The Essential Songs of Van Morrison with Mick Sterling THU, JUL 25 • 7:30PM

Salute to Glen Campbell featuring Jeff Dayton THU, AUG 1 • 1:30PM

Selling Fast! “I Am, He Said” – A Celebration of Neil Diamond – Starring Matt Vee AUG 15 - AUG 16 • 1:30PM & 7:30PM 320.259.5463 | PARAMOUNTARTS.ORG Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 21

Does Not Mean Stop By Ed Meyer

Living long enough will get all of us to think about “Downsizing.” Some of us will fight it more than others, but reason and common sense will make it happen. We went from a two acre wooded lot on a lake, to a patio home with a pond. I often think about the number of people that never get to experience this stage of life. This is a very interesting and challenging time of our lives. Learning to enjoy the things we can do and learning to adjust to the things we are no longer able to do. There are many advantages to downsizing and moving into town. In many cases one would be closer to Doctors, hospitals, shopping, church, entertainment and friends and relatives find it easier to visit. OK, maybe the last one is not an advantage. The main thing is to keep a positive outlook, think of the positive opportunities and make them your focus. The things you did before downsizing, you probably will still be able to do. We have always been interested in fishing and birding. These can still be done, but the time and location have changed, but the enjoyments are still there. Our patio home has a pond on it, owned with three other friends. We have been able to encourage some seldom seen birds in the city to our pond. What to do with the things that you will no longer need or use can become a problem. The choices go from having a moving sale, to giving everything to relatives to somewhere in between. Just about everyone that has done this before you has their answer (that worked for them). Talk it over with family and then go with what you and your spouse feel is best for you two. Once you have removed most of the unneeded items, you will wonder why I kept that stuff around for so long. Remember when donating items to include the Veterans and Eagles Healing Nest. Your donation could make a veterans’ room, a home. 22 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

A new location will mean new opportunities, new friends and new scenery. I now volunteer at different places doing things that interest me and bring me enjoyment. I never thought about helping first graders to read would be for me, but sitting on that little chair out in the hall, brings back many found memories. I looked forward to that time, as much as children did getting to read to Grandpa Ed. I also volunteer at the VA Hospital and that is one of many areas that can use more volunteers. Just about every community that you move into will have a Senior Center and they can be a great help to getting you involved. Just about every church has a quilting group and they welcome new comers. The St Cloud area has the Paramount Theater, Whitney Center, University and High School sports, Clinics, Libraries and hundreds of other place to give of your time and talents and your efforts will be greatly appreciated. Don’t forget about the hundreds of places to shop, dine and parks to visit in the area. Walking along the Mississippi and Sauk River can be very interesting and relaxing. Think outside of the box and see the enjoyment that downsizing can bring. Keep walking, exercising, and most of all keep enjoying your life and what you are doing.

“The Bright Side of 50” is available at the following locations: 400 CLUB 25958 Lake Road, St. Cloud, MN ADULT & PEDIATRIC UROLOGY CLINIC Connecticut Ave., Sartell BELLO CUCINA 15 E Minnesota St., St. Joseph BELTONE 600 25th Ave. S., St. Cloud CARE MEDICAL SUPPLY, INC. 1000 S. Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids CHAIN OF LAKES MEDICAL CLINIC Hwy. 23, Cold Spring CHURCH OF ST. JOSEPH St. Joseph COLD SPRING PUBLIC LIBRARY COLD SPRING COUNTRY STORE 300 Main St., Cold Spring EYE ASSOCIATES OF CENTRAL MN 628 Roosevelt Rd. Ste 100, St. Cloud FOLEY MEDICAL CENTER Foley FRANDSEN BANK & TRUST Foley HEALTH PARTNERS CLINIC Connecticut Ave., Sartell HERITAGE OF FOLEY CAMPUS 253 Pine Street, Foley INSIGHT EYE CARE 206 W. Division, Waite Park



ST. JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL Brainerd SIMPLICITY HEALTH 1511 Northway Dr., Ste 103, St. Cloud

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 23

L IKE N OWH E RE E LS E Proud to call this place home.

In this place, we face challenges head on, believing that with community and commitment, we can build something better. Live healthier. Take care of each other. This is our role in the story. With top physicians and providers, world-class technology and personalized care, Essentia Health helps you realize your best health where you live. Get started now — call 218-828-7100 or visit

Robotic Surgery by Essentia Health

When Patty Jackson couldn’t face another debilitating attack of an intestinal infection, she turned to an Essentia Health surgeon for help. For more than 20 years, Patty has suffered with diverticulitis, an infection that develops in small pouches that form in the lining of her large intestine. The infections require antibiotics and trips to both her doctor’s office and the emergency room. Lately, Patty found herself having one severe attack after another. Bouts of diverticulitis lead to debilitating pain. “I compare it to labor pains,” says the 68-year-old Crosby, Minnesota, resident. “I can’t even walk.” Antibiotic treatments often made Patty nauseous and unable to eat. A low-fiber diet to calm her infected gut was just the opposite of the highfiber diet she usually eats to move food through her system. “I start feeling better a day after taking the last antibiotic, have a week or a week and half and then I’d have another attack,” she recalls of recent months. “I couldn’t do anything but rest.”

After repeated attacks, Dr. Mark Gray, her primary care doctor, suggested Patty meet with Dr. Duininck, a surgeon at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic. The surgeon explained how he could remove the section of her colon that was getting infected. “Part of my decision to go ahead with surgery was how Dr. Duininck thoroughly explained the surgery and answered my questions,” Patty says. “I felt more comfortable that this would make a difference.” Patty also liked that Dr. Duininck planned to use the da Vinci, a robotic surgery system. With the high-tech device, he explained he would just need to make three tiny incisions in her abdomen instead of a large one. Using tiny instruments capable of extremely precise and delicate movements would cause less disruption of muscles and tissues, which would help her recover faster with less risk for infection. “That made me even more confident,” Patty says, adding “Dr. Duininck covered everything. He has a real caring nature.” Continued on page 26

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 25

Continued from page 25 When another infection caused her surgery to be delayed, Patty decided to cancel a trip to attend her niece’s beach wedding and visit her sister in Arizona. “She’s my only niece and I knew I couldn’t be away if I had another attack,” Patty recalls. “I was really disappointed. I had my fingers crossed and I prayed that the extra antibiotic Dr. Duininck prescribed would get me to surgery this time without another attack. Going through yet another attack was extremely unappealing.” After a successful surgery on April 10, Patty spent two nights at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center. She found a caring staff who always asked if there was anything else they could get for her. “The surgery was easier than any attacks I’ve had,” she says. “By using robotics, Patty had a quicker return of bowel function, less pain after surgery, and

was able to resume a normal diet and leave the hospital in two days,” Dr. Duininck says. “She had very little pain after surgery because we were able to do the surgery through very small incisions – about an inch for the largest one and about a centimeter for the others.” Patty relied on over-the-counter pain relievers while she recovered at home and looks forward to getting back to her life this summer. “I feel like I haven’t been able to do anything but rest in bed since January,” Patty says. “I’ve been frustrated to no end. I know there is no guarantee that another pocket couldn't cause problems up the line, but having that severely pocketed area gone gives me hope that I may never have to go through an attack again. I am going to take all I have learned over time to help insure that. I am very grateful for how the whole surgery experience has gone for me.”

Benefits of robotic surgery

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center has been offering robotic-assisted surgery for 10 years. The local hospital is on its second generation of the da Vinci surgical robot.

“We embarked on this technological advancement first and foremost for the benefit it would provide to our patients,” says Dr. Troy Duininck, chief of surgery at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “Over the past 10 years we have witnessed improved patient outcomes.” The minimally invasive surgery leads to less pain, less blood loss and a lower risk of infection. Patients also benefit from a quicker recovery, which means shorter hospital stays and a faster return to their normal activities. Fewer operations are being performed with large, open incisions, Dr. Duininck says. Most are done with smaller incisions and an instrument called a laparoscope, which allows surgeons to see inside the body. Robotic surgery is laparoscopic surgery with the added benefits of a robot guided by the surgeon from a console. 26 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Robotic surgery has several advantages, Dr. Duininck explains. The robotic arms have wrists that allow great dexterity with tiny instruments. “What this means is that the robot allows us to do whatever our own wrist and hand can do,” the surgeon explains. “This makes dissection and suturing much easier and more precise than laparoscopic surgery.” Another advantage is a three-dimensional view, which allows greater precision. The system also allows a surgeon to operate in very close areas. Dr. Duininck and Dr. Mark Hightower, another general surgeon, are using the robotic system for a variety of common surgeries, including colon resections, hernia repairs and gallbladder removals. Three urologists -- Dr. Scott Wheeler, Dr. Eric Chapman and Dr. Bradley Qualey – are also doing robotic-assisted surgeries. To make an appointment with any of the surgeons at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’sBrainerd Clinic, call (218) 828-2880.

Pantowners 44th Annual Car Show & Swap Meet

Sunday, August 18th, 2019 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Admission: $7/person, kids 15 & under free w/paid adult

Benton County Fairgrounds Display of Local Pan Cars at the Ice Arena


Highlights great pre-war and classic cars and trucks, plus motorcycles and snowmobliles FUN RUN SHOW CAR TOUR

August 17th at 6-8 p.m. • Call Jim for details 320-253-5347


Love where you live at Sterling Park Senior Livin


Our small home-like atmosphere provides full service continuous care options for individuals seeking independent, assisted living, long-term care and short term rehabilitation.

Mentor and tutor local students Provide one on one classroom help to students who may be behind or just need a little extra assistance Build confidence in youth and support their needs and abilities

Our convenient, easy to access location makes if perfect for families and friends to visit and enjoy what Waite Park has to offer.

Schedule a tour today at 320-252-9595.

651.310.9440 888.205.3770

Sterling Park Healthcare Center

Park Garden Apartments

Sterling Park Commons

142 First St. N. Waite Park, MN

114 First St. N. Waite Park, MN

35 First Ave. N. Waite Park, MN

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 27


Bird by Donna Gorrell One day last May at my house in Saint Cloud, I walked into my work room to check my email, and my eye caught something at the door to the deck. Through the lower glass I saw a BIG bird standing there looking at me and nodding its head as if it wanted to come in. Besides its size, there wasn't much else to identify it. Its feathers were mainly shades of brown with a little spot of blue on its neck. Checking the Central U.S. bird book, I decided it looked most like a ruffed grouse, but it was too big for that. Well, I didn't open the door, but later I saw the creature curled on the deck floor in a corner next to the living room door. A couple days later it was still on the deck or in the yard, and we neighbors were talking about having seen the bird in our yards. Well, we finally learned that it was of all things a female peacock! A peahen. Of course, as a female it didn't look like any peacock we had ever seen. And of course it wouldn't be included in a book of Central U.S. birds. We wondered if it had escaped from the fenced-in birds at Munsinger Gardens, but we learned that No, no birds were missing there. 28 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

So I watched it for a few days, kind of enjoying its company. It had evidently discovered that my deck was a comfortable home, enclosed by house walls on two sides plus railings on two sides. And there was that three-sided corner next to the patio doors, where I saw it huddled a few times. A wooden deck table was big enough for a peacock (or hen) to stand on and get a wider view; it also served as a launching pad to the roof. Down a few steps to the yard was a bird feeder with plenty of scraps on the ground, and a fountain readily serving drinks of water. Well, I had to do something. I was planning to move from this house soon. I checked the telephone directory to find someone I could call. I found Dick's Nuisance Animal Control and asked Dick to come and get a female peacock.

He came. He was skeptical of its being a peacock; probably a turkey. I took him around back and showed him the bird huddled in its now favorite corner. A peahen. Dick quietly stepped on the deck and approached. The bird was clearly interested but showed no signs of fright. So with a large, long-handled net, Dick efficiently snatched up the bird, then carried it out to his truck designed to hold caught creatures. Later he wrote that "it was a beautiful bird" and "it apparently had found the home and deck it loved the best." He also reported that he had found a new, permanent home for it. And yes, it was a female peacock, a peahen. I was left with the memory of it, plus the job of cleaning up the deck floor.

Peace of mind is a gift.

With our medical alert system, you can live in your own home— independently, safely, and worry free.


Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 29

Take advantage of Summer - Great Time for Home Repairs

Submitted by Shannon Adamski, St. Cloud HRA Summer is a fun and busy time in Minnesota but it is also the best time to do home repairs. The St. Cloud HRA has programs available to help you affordably update your home and do some of those repairs that you may have been putting off. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) loan is an deferred loan, meaning it is interest free and you make no monthly payments but are required to pay the loan back when you sell your home, if it ceases to be your primary residence or after 30 years. There is a maximum of $25,000 available for repairs such as roof, windows, siding, electrical, plumbing, accessibility or any other repairs related to health, safety or weatherization. Income guidelines are based on household size. A single person household can make up to $42,750 and a two-person household can make $48,850 and still qualify for this loan! The St. Cloud HRA assists you with the home rehabilitation process from start to finish including preparing a scope of work, getting bids, monitoring construction process and payment to the contractor and handling all paperwork. If you or someone you know could benefit from this opportunity please contact Shannon Adamski at the St. Cloud HRA at 320.252.0880 or check out our website at! 30 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019


• Home Repair Loans - roof roof, siding siding, windows, windows furnace and other health, safety and weatherization issues. Up to $27,000 available!

• Accessibility - bathroom modifications, moving your laundry room or kitchen modifications.

• All loans are interest free with no monthly payments. Contact SHANNON ADAMSKI 320-252-0880 •

The Bright Side of 50 Crossword Puzzle ACROSS 1. Wanes 5. Parasitic insect 9. Western tie 13. 12 inches 14. Expenditure 16. Winglike 17. A flat mass of ice 18. “Hogwash!” 19. Anagram of “Tine” 20. Purposes 22. Twisters 24. Expectoration 26. Blockade 27. Ore refinery 30. Bring into existence 33. Sexual predator 35. Debonair 37. A wise bird 38. Excrete 41. Large 42. Nerds 45. Brothel 48. Least wet 51. Control and direct 52. Approaches 54. Seedcases 55. A permanent magnet 59. A flower of remembrance 62. Always 63. Lyric poem 65. Part in a play 66. Arid 67. Fathers 68. Any day now 69. Stepped 70. 1/100th of a dollar 71. Terminates DOWN 1. F F F F 2. South American weapon 3. Dealer in books 4. Spire 5. Dandy 6. Craving 7. Community spirit 8. A type of fungus 9. Brassiere

10. Hodgepodge 11. Tardy 12. Mining finds 15. Proprietor 21. Seats oneself 23. Anagram of “Sage” 25. French for “Head” 27. Dirty air 28. Cut the grass 29. Regulation (abbrev.) 31. Bigger than a teaspoon 32. Iniquities 34. Confederate soldier 36. Prima donna problems 39. Comes after Mi and Fah 40. Snare 43. Akin 44. Views 46. Let go 47. Approve of 49. Satisfies 50. Equatorial 53. A loud sleeping sound

Answers on page 47. 55. “___ we forget” 56. Not under 57. Relating to aircraft 58. Biblical garden 60. Trudge 61. Cravings 64. Eastern Standard Time

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 31

Insight Eye Care Offers Innovative Test to Detect Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) before Vision Loss Occurs -- AdaptDx Testing Can Help Prevent Blindness Caused by AMD – Waite Park, MN – Insight Eye Care, a leading provider of optometric services and vision care products for over 30 years, is among the first in the state of Minnesota to offer the AdaptDx® test to help detect and monitor age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AdaptDx is a simple, noninvasive test that measures the time it takes a patient’s vision to adjust from bright light to darkness, a process known as dark adaptation. With the AdaptDx, clinicians at Insight Eye Care can diagnose AMD before any vision loss occurs – and put a plan place to help preserve vision. “Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of adult blindness, and more than twice as common as glaucoma. It is a chronic disease that causes a part of your retina called the macula to slowly deteriorate as you get older and makes it difficult to recognize faces, read, watch TV, and drive,” said Dr. Greg Friederichs, O.D. “Many of our patients over age 50 are having trouble seeing or driving at night – and this can be the first symptom of AMD. With the AdaptDx, we are able to quickly and easily measure dark adaptation to detect AMD in its earliest stages, which is critical to delaying significant vision loss.”

The AdaptDx test is a simple test that is easy to take. Nothing touches the patient’s eye and the test does not require pupil dilation. During the test, the patient looks into the AdaptDx in a darkened room, and presses a button every time they see a flashing light. The amount of time it takes to complete the test provides the doctor with vital information regarding the patient’s retinal function. For more information: Dr. Greg Friederichs, O.D. | 320-253-0365 |


About Greg

“Yes I am a natural red-head and Yes, I am really Irish.”

Dr. Greg Friederichs, O.D. recommends AdaptDx testing to patients over age 50, particularly those who have trouble seeing or driving at night. Other than age, risk factors for AMD include a family history of the disease, Caucasian race, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or cardiovascular disease. “We are very excited to be one of the first practices in Minnesota to offer this state-of-the-art technology to help identify AMD in its earliest stages and help our patients take action to preserve their vision,” said Dr. Greg Friederichs, O.D. “While there is not a cure for AMD yet, there are several lifestyle changes and supplements that have a proven track record of delaying the progression of the disease.” 32 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

The eye care industry is continually the expanding use of genetic information to tailor health care solutions for your individual vision needs. So my Irish heritage is more important than for just one holiday a year! Schedule your appointment with Greg J. Friederichs, O.D. Stay connected.

Waite Park 320-253-0365



Paynesville 320-204-6400

PROJECT CARE By Karla Krueger Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid A married couple desperate for health insurance contacted our office for assistance. The husband had a serious heart condition and was told that if he did not have surgery, he could die at any time. The hospital refused to schedule his surgery until he had health insurance. With the help of one of our certified health care navigatosr, the husband was immediately enrolled in Medical Assistance and was able to schedule his life-saving surgery. Although not every appointment for our health care navigators involves a life or death situation, the reality is that everyone gets sick sometime. Without health insurance, you may not be able to get the health care you need. This is why Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid has partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield and MNsure to create Project Care, a community health initiative to help people enroll in one of the health insurance options through MNsure, Minnesota’s health care marketplace. Project Care’s team of certified health care navigators will explain the affordable coverage options available through MNsure, including Medical Assistance, Minnesota Care, and Advance Premium Tax Credits. They will help you find the best coverage for you and your family and assist you through every step of the enrollment process. They will also help with renewals for all health care programs.

Medical Assistance is Minnesota’s Medicaid program and covers adults with little or no income, many children and pregnant women. Some of the benefits for older adults on Medical Assistance include Medicare Savings Programs, which pay the cost of the Medicare Part B premium as well as Medicare co-pays and deductibles, and Long-Term Care Services, which helps to pay for the cost of long term care services provided in the home, assisted living or nursing home. Minnesota Care is a state-run health insurance program that covers people with slightly higher incomes who do not have access to affordable health insurance premiums through work. Premiums for Minnesota Care are determined on a sliding-fee scale based on income and family size. Advance Premium Tax Credits are a subsidy to lower the cost of premiums for private insurance plans offered through the MNsure marketplace. The amount of the tax credit is based on income and family size. Project Care is a free service. Appointments to meet with a Project Care navigator are available in communities throughout Central Minnesota. To schedule an appointment to meet with a Project Care health care navigator, call (320) 253-0121 or send an e-mail to Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 33

Why leveraging an IRA can help you save smarter for retirement Submitted by Erik L. Hanson, Thrivent Financial

Are you confident you have enough saved for retirement? And do you feel like your money choices reflect your faith, heart and habits? These are challenging questions that may require you to explore your decisions and figure out what, for you and your loved ones, is ultimately enough. For many, retirement is on the horizon, but they are unclear about how to prepare for it. According to a recent national survey, three in 10 workers report feeling mentally or emotionally stressed about preparing for retirement.1 Yet at the same time, only six in 10 workers say they have saved for retirement and only four in 10 have tried to figure out how much money they’ll need for retirement.2 Working with a financial representative can help you evaluate your savings options. In addition to contributing to an employer-sponsored plan, there are other savings vehicles to help boost your level of income in retirement. An IRA, for example, can provide valuable tax advantages, offer greater growth potential over time and allow for higher contribution limits as you age. Let’s break it down: • Tax advantages: If you have a traditional IRA and contribute the maximum each year, you can take advantage of tax-deferred opportunities to help you get closer to your retirement goals. For example, you could potentially lower your adjusted gross income by the amount you contribute. Doing so could mean you have more money available to help you reach your near-term goals. • Growth potential: Contributing to an IRA is an excellent way to leverage the power of compounding. With the more money you put in, the more your contribution has the potential to grow at an increasing rate, and the more money you ultimately have once you reach retirement. • Higher contribution limits over time: Another benefit of an IRA is it allows for higher contribution limits as you age. Once you’re 50, for example, federal IRA rules stipulate you can contribute beyond the annual limit. These are known as catch-up contributions and can give your savings a big overall boost. 34 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

If you’re interested in exploring IRAs, it would be wise to consult a financial representative who can share the options and help you identify what would work best given your unique financial situation. Planning ahead can lead to greater confidence and a sense of security that you have enough to live the way you want in your retirement. 1, 2 Employee Benefits Research Institute – 2017 RCS: Many Americans Are Stressed About Retirement, Aren’t Taking Steps to Prepare

This article was prepared by Thrivent Financial for use by St. Cloud Area Associates representative Erik L. Hanson. He has an office at 2835 West St. Germain Street in St. Cloud, MN and can also be reached at 320-253-4382. About Thrivent Financial Thrivent is a not-for-profit membership organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. It offers its more than 2 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Thrivent Financial representatives are licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent.

WISDOM STARTS WITH WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART, NOT IN YOUR WALLET At Thrivent Financial, we look at money differently—in a way that’s not just smart, but wise. My goal is to help you prepare for the future, protect the people you love, and live a more generous and fulfilling life. Because life’s not always about having more, it’s about doing more with what you have. It’s about being wise with money. Contact me today to find out more about our unique philosophy. Erik L Hanson, RICP®, CLTC® Financial Associate St. Cloud Area Associates 2835 W Saint Germain St, Suite 550 Saint Cloud, MN 56301 320-253-4382, ext. 104 Licensed agent/producer for insurance products offered by Thrivent Financial, marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Registered representative for securities offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., Minneapolis, MN. Member FINRA and SIPC. Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • 800-847-4836

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Owners, Renters


Property Tax-Aide Aims to Uncover Savings By Pamela Schmid

Fewer than 1 in 10 low- and moderate-income older adults nationwide make use of property-tax-relief programs, according to AARP Foundation. In an effort to boost those numbers, the organization is launching a new service called Property Tax-Aide, to help homeowners and renters determine if they are eligible for refunds.

Last year more than 471,000 Minnesota homeowners received refunds averaging nearly $900 based on 2017 property taxes, and nearly 325,000 renters received credits averaging about $650 based on 2016 rent paid. Hitomi, the Tax-Aide state coordinator for southern Minnesota, said she believes that the number of people served would be higher with increased awareness and accessibility.

The program is an offshoot of AARP Foundation’s widely popular Tax-Aide, which Property taxes are due Aug. 15 in the state. last year served more than 2.5 million Americans, But many counties don’t send out tax bills until garnering them $1.3 billion in refunds. after April 15, when most Tax-Aide sites have already closed. Although geared toward older taxpayers, both tax programs are open to all. AARP Foundation estimates that more than 9 million low-income homeowners and renters Property Tax-Aide will roll out this year in nationwide who are 55 or older are potentially Minnesota, New Hampshire and the District of eligible for property-tax-relief programs but don’t Columbia, with plans to expand to more than a apply, with many not knowing these exist. dozen states by 2020. Last year all 88 Tax-Aide sites in southern Minnesota provided limited service after April 15 to help residents complete their property taxes. Minnesota is one of a handful of states that provide property-tax relief to both homeowners This year the launch of Property Tax-Aide means that every site in the state, staffed by more and renters, according to Dan Soliman, director than 1,000 volunteers, can choose to stay open of housing impact at AARP Foundation. through July. The state’s homestead credit is aimed at residents Learn about free property-tax services at whose property taxes are considered high or call 833-263-9014. relative to their incomes.

Increasing awareness

Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 35

Your Financial

Co-Pilot If anything happens to you, your family has someone to consult. Provided by Aaron M. Meissner

If you weren’t around, what would happen to your investments? In many families, one person handles investment decisions, and spouses or children have little comprehension of what happens each week, month, or year with a portfolio. In an emergency, this lack of knowledge can become financially paralyzing. Just as small business owners risk problems by “keeping it all in their heads,” families risk problems when only one person understands investments. A trusted relationship with a financial professional can be so vital. If the primary individual handling investment and portfolio management responsibilities in a family passes away, the family has a professional to consult – not a stranger they have to explain their priorities to at length, but someone who has built a bond with mom or dad and perhaps their adult children. You want a professional who can play a fiduciary role. Look for a financial professional who upholds a fiduciary standard. Professionals who build their businesses on a fiduciary standard tend to work on a fee basis or entirely for fees. Other financial services industry professionals earn much of their compensation from commissions linked to trades or product sales.1 36 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

Commission-based financial professionals don’t necessarily have to abide by a fiduciary standard. Sometimes, only a suitability standard must be met. The difference may seem minor, but it really isn’t. The suitability standard, which hails back to the days of cold-calling stock brokers, dictates that you should recommend investments that are “suitable” to a client. Think about the leeway that can potentially provide to a commission-based professional. In contrast, a financial professional working by a fiduciary standard always has an ethical requirement to act in a client’s best interest and to recommend investments or products that clearly correspond to that best interest. The client comes first.1 You want a professional who looks out for you. The best financial professionals earn trust through their character, ability, and candor. In handling portfolios for myriad clients, they have learned to watch for certain concerns and to be aware of certain issues that may get in the way of wealth building or wealth retention. Many investors have built impressive and varied portfolios, but lack long-term wealth management strategies. Money has been made, but little attention has been given to tax efficiency or risk exposure.

As you near retirement age, playing defense becomes more and more important. A trusted financial professional could help you determine a risk and tax management approach with the potential to preserve your portfolio assets and your estate. Your family will want nothing less. With a skilled financial professional around to act as a “co-pilot” for your portfolio, your loved ones will have someone to contact should the unexpected happen. When you have a professional who can step up and play a fiduciary role for you, today and tomorrow, you have a financial professional whose service and guidance can potentially add value to your financial life. If you’re the family member in charge of investments and crucial financial matters, don’t let that knowledge disappear at your passing. A will or a trust can transfer assets, but not the acumen by which they have been accumulated. A relationship with a trusted financial professional may help to convey it to others.

Aaron M. Meissner may be reached at320-558-2955 or This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Citations. 1 - [3/22/19]

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Office: 320-558-2955 MN ID#40395690 Aaron holds his Series 7 and 66 registrations and is licensed in Life, Accident, and Health insurance. Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 37


Dining&Dementia Submitted by: Amy Comstock, Ridgeview Place Senior Living If you are caring for your loved one with dementia at home, it is common knowledge that getting our loved ones to eat can be a daunting task for a variety of reasons. A few reasons for causing this stress can because the person with dementia is experiencing: • Short Attention Span • Poor Appetite • Too Many Choices or • Visual Deficits A program called, The Bridge to Rediscovery Dining Program won an ALFA Best of the Best award for their work on closing the gap of caregiving frustration with getting their loved ones to eat. The program has many benefits that will provide nutritional and hydration benefits, but also promote independence while enhancing a person’s desire to eat. There are few key components that highlight this dining experience. Serving Style – Meals are served “Butler” Style. Bringing a bowl of hot mashed potatoes with melted butter in the center to the dining table not only will be visually stimulating but also allow them to enjoy food aromas. It also may cue them for those much needed calories they can get with second helpings! Food and Hydrations – Attractive and nicely prepared brightly colored fresh fruit will make their mouth water! The smell of a tomato with a small vine and leaf attached enhances the aroma and can even induce garden memories! The water content in fruits and veggies can aid in getting hydration into our loved ones. Finger foods such as sandwiches, chicken strips and even plain pancakes work great for those “on the go” folks. For dinners that are not finger 38 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

foods, a piece of bread with those mashed potatoes folded inside can work just as great! Place Settings and Ambiance – People with dementia often have troubles distinguishing between colors. Solid bright colors with no distracting patterns have worked well in memory care settings. Contrasts between food colors and the plate will enhance a person’s visual perception. Using bright colored table cloths will help them see where the plate ends and the tablecloth and napkin are. Other little tricks used in memory care settings include but not limited to: Glasses with texture for a better grip, and weighted bottoms to help reduce spills. Water pitchers on the table can help promote social interaction by offering others water, but can also provide that visual cue for hydration. Small water pitchers that are easy to hold and handle will promote more independence as well. Lastly, keeping the TV and music or radio off and monitor the noise level as those wit dementia have to focus more intently on what they are doing which can come down to even the simple tasks of swallowing. Dining with your loved one can still be a meaningful and intimate experience even if there are struggles with attention span. You owe it to yourself as the care giver to try and implement a few of these ideas and create more meaningful dining moments.

Sail into the Stearns History Museum New Summer Hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday

Check our website for upcoming events: For more information: (320) 253-8424 | 235-33rd Ave. S., St. Cloud, MN 56301 Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 39

When Hearts are Heavy

by Jodi Speicher, Good Shepherd Community A topic has been very heavy on my heart recently and it’s one that many people shy away from discussing. The topic is grief. Grief impacts every aspect of life. You can grieve the loss of a job, a pet, a significant person in your life or someone you don’t even know. Grief knows no age limits or boundaries. The losses I’ve experienced in my life have had a profound impact on me. I lost my grandmother, Lydia, when I was in 5th grade. She passed away at the young age of 72 from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. I remember sitting in the church during her funeral wishing that I’d had more time with her before her memory faded, especially since she was the only grandparent that I had known. I’ve lost a few of my high school classmates since graduation. Most of them were lost due to cancer of different types. It’s hard to grieve their loss and not think that it could have easily been me. A loss at any age is hard to understand and process. My dad died in 2001 at the young age of 71. He fought long and hard, but in the end, cancer won. When dad died, my kids were only eight and three years old. I grieved that they would grow up without knowing this great man. I miss him every single day and think of him in so many situations. He was a strong, silent man of great integrity. He taught me the values of working hard, doing things the right way the first time, and doing the best I can in any task, big or small. While the pain has lessened, I still grieve his loss today. I lost a very dear co-worker about a year ago. She and I worked closely together and had many fun times over the years. Her loss has been profoundly felt by me and our entire organization. I still can’t believe she’s gone. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, but there are healthy ways to cope with sadness and loss. The first step is to acknowledge your grief. Talk about it with a trusted friend or relative or, 40 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

if you can’t do that, seek out a counselor. Know that there will be many highs and lows during this time and that emotions can hit you out of the blue. Take care of yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically. Take a walk, go for a swim or play a round of golf. Do something to get yourself moving and shift your focus to anything other than the situation at hand. Also know that you will run into grief triggers, like an anniversary, birthday or special holidays. Allow yourself to grieve and feel whatever feelings you have. You will never forget, but in time the pain will ease, and you will learn to remember and celebrate the good times. Above all else, be kind to yourself. When someone you know is grieving, offering comfort and support is essential. You can do this by sharing their sorrow and allowing them to express their feelings. You don’t even need to say anything, just listen. Don’t offer false comfort. Saying things like, “it’s for the best,” or “you’ll get over it in time,” is not helpful. Offering practical help like cooking meals, doing laundry, grocery shopping, or babysitting may mean more than anything. Be patient, there is no set timetable on grieving. There are several resources so don’t be afraid to reach out. Many healthcare and hospice organizations, funeral homes, and mental health agencies offer counseling services or support groups. You are not alone and there is no shame in asking for help to work through your grief.

Graceful Living begins here

Meet Pat

Pat has been to England six times. She loves to read British novels and watch British movies. Pat enjoys making handmade greeting cards and is part of the card making group at Good Shepherd. She’s involved in many activities. Pat says, “Everybody is so friendly, especially the staff. It is a nice place to be. It feels like home.” We are proud that Pat calls Good Shepherd home.




Immediate Availability


Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 41

M yt hs in

Eye Care


Unfortunately, there are some myths in ophthalmology, and I’d like to clear up some of these.

by Mitchell Gossman, MD

“Reading glasses weaken your eyes and make you more dependent on them.”

When you enter your 40s you will find yourself needing reading glasses or needing a bifocal. Wearing glasses does not worsen your eyes or make you more dependent on them than if you did not use them. However, you will see more clearly and will prefer to wear them. That is not “dependency” or “making your eyes worse”, it’s just enjoying the benefits of it.

“Eye exercises can reduce the need for reading glasses”.

There is no proof that any kind of “eye exercise” reduces your need for reading glasses. In the early stages of presbyopia, the condition that results in your needing reading glasses or bifocals, you may not need them all the time. You may do better if the lighting is better or the print is darker or larger, and any eye exercise regimen feeds upon that as “proof” that the exercises help, and this is nothing more than quackery.



“Overusing your eyes or straining to see fine print can damage them”. With the exception of staring at an extremely bright light such as the sun or a welding arc, using your eyes will not harm them. Your eyes are nothing more than an optical instrument and the quality of the image you are looking at cannot harm them.

“Prescription reading glasses are better than over the counter reading glasses.”

As long as the numbers on the reading glasses are the same as the prescription for reading glasses, or at least close, the vision with good quality over the counter reading glasses is very close to that of prescription glasses. The advantage 42 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019


of prescription reading glasses is that they can help you see better when you have unequal prescriptions between your two eyes or astigmatism is present. And of course, prescription frames tend to be of better quality than over the counter reading glasses, although the price is higher. Your eye doctor can help you decide between OTC readers and prescription glasses.


“As long as I am seeing well there is no reason to see an eye doctor”. There are many medical conditions affecting the eyes besides a need for glasses, many of which can result in permanent loss of vision if not detected in a routine eye examination. We recommend an annual eye exam after age 40.

“Cataracts can be prevented or treated with medication”.

There is no way to prevent age-related progression of cataract formation. Once cataracts have developed there is no treatment other than surgery to eliminate the blurred vision from cataract. It is true, however, that changing the glasses prescription can provide satisfactory vision without having to have cataract surgery in some cases. Mitchell Gossman, MD


“Dr. Gossman and Dr. Joplin are ophthalmologists at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and see patients from all over Central Minnesota and the St. Cloud area. They are accepting new patients and appointments may be made at 320-774-3789.”

We specialize in cataracts, eyelid surgery, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and more, and yes we do routine eye examinations.


Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 43

Frequently Asked Questions: Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids Presented by Beltone Hearing Aids

Kim Litke

Q: Is it okay to postpone hearing aids, until my hearing loss is “bad enough”? A: No. If someone is noticing hearing difficulty, it’s probably already time to meet with a hearing specialist. Start

with a baseline hearing exam & see where it leads. An exam doesn’t obligate you to anything. Hearing is as much of a “brain thing” as it is an “ear thing”. In recent years, various researchers have found relationships between hearing ability and dementia, depression, cognition, balance, mental acuity, and several other observations. Hearing properly tangents with many facets of general brain science. Hearing loss, to any degree, obstructs some of the most complex & essential activities in life. Time is of the essence with most hearing loss. Waiting several years, until one’s hearing is “bad enough”, doesn’t create any advantage. Within the profession of hearing healthcare, it is widely accepted that patients who stimulate the auditory system with proper amplification, do better at defending against various forms of “phonemic regression”. Now there’s a term for Google self-diagnosis. This central auditory condition often is exposed when wearing hearing aids for the first time. Sounds can be loud enough, but speech is not always clear at first. For many, this can resolve, depending on the brain’s plasticity. However, it’s easier not to deal with this in the first place. Delaying the acceptance of amplification or using improperly fit instruments can make the optimal solution more difficult in the long run. The central auditory system doesn’t concern itself with the cost/benefit assumption, waiting for “bad enough” to agree with “the right time”. It simply needs to be properly stimulated.

Q: What’s the least expensive option for hearing aids? A: We should pay attention to our questions as much as our desire for the answers that make us feel better. If price drives the conversation, then one will continue to learn the same

lessons repeatedly. If our focus is on adequate value at a given cost, then we’re headed in the right direction. Not all “hearing aids” are the same. Customized medical hardware, worn on a sensitive part of the body, for 12 hours daily, over several years, with implications in psychosocial brain science is one area where there might be more to consider, beyond cost. Sure, they all look very similar and fit in the ears. However, recent regulatory changes have cast “hearing aids” as a very large category. There are PSAPs ($70), OTC hearing aids ($200-$700), online & big box channels ($500-$1900), as well as local, private, professional customized solutions ($900-$3,000). Each category carries its own nuances, advantages and trade-offs. Some of these options are designed to sell hardware only. Some options have various shades of access to & quality of care. There are also various preplanned replacement cycles. The most satisfactory end results come from a more comprehensive view, beyond the hardware cost alone. These solutions employ quality products, repeated access to specialized staff AND a company that is dedicated to long term support. Sometimes the least expensive provider of hardware is only half the solution and far more expensive in the long run. If cost is of paramount importance, then promotional discounts, rebates, insurance benefits, financing options and a little comparative shopping could be worth the time. However, it’s highly recommended to give equal weight to more than one factor. Technology features, access to care, quality of care, initial price, durability, anticipated repurchase periods and total cost of ownership are good starting points.

Q: What if I commit to hearing aids and don’t like them? A: MN state law requires that all hearing aid fittings be allowed 45 days to evaluate their effectiveness. Instruments can often be returned or exchanged during this period. The details of this

process should be put in clear writing for you. Sometimes providers of hearing aids will conduct out-of-office demonstrations, prior to any commitment, giving patients an opportunity to “test drive” for a brief period. Keep 44 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

in mind, the 45-days was not arbitrarily chosen as only a consumer protection policy. Often, successful adoption of amplification requires long term daily use, combined with multiple in-person follow-up visits, adjusting the instruments, as patients adapt to “learning” new sounds. If, at the end of a month and a half of daily use, amplification is unsuccessful, you are protected. Providers are legally allowed to withhold fees from refunds. However, each company’s policy can be different.

Q: How long do hearing aids last? A: Hearing aids are frequently replaced between the 5th and 9th years. There are a variety

of contributing factors. They do not expire on their own. However, these are microelectronics, placed in a debris and moisture filled environment, body worn for extended periods daily, in diverse activities, over the course of several years. Changes in hearing loss can outpace the instrument specs. Instruments can be lost or damaged beyond repair. Sometimes a manufacturer will cease repairs and after-market labs cannot source parts. Some instruments are wholesaled so cheaply to outlets that the manufacturer will not repair them, even if it’s technically possible, beyond the original warranty. Other types can be repaired for as long as technically possible. Every few years, advances in new technology perform so much better, some patients exchange any remaining hardware value towards an upgrade. The absolute best way to maximize the life of a hearing instrument is regular cleaning & service by trained staff. It is not uncommon to see 10-year old hearing aids still being used today.

Q: What if I have more questions? A: Most hearing instrument specialists can be seen easily, scheduling within a few days of a phone call. No medical referral is typically required. A 30-60 minute appointment could be the

start of something wonderful…or a baseline exam and some good information.

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Mended Hearts… by Jim Woischke

A volunteer group of Cardiac Patients who’ve “been there and done that”. All of us know someone who’s had some kind of Cardiac event. An irregular heart beat, the ever present High Blood Pressure, a friend who just had bypass surgery or a neighbor who just had a transplant. These and a laundry list of other conditions can lead to an unplanned visit to the ER. We are a group of individuals who’ve had a Cardiac procedure of some type. Some have had Stents installed, Valves replaced, Bypass Surgery or even a Heart Transplant. All of these types of events were dramatic events that changed our lives. The great thing is that we’re able to continue with our lives, often times with improvements that enhance the quality of our lives making it better than before. Speaking for myself, the biggest challenge was a the fear of the unknown. This is where “Mended Hearts” came in. Mended Hearts is an organization of people who’ve had a Cardiac event, recovered and wish to share our wisdom and experience with those who are beginning this challenge. In short: we’ve “been there and done that”. I personally remember speaking with a visitor who came to my room offering polite encouragement. As we talked, he told me that he’d had surgery several years earlier and that he found it very encouraging to speak with someone who’s actually been through the whole process. I agreed with him that day and I agree with him even more today. 46 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019

We don’t provide medical advice, but we’re happy to answer questions that you may have and share our experience. From the perspective of a Cardiac Patient; one who was afraid of the unknown after surgery; that visit was the first step as the recovery process began. There will be days when progress makes big steps and other days when we don’t see noticeable advances. But slow steady steps will get a patient back on track and in a few months, many patients tell me they feel better than before their Cardiac event. Speaking for myself, I can truly say that I feel better today than I did for many years before that trip to the ER just before Sunrise in September of 2016. As the ER Doctor kept repeating that early Friday morning; “Your Body is talking to you and it’s telling you something is wrong!” Those were wise words and words that I encourage all of you to think about. We all have aches and pains, but if you’re experiencing things that are becoming more frequent, more discomforting than before- take the time to talk with your Doctor at your next visit. If you think something is wrong and your heart tells you something isn’t right- make that call, get that appointment ASAP. Find out what’s going on before you make a trip to the ER. Take care of your Heart and it will take care of you. “Its Great to be Alive” and to help others. Kind Regards, Jim Woischke

8th Annual

The Bright Side of 50 Crossword Puzzle

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Form A Team!

$75 per person or $300 per team. If the team has one member who has had heart surgery, cost is only $275 per team. Includes a heart-healthy dinner.

Proceeds will go toward automated external defibrillator (AED) purchase, education and training. If you would like more information about forming a team, contact Joel Vogel at 320-260-5433 or

Sponsored by & Mended Hearts Chapter #10

Bright Side Crossword on page 31.

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| Summer 2019 • The Bright Side of 50 • 47

Medical alert services provide Help And Increased Independence for seniors Nancy A. Drange, APRN, CNP, CWON Nurse Practitioner, CentraCare Health - Paynesville Clinic

You can’t anticipate when you or an older loved one will have a fall. But you can prepare for one. For an older adult, a fall can be devastating event resulting in serious — or fatal — injuries. But a fall also can be a major life-changing event that signals when one may no longer safely live on their own. One in four older adults ages 65 and older reported falling in a recent year. And you can’t rely on always having your cell phone or being able to hang onto it during a fall. So what can be done to help keep you or an older loved one safe? In addition to encouraging balance exercises and making your home safer, seriously consider the help of a medical alert system.

When seconds count, an alert system can make a vital difference. CentraCare Health Medical Alert Service offers in-home and mobile “on-the-go” help buttons as well as automatic fall detection buttons. Help buttons can be worn multiple ways and are safe to wear in the shower. Most systems do not require a landline or traditional phone service to work and mobile systems work anywhere there is a sufficient cellular signal. When help is needed, the user can press the button and contact someone at a 24hour response center who can then contact emergency responders, family members, neighbors, etc. If needed, medical alert systems also can provide units that remind and dispense medications, providing additional assurance that they are taken properly and on-time. Together, these technological solutions can help seniors continue to live safely at home — but while knowing that help is available, if needed, at the press of a button. Learn more about CentraCare Health Medical Alert and complete an online form to review with staff what options are best for you or your loved one. CentraCare has a senior living setting for every stage. We’re here to help families walk their aging journey. • Senior Apartments • Long-Term Care • Assisted Living • Transitional Care (short-term care) • Memory Care • Onsite Dialysis

48 • The Bright Side of 50 • Summer 2019


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SATURDAY, AUGUST 17th 8:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Scams 101: Prevention, Protection, Next Steps River’s Edge Convention Center 10 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud


Unit Chief, Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Cyber Operations V Section, Cyber Division

Sponsored by:

8:00-12:00 100+ Vendors 8:00-9:30 Free Breakfast 10:00-11:00 Keynote Speaker Donna Gregory, FBI

The Good Shepherd Community


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The Bright Side of 50 - Summer 2019  

Health, entertainment, and events for Seniors and the 50 plus generation. Senior living at its best.

The Bright Side of 50 - Summer 2019  

Health, entertainment, and events for Seniors and the 50 plus generation. Senior living at its best.

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