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Senior Lifestyles

McCook Daily Gazette Friday, Mar. 25, 2011


Northwest Kansas conference to focus on healthy aging 2 – McCook Daily Gazette


PHILLIPSBURG, Kansas – Imagine, if you can, reducing pain from a chronic condition; making relatively simple changes that will allow you to stay in your home, or discovering that a neighbor’s cast-off maybe worth enough to buy that new dishwasher after all. Plan now to do all that – and more – when attending the spring, 2011 edition of “Full Circle … an Aging Expo,” which this year is scheduled Apr. 29 at the Huck Boyd Community Center in Phillipsburg, Kansas. The one-day, regional conference will be the seventh in an informative series coordinated by the Northwest Kansas Area on Aging and Kansas State University Research and Extension’s

Northwest Kansas area office, said Libby Curry, Extension family and consumer sciences specialist for the area. The conference will begin at 9:15 a.m. with registration and a Resource Fair. It is geared toward older adults, their families and caregivers, and will feature Joseph P. Galichia, M.D., from Wichita, Kansas, as keynote speaker. “Dr. Galichia will offer tips on prevention, surveillance, diet and exercise in his presentation “Strategies for Living Longer and Better,” Curry said. Attendees also are invited to choose three of 10 breakout sessions offered during the conference. Topics include:  “Put Pain in Your Rearview Mirror,” presented by Courtney McCarty,

registered dietitian, representing Citizens Medical Center, Colby, Kansas, and a trainer for Kansas OptimizHealth Program ing (KOHP).  “Defensive Driving for the Aging Driver,” presented by Tod Hileman, Trooper, Kansas Highway Patrol, based in Hays, Kansas.  “This Used to be My Favorite Meal,” presented by Taunya Williams, registered dietitian, Williams Nutrition Consulting, Agra, Kansas.  “Home Modifications for Aging in Place,” presented by Carol Ann Crouch, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences and 4-H youth development agent in Scott County, Kansas.  “Discussing the Options When Faced with a Life-Threatening Illness,”

presented by Sue Noll, supervisor, Hospice, Hays Medical Center, Hays, Kansas.  "Antiques & Collectibles: Trash or Treasure?” presented by Marvin Mann, AA Antique Appraisal & Consulting, Plainville, Kansas.  "Estate Planning & Farm Succession Planning," presented by Stacey Seibel, Seibel Law Office, LLC, Hays, Kansas.  “Caring for the Caregiver,” presented by Vernon Norwood, coordinator for Family Caregiver Support and Legal Assistance Development Program, Kansas Department of Aging.  “Learn to Laugh with Laughter Yoga,” presented by Jan Moore, activities director, Sheridan County Long Term Care Center, Hoxie, Kansas, and  “Sharing Your Story” presented by Kathy

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

Lupfer-Nielsen, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Lincoln County, Kansas.

The one-day conference will adjourn at 3:30 p.m. The cost to attend, which includes conference materials, a noon meal and facilities, is $25 per person or $40 for two family members. Deadline for registration is April 15, 2011. For registration or more information, contact the Northwest Kansas K-State Research and Extension Office at 785-462-6281 during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Information also is posted on the Northwest Area Extension Web site (http://www.northwest.ksu.e du). Early registrations are recommended, as the popular conference is expected to fill quickly.

An upside to getting older? The perks SENIOR LIFESTYLES

McCook Daily Gazette


The standard for people entering their golden years has long been to fib about their ages. Growing older hasn't always been seen as a positive. But increasing perks for seniors have made it more advantageous for older adults to be proud of their age. It used to be that a senior discount meant a reduced fare on the bus or a couple of cents saved on that morning cup of coffee. However, as more of the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement years, businesses are catering to Boomers' active lifestyles with discounts and perks in a variety of ways. "It pays to do a little research, especially at stores where you shop frequently," says Albert, a retail store manager in New York. "They don't often advertise their discounts, but many stores do have a policy for senior savings if you simply ask." Discounts may vary by franchise or retailer, so it's important to inquire with customer service or the manager about age requirements and the percentages off purchases. Stores like Kohl's offer discounts on a certain day of the week. Other businesses may have a standard percentage that they take off regardless of the day or time the purchases are being made. Dunkin Donuts, KB Toys, Banana Republic, and many other retailers offer anywhere from 10 to 15 percent off on purchases. That can add up to considerable savings, especially for older adults living on fixed incomes. And individuals need not be retirement

age to reap store perks. Some businesses offer discounts for customers over the age of 62. Many others start the cutoff at 50 to 55. The earlier Boomers find out about discounts, the sooner they can start saving. Stores aren't the only ones offering perks to seniors, either. Discounts may be available on airline flights and other modes of transportation. Reduced rates on hotel rooms, car rentals and other travel industry items are also available. Community services may be made possible for seniors as well, including low- or no-cost financial counseling. Health companies also may have discounted programs for seniors, including fitness clubs, prescription programs and therapy. Anyone age 50 and up is eligible for enrollment in AARP, which boasts its own collection of discounts and recommended businesses. Let's not forget senior housing, which has evolved way beyond the retirement communities of the past. Today's senior living facilities often boast state-of-the-art fitness centers, theaters, pools, transportation for shopping, recreational activities, and much more in addition to the steeply reduced purchase price for a home. Retirement homes are often several thousand dollars cheaper than an onpar house of similar size sold to a younger buyer. Before anyone 50 years or older pays full price when shopping, dining out or traveling, he or she should investigate whether there are discounts in place that can quickly add up to savings.

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Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 3

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Many businesses, including grocery stores, offer special deals to seniors.

As you age: you and your medicines 4 – McCook Daily Gazette


As you get older you may be faced with more health conditions that you need to treat on a regular basis. It is important to be aware that more use of medicines and normal body changes caused by aging can increase the chance of unwanted or maybe even harmful drug interactions. The more you know about your medicines and the more you talk with your health care professionals, the easier it is to avoid problems with medicines. As you get older, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. For example, changes in the digestive system can affect how fast medicines enter the bloodstream. Changes in body weight can influence the amount of medicine you need to take and how long it stays in your body. The circulatory system may slow down, which can affect how fast drugs get to the liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys also may work more slowly, affecting the way a drug breaks down and is removed from the body. Drug Interactions Because of these body changes, there is also a bigger risk of drug interactions among older adults. Therefore, it's important to know about drug interactions. I Drug-drug interactions happen when two or more medicines react with each other to cause unwanted effects. This kind of interaction can also cause one medicine to not work as well or even make one medicine stronger than it should be. For example, you should not take aspirin if you are taking a prescrip-

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tion blood thinner, such as warfarin, unless your health care professional tells you to. I Drug-condition interactions happen when a medical condition you already have makes certain drugs potentially harmful. For example, if you have high blood pressure or asthma, you could have an unwanted reaction if you take a nasal decongestant. I Drug-food interactions result from drugs reacting with foods or drinks. In some cases, food in the digestive tract can affect how a drug is absorbed. Some medicines also may affect the way nutrients are absorbed or used in the body. I Drug-alcohol interactions can happen when the medicine you take reacts with an alcoholic drink. For instance, mixing alcohol with some medicines may cause you to feel tired and slow your reactions. It is important to know that many medicines do not mix well with alcohol. As you grow older, your body may react differently to alcohol, as well as to the mix of alcohol and medicines. Keep in mind that some problems you might think are medicinerelated, such as loss of coordination, memory loss, or irritability, could be the result of a mix between your medicine and alcohol.

What Are Side Effects? Side effects are unplanned symptoms or feelings you have when taking a medicine. Most side effects are not serious and go away on their own; others can be more bothersome and even serious. To help prevent possible problems with medicines, seniors must know about the medicine they take and how it makes them feel.

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Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

Metro Creative Connection

Itʼs important to be aware of drug interactions and side effects.

Keep track of side effects to help your doctor know how your body is

responding to a medicine. See MEDICINES Page 14

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Safe driving part of healthy aging McCook Daily Gazette


It's common for men and women to periodically reassess their lifestyle as they age. With a goal toward healthy aging, most people can recognize the role their lifestyle plays in their overall health. An often overlooked part of healthy aging is how some, if any, physical changes have affected how a person drives his or her automobile. Any adult who has had to discuss driving with an elderly relative knows how difficult such a discussion can be, as automobiles have long represented a certain level of independence no adult wants to give up. But even those who have yet to reach retirement age should assess their driving to determine if aging has begun to affect their driving. Such an assessment can help men and women determine if it's time to take steps to make themselves safer drivers. Assess Eyesight A driver's eyesight is integral to his or her safety on the road. Fortunately, eyesight can be corrected with prescription glasses or even surgery. Men and women who have trouble reading street signs or seeing street markings might need an eye examination. Also, if dusk or nighttime driving has grown more difficult it might be time for an eye exam.Difficulty seeing while behind the wheel puts drivers and their passengers at significant risk, but such a problem might be solved by a new eyeglass prescription. Poor visibility might have nothing to do with a driver's vision. It could be a byproduct of certain external factors. Drivers having trouble seeing might consider adjusting their seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers should be able to see at least 10 feet in front of their own vehicle. A seat that is too low can decrease visibility. In


Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 5

addition, when taking a vehicle in for routine repairs, ask the mechanic to inspect the headlights to make sure they are working and aimed correctly.

Assess the Vehicle As men and women age, they may find it is more difficult to control a motor vehicle. Strength, coordination and flexibility diminish as a person ages, and this can affect a person's ability to drive. But such physiological changes don't necessarily mean a person has to give up driving. It might just mean it's time to find a car that's easier to drive. For example, many drivers prefer vehicles with manual transmissions, feeling such cars are more fun to drive. However, as a person ages, the ease of driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission, power steering and power brakes can make it much safer for that driver to be on the road. Older drivers often find smaller vehicles are easier to control, and such drivers should consider smaller cars if they're having trouble controlling their current vehicle. Assess Personal Feelings Toward Driving How a driver feels toward driving can also play a role in that driver's safety. Drivers who feel nervous or overwhelmed when driving don't necessarily need to abandon their vehicles and embrace public transportation. Such feelings might be caused by a driver's medication. Medication can make people sleepy or cause dizziness. Either of those side effects can lead to confused drivers who are easily overwhelmed when entering traffic. Discuss any symptoms with a physician, who might know alternative treatment options that enable drivers to safely stay on the road. For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at

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As adult drivers age, itʼs important to take the time to honestly assess driving skills and physical health before getting behind the wheel.

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The best exercises for the over-50 crowd 6 – McCook Daily Gazette


Friday, Mar. 25, 2011


The human body needs exercise to operate at full capacity. Exercise is important at any age, but can be particularly beneficial for individuals in their golden years. The key is finding exercises that are both safe and effective.

Benefits of Exercise The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 28 to 44 percent of seniors ages 65 to 75 are inactive, meaning they don't get enough daily exercise for optimal health. Studies indicate that there are many reasons that seniors should engage in regular exercise. * It can help stave off illness and chronic conditions by keeping the immune system healthy. * It paves the way for better sleep, including falling asleep easier and sleeping more deeply. * Exercise releases natural endorphins, which help a person feel good about him or herself and can boost mood. * Regular exercise can promote weight loss, especially when done in conjunction with a healthy diet. * Improved muscle tone can take pressure off of joints and help with mobility. * Research indicates that exercise can boost brain function and keep dementia at bay. * When participating in social exercise, seniors realize companionship and stress relief. * Exercise can keep systems of the body in check, reducing constipation and helping circulatory issues. Engaging In the Right Exercises While it may have been the norm to do multiple, rigorous repetitions of exercises during one's youth, older adults should employ different strategies. Certain exercises are better than others and can help reduce the risk of injury. Before starting any type of exercise regimen, seniors should talk with a physician about the pros and cons of certain activities. The doctor may be able to provide guidance as to which activities are better for specific conditions a person has. For example, an individual with arthritis may want to seek low-impact workouts, such as water aerobics. Once a doctor gives the go-ahead, here are some exercises many 50+ people can try. * Walking: Walking remains one of the best exercises for people of any age.

Metro Creative Connection

Exercise is important at any age, but can be particularly beneficial for seniors.

The pace and resistance can be set by each individual by walking faster or slower, uphill or downhill. Adding light weights can make the workout even more effective. Walking is also easier on the legs and knees than jogging, but can be just as effective a cardiovascular workout. * Leg extensions: Repetitions of leg extensions stretch the muscles of the legs and flex the knee joint. This can promote longevity of the knees and keep knee replacements at bay. * Swimming: Enrolling in a local gym or YMCA that has a pool can be a boon to seniors. Swimming is a low-impact workout that targets most areas of the body as well as providing a cardiovascular workout. Plus, since swimming can be relaxing and enjoyable, it's an exercise that many people don't mind doing. * Strength training: Moderate weight lifting can keep muscles strong and promote a healthy metabolism, considering muscle burns more calories than fat. * Endurance exercise: Just about any activity that gets the heart rate up for an extended period of time is good for the body. This can be raking leaves, mowing the lawn, walking, bicycling, playing a game of catch, etc. Be sure the doctor clears any such activities beforehand.

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McCook Daily Gazette


Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 7

Report: Affordable Care Act controls costs for early retiree coverage U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has released a new report showing that the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) created by the Affordable Care Act is reducing health care costs for early retirees. As of December 31, 2010, more than 5,000 employers had been accepted into ERRP, more than $535 million in health benefit costs have been reimbursed through the program, and those payments have helped benefit more than 4.5 million Americans. This funding provides financial assistance for health plan sponsors – including state and local governments, for-profit companies, schools and other educational institutions, unions, religious organizations and other non-profits – to help early retirees and their families maintain access to quality, affordable health coverage. The largest share of 2010 reimbursements went to governments, including state and local governments, school districts and other local agencies. A list of approved plan sponsors, updated on January 27, 2011, is available online at s/retirement. “The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is helping to control health care costs and protect coverage for early retirees and their families,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This program is providing critical financial relief to help states, private employers and other organizations preserve access to affordable health coverage for millions of

Americans.” The percentage of large firms providing workers with retiree health coverage dropped from 66 percent in 1988 to 29 percent in 2009. Many Americans who retire before they are eligible for Medicare without employer-sponsored health coverage see their life savings disappear because of medical bills and exorbitant rates in the individual health insurance market. Health insurance premiums for older Americans are over four times more expensive than those for young adults, and the deductible these enrollees pay is, on average, almost four times that in a typical employersponsored insurance plan. ERRP reimburses participating plan sponsors for a portion of health coverage costs for early retirees and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents. In 2010, ERRP-issued reimbursements helped pay the high costs of care for nearly 61,000 people. Sponsors receiving the largest ERRP reimbursements – totaling approximately 58 percent of the funding disbursed in 2010 – reported that program payments will benefit, either directly or indirectly, more than 4.5 million retirees, spouses, dependents, and active workers. The program allows plan sponsors to either reduce costs of health care for plan participants or the costs to the plan sponsor to help them keep their coverage. For example, approximately 80 percent of plans that received reimbursements are using some or all of those dollars to lower the cost of health care for plan participants. The reimbursements helping to lower plan par-

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ticipant costs account for 97 percent of funds disbursed in 2010. The report also provides new information about how ERRP-participating plans are working to generate cost savings for people with chronic and highcost conditions. For example, many sponsors, including a teachers’ retirement plan and a major telecommunications corporation, are providing disease management programs for people with conditions such as coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, asthma, and osteoarthritis. Other programs are helping patients and doctors work together to manage their prescription drug treatments. Overall, the 2010 report demonstrates that ERRP is already having a meaningful impact on employers and unions as well as millions of early retirees, their families and other plan participants. The program has seen robust participation from all major sectors of the economy, with additional sponsors applying to participate every day. To read the report, visit

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AARP releases statement on new federal budget 8 – McCook Daily Gazette

Organization says budget protects seniors’ access to doctors, but also unfairly cuts home energy assistance for millions of poorer Americans AARP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AARP Executive Vice President Nancy A. LeaMond released the following statement in reaction to the Administration’s FY2012 budget request: “AARP recognizes that the large federal budget deficit provides many challenges that we must address as a nation. Our members believe it is important for the President and Congress to work together to find responsible budget solutions that emphasize the health and financial well-being of all


Americans. “We are pleased that the President’s budget would give millions of seniors in Medicare the peace of mind that they’ll be able to see their doctor by preventing drastic cuts in physician payment for two more years. Although we will continue to urge a long-term replacement for the current flawed payment system, preventing for two years the cuts that are driving doctors out of Medicare would help protect the critical doctor-patient relationship. We will be carefully reviewing the Administration’s proposed funding for this patch, but are pleased that it includes improving access to lower cost generic drugs, such as by getting safe, generic versions of biologic drugs used to treat diseases like cancer to market faster. “AARP is deeply troubled, however, by the disproportionately large cuts in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which would mean

that millions of Americans, particularly older Americans, would have a hard time paying their heating and cooling bills next year. With heating costs rising for many this past winter, cutting $2.5 billion from this program is unfair and potentially dangerous, and would mean that millions of households wouldn’t get the help they need to keep their homes warm in the winter months. “Additional proposed funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) is welcome news for the millions of Americans who rely on Social Security, including those facing a delay in disability claims, appeals and hearings. The increased assistance is much needed for SSA’s field offices, which provide a critical role in local communities throughout the nation. Apart from this budget conversation, we also have an opportunity to talk about the future of retirement security for Americans, and the critical role that Social Security will continue to

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

play for Americans of all ages.” “We are also pleased with proposals to make health care more accessible and affordable, such as by lowering prices on prescription drugs in the Medicare doughnut hole and making preventive available benefits free of charge, through implementation of the Affordable Care Act. “The coming budget debate must balance the serious challenge of putting our country’s fiscal house in order while also addressing the needs of millions of Americans who are struggling to find employment, strengthen their retirement nest eggs, and pay for rising health care costs. AARP stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress on enacting a budget that would help us achieve, not sacrifice, the health and financial security needs of Americans.” For more information, please visit

Find this and other special editions on-line at

Protecting your finances from nursing home expenses McCook Daily Gazette


Nursing homes are necessary for many aging individuals. While they do provide care that may otherwise prove too difficult for the average family member, the fact remains that nursing homes can be quite expensive and quickly eat away at a resident's assets. In order to protect themselves, many seniors prefer to liquidate assets or "hide" money from nursing homes. There are mixed views on the legality and morality of this issue. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in the United States ranges from $70,000 to $100,000+ each year. Semi-private rooms aren't much lower in cost. In general, the resident of the nursing home pays for his or her stay. This comes through private savings, investments and even other assets, such as their homes. Individuals can see their entire nest egg depleted in a matter of a few years, leaving no financial legacy for their successors. In order to avoid depletion of assets, those who think a nursing home might be in their future often go to great lengths to hide their assets. In doing so, it may be up to government resources, like Medicaid, to pay for the care instead. But taxpayers who must foot the cost of government programs may cry foul over these tactics. Others argue that it is in their right to shelter funds that they worked years to accumulate. They may state that the rising costs of nursing homes is disproportionate to the actual care received. With this notion in mind, tactics are taken to protect assets from


being acquired by nursing homes. Those of this mind set can take the following steps to protect assets. * Remember the 5-year rule. For those who are going to transfer assets, it should be done early on. Nursing homes and government agencies funding low-income individuals look back at 5 years of financial history. Any transfers should be done more than 5 years before nursing home care is needed. * Irrevocable trusts. Individuals can transfer funds into a trust which is in the name of a trustee. Nursing homes cannot use this money because it is not in the resident's name. * Increase value of exempted items. Some personal items are exempt from Medicaid. In some instances this may be a homestead or a vehicle. Improve the home and buy a new car. Invest in new furnishings and other personal effects. * Donate to charity. Make regular contributions to charity to diminish personal assets. * Offer gifts to family. Spend the money on family members, including big-ticket items. Setting up trusts for grandchildren or children are other options. * Transfer the deed. To play it safe, some people prefer to put the deed of their house in another person's name, like a child's, to protect it from seizure. * Purchase long term care insurance. Having an insurance policy expressly for the purpose of nursing homes or a care attendant will provide funds from the policy instead of personal assets.

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McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 9

Is it time to downsize your home? SENIOR LIFESTYLES

10 – McCook Daily Gazette


When a person comes to a certain age and the children move out and on with their own lives, a home may become too big for its occupants. At this point, residents may feel it's time to downsize to a smaller home. Downsizing can be exciting and challenging at the same time. Going through and packing belongings can be a trip down memory lane.

But chances are a smaller space will mean that a person will have to part with a number of his belongings collected over time. To make the process easier, first assess how much space there will be in the new home. Many times floor plans or room dimensions are available. First measure large items, such as furniture, to be sure they will fit in the rooms. Then think about storage possibilities. Next, make a running list

of what items can be discarded and where those items will go. Some belongings can be donated to charity, while others may be given to family and friends. Many other things could end up in the trash or recycling bins. Knowing where things will go will make them easier to sort. For those doing a major clean-out of the home, it could be efficient to hire a dumpster to be placed onsite. This way, larger bulk

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

items can simply be tossed inside. Some municipalities restrict what can be placed in the regular trash or how much garbage can be collected, so this alleviates the stress of dealing with excess trash. When actually beginning to get rid of things, start with the areas that receive the least amount of use. Belongings stored in the attic or basement may be simply taking up space and hold less sentimental value. People can then

work their way toward items that are used on a regular basis. It can be cathartic to clear out clutter and get ready to start anew. Some people find they have to downsize because of financial reasons. In these cases, thinning out belongings can also be a way to earn a few extra bucks. Selling or auctioning off seldom used items may produce a little extra cash that can help finance moving expenses or even bills.

Back from the hospital: easing the transition METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION

At some point in a person's life he or she will spend time in a hospital and have to transition home after recovery. For seniors this is a common occurrence and one that can be particularly troublesome. A little planning can make the process easier on the patient and the caregiver. * Plan early. Learn when the discharge date will be and find out what will be needed at home. Talk with hospital staff about what equipment can make recovery at home easier. A caregiver may get recommendations on nearby medical supply stores and other vendors that can provide what's needed, such as visiting nurses. * Rearrange the home. Certain things at home may need to be changed depending on why the person was hospitalized. Individuals with

crutches or in a wheelchair may need extra space made in the home to travel safely. If the patient normally sleeps upstairs, a bed may need to be set up downstairs instead. Ramps may need to be installed over stairs as well. * Make a list. Keep a list of important phone numbers, including the doctor and the local pharmacy, on a central list so that it is easy to contact the person in case of an emergency. * Expect extra costs. Some procedures may be covered by health insurance, others may not. Family members may have to rally together to offset costs for medical care outside the realm of insurance. * Get help. Many family members want to be the sole caregiver for a parent or spouse who has left the hospital. But the demand of around the clock care can sometimes be

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overwhelming. Caregivers should not be embarrassed to ask for help, even if that means hiring a professional. Providing the best care for the patient should be the priority. * Patient support. The newly

discharged patient may have mixed feelings about being at home and fawned over. Therefore, caregivers should tread lightly to develop a strategy that works well for everyone.

Dietary tips to keep seniors going strong McCook Daily Gazette


When it comes to our bodies, age has no bearing on how attentive we should be with respect to what we eat. No one is ever too young or too old to disregard their diet. However, a healthy diet is perhaps more important for seniors than any other age group, with the exception of infants. For seniors, a healthy diet can strengthen the immune system and promote bone health, making seniors less susceptible to sickness and less likely to suffer harmful injuries should they slip and fall. The following diet tips can help seniors stay healthy, strong and comfortable. I Include fiber in your diet. Seniors commonly suffer from constipation. Though uncomfortable, this condition is often preventable. So why such a common problem? Oftentimes, foods that are high in fiber are crunchy or more difficult to chew, which is problematic for seniors with dentures. However, dentures don't have to preclude seniors from enjoying a diet with a healthy amount of fiber. Instead, seek alternate sources of fiber, such as fresh fruit or cooked or baked vegetables. I Remember to drink fluids. As we age, we start losing our sense of thirst. However, fluids don't become any less important simply because we're less thirsty. Doctors recommend seniors have between six to eight glasses of fluids per day. Drinking water, for instance, helps us maintain energy while also helping the body perform a variety of

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functions, including transporting oxygen and nutrients to cells and building new tissue and cell membranes. Drinking enough can also help prevent constipation. So it's important for seniors to remember the importance of drinking fluids each day, even if one is not feeling thirsty. I Include protein in your daily diet. Protein is integral to a healthy diet, regardless of a person's age. But seniors can especially benefit from protein's ability to strengthen the immune system, hence lessening their likelihood of falling victim to colds or other ailments that can act as gateways to bigger problems. Fish, poultry, eggs and lean meats are all good sources of protein. I Reduce, but don't eliminate, fat from your diet. Because our metabolism slows as we age, it's important to reduce the amount of fat in our diet as we age. However, reduction is not synonymous with elimination. Fat should not be eliminated from seniors' diets, as it can still prove a valuable energy source. But seniors should reduce the amount of fat in their diet to combat their slowing metabolism. I Don't forget about calcium. Calcium is essential to bone health, and too little calcium in a senior's diet can increase susceptibility to osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and increases the likelihood that a fall can lead to a broken bone. For seniors with digestive problems who cannot comfortably drink milk, consider including non-fat powdered milk in recipes.

Sarah Ann Hester Memorial Home and K.C. Stout Assisted Living

Compassionately committed to providing quality of life for those in need of our care. 407 Dakota • Benkelman, NE (308) 423-2179

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 11

Metro Creative Connection

A heathy diet can stave off illness as well as satisfy the palate.

Also, lactose-free milk can enable people to drink milk and get valuable calcium.

If none of these options work out, consult a physician to discuss calcium supplements.

Come, meet your neighbors.

Patrick Farrell & Dana Litz, Registered Pharmacists

It’s a simple formula: smaller pharmacies mean smaller lines.

Within the cozy confines of a Good Neighbor Pharmacy, you can get your prescription filled quickly, accurately and affordably, and still not feel rushed when you ask for wellness advice from our caring, compassionate staff. So the next time you’re waiting in line at one of those mega-pharmacies, ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?” and then head on over to our local Good Neighbor Pharmacy.


120 &116 West B St. McCook, NE


Heading back to work, post-retirement SENIOR LIFESTYLES

12 – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

Why are so many older Americans choosing to re-enter the workforce? METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION

There's no longer a magic number for retirement. Some people find that they want to work past the traditional retirement age, while others discover they need to. In addition, some retirees discover that they actually liked working and want to return to work rather than settle into retirement. Sixty-five is no longer the required age to stop working. In fact, many people are foregoing retirement and staying with the workforce. Why? No single reason applies to everyone, but finances often come into play. Thanks to a troubled economy that has carried over into the workplace, pensions and severance packages are no longer the norm for retiring workers. When faced with the prospect of reduced funds and dwindling Social Security benefits, many choose to simply keep on working. Furthermore, individuals who retire before 65 are often faced with finding their own health insurance plans because Medicare doesn't start until age 65. Even still, high prescription costs for chronic conditions can exceed the allowance of Medicare. Employee insurance plans tend to have better options, and that often factors into an employee's retirement decision. There are many people who continue working because they actually enjoy it, and not because of some financial necessity. Working tends to keep the mind sharp and helps seniors feel like contributing members of society. According to a study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, retirees who continued to work in a bridge job (meaning part time or

temporary employment) experienced fewer major diseases and fewer functional limitations than those who fully retired. Researchers considered only physiciandiagnosed health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and psychiatric problems. Those thinking of remaining in the work force can check with employers to see if retirement is mandatory or voluntary. Seniors re-entering the work force may want to brush up on some skills and reconnect with former employers or colleagues to make the transition easier. Here are some other strategies to consider. * Refurbish your resume. Focus on what things you can do rather than what you did in the past. You may be up against younger applicants and will have to make a case for your hire. * Be flexible. You may need health benefits more so than a high salary. You can work with an employer to develop a compensation package that is mutually beneficial. * Develop computer skills. Today's work environment relies heavily on computer skills. It is unwise for you to think you'll get by on experience alone. Obtain a rudimentary education in computer usage and common office programs, which can set you apart from other older applicants. * Know there's nothing to prove. Retirees have the benefit of taking their time and finding the right fit in a post-retirement job. Unless money is an issue, shop around until you find the job that appeals to you, even if it's part-time or lower salary.

Metro Creative Connection

Many older Americans are choosing to remain in the workforce instead of retiring. The reasons are varied, but finances are often at the heart of the decision.

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McCook Daily Gazette


Cut your prescription costs

For many seniors, prescription medication is a daily necessity to maintain good health. However, the costs can be prohibitive.


Medicines are an important part of treating an illness because they often allow people to remain active and independent. But medicine can be expensive. Here are some ideas to help lower costs: I Tell your doctor if you are worried about the cost of your medicine. Your doctor may not know how much your prescription costs, but may be able to tell you about another less expensive medicine, such as a generic drug or OTC product. I Ask for a senior citizen's discount. I Shop around. Look at prices at different stores or pharmacies. Lower medicine prices may not be a bargain if you need other services, such as home delivery, patient medicine profiles, or pharmacist consultation, or if you cannot get a senior citizen discount. I Ask for medicine samples. If your doctor gives you a prescription for a new medicine, ask your doctor

for samples you can try before filling the prescription. I Buy bulk. If you need to take medicine for a long period of time and your medicine does not expire quickly, you may be able to buy a larger amount of the medicine for less money. I Try mail order. Mail-order pharmacies can provide medications at lower prices. However, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before using such a service. Make sure to find a backup pharmacy in case there is a problem with the mail service. I Buy OTC medicines when they are on sale. Check the expiration dates and use them before they expire. If you need help choosing an OTC medicine, ask the pharmacist for help. If you decide to buy medicines on the Internet, check the Web site for the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program seal of approval to make sure the site is properly licensed and has been successfully reviewed and inspected by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 13

Metro Creative Connection

• Information & Assistance Senior Centers • Health/Nutrition • Senior Health Insurance Information Program

- Care Management - Medicaid Waiver - Senior Care Options Family Caregiver Support Program

Medicines 14 – McCook Daily Gazette

New symptoms or mood changes may not be a result of getting older, but could be from the medicine you're taking or another factor, such as a change in diet or routine. If you have an unwanted side effect, call your doctor right away. Talk to Your Health Care Professionals It is important to go to all your medical appointments and to talk to your team of health care professionals (doctors, pharmacists, nurses, or physician assistants) about your medical conditions, the medicines you take, and any health concerns you have. It may help to make a list of comments, questions, or concerns before your visit or call to a health care professional. Also, think about having a close friend or relative come to your appointment with you if you are unsure about talking to your health care professional or would like someone to help you understand and remember answers to your questions. Here are some other things to keep in mind: I All medicines count. Tell your team of health care professionals about all the medicines you take, in-


cluding prescription and over-thecounter (OTC) medicines, such as pain relievers, antacids, cold medicines, and laxatives. Don't forget to include eye drops, dietary supplements, vitamins, herbals, and topical medicines, such as creams and ointments. I Keep in touch with your doctors. If you regularly take a prescription medicine, ask your doctor to check how well it is working. Check to see whether you still need to take it and, if so, whether there is anything you can do to cut back. Don't stop taking the medicine on your own without first talking with your doctor. I Medical history. Tell your health care professional about your medical history. The doctor will want to know whether you have any food, medicine, or other allergies. He or she also will want to know about other conditions you have or had and how you are being treated or were treated for them by other doctors. It is helpful to keep a written list of your health conditions that you can easily share with your doctors. Your primary care doctor should also know about any specialist doctors you may

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

see on a regular basis. I Eating habits. Mention your eating habits. If you follow or have recently changed to a special diet (a very low-fat diet, for instance, or a high-calcium diet), talk to your doctor about this. Tell your doctor about how much coffee, tea, or alcohol you drink each day and whether you smoke. These things may make a difference in the way your medicine works. I Recognizing and remembering to take your medicines. Let your health care professional know whether you have trouble telling your medicines apart. The doctor can help you find better ways to recognize your medicines. Also tell your doctor if you have problems remembering when to take your medicines or how much to take. Your doctor may have some ideas to help, such as a calendar or pill box. I Swallowing tablets. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for


ideas. Maybe there is a liquid medicine you could use or maybe you can crush your tablets. Do not break, crush, or chew tablets without first asking your health care professional. I Your lifestyle. If you want to make your medicine schedule more simple, talk about it with your doctor. He or she may have another medicine or other ideas. For example, if taking medicine four times a day is a problem for you, maybe the doctor can give you a medicine you only need to take once or twice a day. I Put it in writing. Ask your health care professional to write out a complete medicine schedule, with directions on exactly when and how to take your medicines. Find out from your primary care doctor how your medicine schedule should be changed if you see more than one doctor. I Keep a record of your medicines. List all prescription and OTC medicines, dietary supplements, vitamins, and herbals you take.


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Metro Creative Connection

When it comes to understanding all you need to know about your prescriptions, itʼs a very good idea to speak to your personal eam of healthcare professionals.

Member FDIC


NASCAR win builds momentum for Drive to End Hunger program McCook Daily Gazette

Initiative organizes donations to provide 146,000 meals for seniors in need AARP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AARP Foundation announced today that it has organized donations that will provide more than 146,000 meals for hungry seniors during the opening weeks of the 2011 NASCAR season. Building momentum for the campaign, four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon found victory at this season’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 behind the wheel of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. During race weekends in Daytona and Phoenix, AARP and AARP Foundation have worked with national and community-based groups to organize cash and food donations to benefit local food banks serving hungry seniors in Florida and Arizona. "We're excited to be making a difference for hungry seniors around the country," said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins. "With Jeff's win at Phoenix, we expect to build even more momentum going into our next race with the Drive to End Hunger car in Fontana. The NASCAR community has shown us its tremendous generosity in the last two weeks and has made a real difference for seniors suffering under the threat of hunger." Through Drive to End Hunger and the No. 24 car, AARP Foundation will engage the NASCAR fan base, corporations and charitable organizations via a text-to-donate program; activation at racetracks across the country; further research on the causes and consequences of hunger in older Americans; and an innovative national grant program that will provide resources to ad-

dress the problem at a local level. To date, AARP Foundation has made $10,000 donations to both St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando on behalf of Drive to End Hunger. On average, food banks can provide seven meals to hungry seniors for every dollar they receive. The initiative also organized a donation of extra food items from Daytona International Speedway and food drives at Daytona-area WinnDixie stores that together provided Second Harvest with more than 10,000 pounds of food. Race fans and the public can donate to Drive to End Hunger by visiting or texting "hunger" to 50555. (A $10 donation will go to AARP Foundation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply. You will receive two confirmation texts. Reply STOP to 50555 to STOP. Reply HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: *** AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. The Foundation is dedicated to serving vulnerable people 50+ by creating solutions that help them secure the essentials and achieve their best life. AARP Foundation focuses on: hunger, housing, income and isolation as our key mission areas. The Foundation envisions: ‘a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.’ Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP. For more information about AARP Foundation, please log on to

Proud to be your source for local news.

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011 – 15


Travel tips for the senior jet set 16 – McCook Daily Gazette


For many people, the allure of travel never wears off. Be it a young person's first trip to a foreign land or an older couple's return to the place they spent their honeymoon, recreational travel remains a favorite hobby of people of all ages. Though travel appeals to people of all ages, it differs for people of all ages as well. The carefree "pack a bag and go" attitude shared by many a young traveler is not prudent for older travelers, who must take several safety precautions when traveling to ensure the trip will be safe as well as enjoyable. The American Geriatric Society's Foundation for Health in Aging offers the following travel tips to older adults who still love the adventure of travel. * Talk to your doctor in advance. If you have already made travel plans, consult your physician, who may suggest a full checkup, before your trip begins. Explain any travel plans, particularly which cities or countries you plan to visit and what your travel itinerary is. Different locales call for different precautionary measures, and your doctor can discuss with you specific measures to take depending on where you will be going. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists various required and recommended vaccines based on certain travel destinations. For more information, visit When speaking with your doctor, it's also best to ask when to take medications. While this is less of a concern for travelers who are staying within their own time zones, it's important for travelers changing time zones to learn if they should stick to their home-time-zone schedule or adapt it to the time zone they'll be visiting. Even travelers who are staying within their time zone should ask their physician if it's best to take certain medications before or after a flight. * Pack all necessary medications in your carry-on bag. Most travelers have their own horror stories about losing checked

baggage. For older men and women on medication, this can be especially troubling if their medications are packed in bags that were checked. When traveling, make sure all medications are in your carry-on bag to avoid losing medication while away from home. * Make a list. Before leaving home, make a list with your physician's help and carry it with you at all times. This list should include: – any existing medical conditions – current treatment for those medical conditions, including the names of any medications you are on, the doses and how these medications are administered – the amount of the drug you need to take on the trip (this will be important should any medications be lost or damaged while traveling) * Take steps to avoid deep-vein thrombosis. Deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when blood clots form in the veins. This typically takes place in the legs because of a lack of blood flow. Older adults are at risk of DVT when traveling because traveling often requires sitting in one place, such as on an airplane or train, for long periods of time. Research has indicated that compression stockings are effective at preventing DVT, and older travelers might want to consider such stockings, particularly if their travels require a long flight, drive or train ride. * Don't transfer pills to new containers. Veteran travelers know getting through Customs is no joy ride. It's even less enjoyable for men and women who must take prescription medications with them. To make your trip through Customs as stress-free as possible, keep all medications in their original containers. To learn more about traveling safely, visit the American Geriatrics Society at

Your source for local news – on-line.

Friday, Mar. 25, 2011

Senior Lifestyles-2011  

Issues that are important to seniors and the people who love them

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