LIVING WELL AFTER 55 IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN
BE HAPPY, STAY FIT!
IMMERSE IN THIS PLACE
KNOW YOUR HEALTH STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT VITAMINS
GET SWIMMING NO IMPACT, GREAT FITNESS
FINANCIAL ADVICE KNOW THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF AGE 70.5
VOLUNTEER! VISTA IS NOT JUST FOR YOUNGSTERS
Senior Housing & Agency Resource Guides pg. 22
MEET THE KEEPER OF POWER ISLAND
Mindful Living Voted #1 Senior Community 5 Years Celebrating 17 Years of Service
We all want to get the most out of life. Come and explore ways in which you can become more at ease and in turn, enjoy all that life has to offer. H Your
To d a y â€Ś a n dT om
o rr ow
Bay Ridge Independant Living 231-995-9385 & Assisted Living 231-932-9757 3850 Scenic Ridge, off Silver Lake Road Traverse City MI 49684 TTY #800-649-3777 www.villageatbayridge.com
ADVE RTISE R DIRECTORY & CO N TE N TS
Boardman Lake Glens.....................................................................................................20 Cedar Run Eye Center........................................................................ Inside Back Cover Cordia At Grand Traverse Commons............................................................................ 8 Covell Funeral Homes....................................................................................................... 6 Culver Meadows.............................................................................................................. 24 Fit For You.......................................................................................................................... 24 FOR Investment Partners.................................................................................................2
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR An Inspired Life saunter.
KEEPER OF THE ISLAND (PLUS HIKE THE NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL) He keeps Power Island park shipshape for the rest of us, and has for 30 years.
Grand Traverse Pavilions - Wellness Center............................................................... 6 Grand Traverse Resort and Spa...................................................................................... 4 Harbor Care Associates.................................................................................................26 Horizon Financial..............................................................................................................16 Hospice of Michigan....................................................................................................... 22 Jordan Balkema Elder Law Center...............................................................................26 Kalkaska Memorial Health Center...............................................................Back Cover Michigan Shores..............................................................................................................20 Monarch Home Health Services.................................................................................. 23 Munson Healthcare ........................................................................................................14 Northern Michigan Diabetes Initiative.......................................................................20 Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home................................................................................20 Swenson Memorials.......................................................................................................26 The Village At Bay Ridge..................................................................Inside Front Cover The November Network - Real Estate One...............................................................26 The Reverse Mortgage Center..................................................................................... 24
IMMERSE! Swimming is the ideal exercise for many seniors.
VISTA—GET PAID TO VOLUNTEER This iconic American program is not just for young people. Check it out.
HELP FOR THE SANDWICH GENERATION Traverse City’s Senior Center offers help for frazzled mid-lifers.
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS Assess your health and your lifestyle before jumping on the supplement bandwagon.
KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS OF 70.5 Unfortunately, 70.5 has big tax implications. Ignore this age milestone at your own risk.
HOUSING TERMS CLARIFIED Helping make sense of senior housing terms.
PARADE OF HOMES Tour senior housing options of all varieties.
RESOURCES Agencies are here to help seniors, often at no charge!
Traverse Vision................................................................................................................. 24
MyNorth Inspired Life is produced by MyNorthMedia. Advertising and editorial offices at: 125 Park St., Suite 155, Traverse City, MI 49684. 231.941.8174, MyNorth.com. All rights reserved. Copyright 2018, Prism Publications Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
Mecky Kessler-Howell and Kristi Avery, founding partners of FOR Investment Partners, share thoughts on why socially responsible investing is good for you and your investments. You recently decided to change your company name. What does the name FOR Investment Partners express? We wanted something that reflected moving in a positive direction, helping clients see the value of investing in things they stand FOR, to see the power of using their assets to bring positive change to the world, not only avoiding investments you are against. The name also emphasizes being responsible FOR financial goals, striving FOR financial results ... retirement, personal, or institutional investment goals.
Why did you decide to focus on socially responsible investing? Mecky has a lifelong interest in social issues—starting with a youthful stint in the German Peace Corps—and when she became an investment advisor, she came to understand the power that private investment has to influence the world when it is invested to support positive change. Kristi discovered socially responsible investing while working in traditional investment firms. She was delighted to learn there was a way of investing that fit her values, that focused on client goals in both a financial and personal life or organizational mission sense.
What are the biggest myths about socially, responsible investing? The biggest myth is you have to settle for lower returns. Several academic studies have shown socially responsible investing can match the returns of traditional investing; most studies show either a positive or neutral effect. Taking sustainability factors into consideration may also help to avoid risks posed by unsustainable business practices.
How long have you worked with your existing clients?
WHAT IS YOUR MONEY STANDING FOR?
Our longest institutional client has been with us for over 30 years. We also have many who have been with us 20, 15 or 10 years. These long-standing relationships speak to our commitment to clients and our ability to actively evolve with the sustainable, impact-investing field, while still achieving strong financial performance.
Can you describe your current client base?
Primarily large institutional investors, charitable foundations, religious organizations, and high net worth individuals but also clients or families saving for retirement, education, or other financial goals.| CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS | TRUSTS | FOUNDATIONS ENDOWMENTS
2226 S. Airport Rd Suite C, Traverse City, MI 49684 231.933.4396 | 800.499.3000 | FORinvestmentpartners.com Why don’t you list a minimum account size?
This has been a point of discussion for a long time between us, ultimately, we don’t want to discourage people from asking us about investing and specifically, sustainable, responsible, impact investing. We feel a social obligation to younger generations. Many of whom are pushing for positive change, but do not understand how investing can help bring about that change while also helping them achieve their financial goals.
Why do you choose to work with an independent broker dealer? The primary reason is that we are not required to sell proprietary products or meet sales goals that may not be appropriate for a given client. Being affiliated with an independent Broker Dealer gives us the ability to own our name, who we are, and our authenticity, motto and mission. This affiliation makes it possible for us to select the best services and products to address our client’s particular investment needs. We can’t control these if we are flying a brand name flag.
You are an accredited fiduciary, what does that mean?
It means we must act in the best interest of our clients at all times. We have taken extensive training and an oath to do that. Not all financial advisors have this accreditation.
What is the most satisfying part of your profession? Serving our clients, watching them to reach their goals, and helping them feel attached to their resources, fully understanding what it means to activate their resources in a way that reflects their values.
Where do you see the future of sustainable, impact investing? Ultimately, we hope to see sustainable investing incorporated into everyone’s portfolio. We believe this type of investing has the power to change corporate behavior and make the world a better place. And the good news is the world is moving this way. The amount of assets being invested in sustainable and responsible ways is growing exponentially.
ENDOWMENTS | CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS | TRUSTS | FOUNDATIONS | INDIVIDUALS 2226 S. Airport Rd. Suite C, Traverse City, MI 49684 | 231.933.4396 | 800.499.300 | FORinvestmentpartners.com Securities & Investment Advisory Services offered through Western International Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. FOR Investment Partners & Western International Securities, Inc. are separate and unaffiliated entities.
A NOTE FRO M TH E E D I TO R
AN INSPIRED LIFE SAU N T ER
This past winter, I invited some friends to join me in a little journey that I’d considered many times. I wanted to snowshoe the length of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (mainland portion). We’d start at the northern boundary, not far from my house, and we’d walk a little bit, maybe five miles, each Sunday. No trail allowed, no beaches either: all inland, all orienteering. As the crow flies, the park mainland is about 35 miles, so the journey would take nearly all winter. I figured I’d be lucky to get one or two people to join me, and that’s what happened the first day. Two friends snowshoed. But then, to my very big surprise, 11 of us hiked the next Sunday, and
then 11 the following Sunday, and 14 people snowshoed the day we crossed the great dune itself, 5 miles from Glen Haven to Empire, north to south across the frozen, snow-capped dune. It was fantastic! So here’s the thing: only a few of these people are in their 20s. Some are in their 50s, some are in their early 60s, some are nearing 70. And so, when I think of our change in the title of this magazine from Senior Living to Inspired Life, I think of the snowshoe journey we launched this winter. Doing that hike with friends was just such an inspired piece of life. The journey felt both epic and supremely doable at the same time. The richness came in many ways. Crossing this land that we have all lived near for several years, but never having really walked the entire length, was a very rich and rewarding thing, and everybody felt that. But equally important was the sense of togetherness that we all felt as the days and miles slowly added up. We walked slowly, we conversed. We stopped to eat cheese and sausage and drink water and talk some more, and stop some more. In fact, we named the walk The Sleeping Bear Saunter, invoking John Muir’s thoughts about sauntering, and also wanting to drive home the idea that this was not a workout or a race, it was a great sharing of place and friendship and community. In short, it was inspired. The spirit of active life, of embracing this place and leveraging its beauty as a way to stay healthy both mentally and physically, has always been at the heart of Senior Living, but we thought the name did not quite match the strength of that spirit, so we had a big group discussion and agreed that each edition’s stories, while specific in their own topics, have an overarching shared purpose, to inspire us as we move through life and to gain inspiration from this place that we call home.—Jeff Smith
MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
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Owned and Operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
KEEPER OF THE ISLAND
For 30 years, Fred Tank has summered on and cared for one of Grand Traverse County’s jewels, Power Island. BY ROSS BOISSONEAU
If you’ve watched Island Life on HGTV, you know how luxurious those tropical island paradises can be. Closer to home, Mackinac Island presents an opportunity to indulge in a fudge-filled summer with no automobiles, and plenty of horses. Then there’s Power Island. No fudge shops, no horses, and it’s certainly no lush tropical Shangri-La. But during summers, it’s home to Fred Tank. He’s the keeper of the island, a post he’s held for more than 30 years. “I’ve been there
since the summer of 1985,” he says. His predecessor had been the caretaker for 10 years, but had grown tired of the isolation. “His wife said he had to quit,” Tank says. “In July 1985 they needed a substitute, and I said I’d do it. We’ve been doing it ever since.” “We” is Fred and his wife, Tina, and when they started the caretaker gig, “we” included their kids as well. A biology teacher at NMC when he first took the post, Tank had (and still has) a home on the mainland in Traverse City.
But the couple saw the chance to live on the island for the summer as a grand adventure. “I always wanted to live in the country,” Tank says. Mission accomplished. As far as adventure, the island boasts two eagle nests, 200 wooded acres and 5 miles of trails for hiking and exploring, and two campgrounds of five sites each. The caretaker cabin has electricity, thanks to solar power, and a generator, and the couple uses propane for cooking and for the refrigerator. But there’s still no indoor 4 MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
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plumbing. Despite that, their grown children still visit their parents on the island in the summer, now bringing their own children with them as well. Continued developments in technology have made things easier. When Tank started, they were at the mercy of the weather. “I got a beeper after a year or two, then a HAM radio license. That helped a lot,” Tank says. “Now, with the miracle of cell phones, I can get on the internet.” With his 30-plus years on the island, Tank has been able to observe long-term changes. “Our wildlife is a little restricted. When they multiply they outpace their food source. There were plenty of rabbits. Now there are none,” Tank says. “The deer population is low right now. That’s good, because they can do a lot of damage.” Another cycle is the alternately rising and receding depth of the water. “In the early ’60s, it was very low. By 1986 it reached record highs,” Tank says, causing some concern, as the cabin is not far from shore. But water levels began dropping in the late ’90s, and Lakes Michigan and Huron set new recordlow water levels in December of 2012, breaking the previous record set in 1964, according to Accuweather. Now water levels are on the rise again. Whatever the circumstances, Fred and Tina enjoy their summers. “We move out the end of May for Memorial Day. Then it’s relatively quiet till schools let out.” June and July see a steady stream of visitors, though Tank says it’s always completely dependent on the weather. In August, he says people seem to realize they’ve only got a couple weeks left of summer, and those first two weeks are often the busiest of the year. “They realize they have a boat but they’ve only been on it two times, so they have to do some serious boating in August,” he says with a laugh. He closes things up by October 15.
KE E PE R O F TH E I S LA N D
H I KE A SECTI O N O F T HE NO RT H CO U NT RY T R A IL
This summer, seniors are invited to take part in a special North Country Trail hike. The trail meanders through seven states, though this group will only take on a portion of it (whew!) in our region. On August 9 and 10, seniors will depart from Traverse City at 8 a.m. and head north. They can mountain-bike or hike the trail, accessing it from various points, but arriving at the Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City in the evening. Spend the night in Petoskey, and then have more fun the following day before returning. The $280 fee includes accommodations, deluxe motorcoach travel, two dinners and one breakfast. “It’s a way to tap into people who want to be more active and interactive,” says Lori Wells, executive director of the Traverse City Senior Center, which is organizing the mini-adventure. A previous snow-tubing excursion at Mt. Holiday saw seniors zipping down the hill. “People didn’t let age stop them. That’s what we preach at the Senior Center,” Wells says. Contact the Senior Center for more information, 231.922.4911.
STAY ACTIVE AND HEALTHY! Go to MyNorth.com/Outdoors for ideas. MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
Seize the day!
Seize the Day! Who isn’t nervous about a new situation? But living alone has its drawbacks. Who nervous about new situation? alone has itsinstructor drawbacks. taught And if me that strength and Andisn’t if nothing else, aall those yearsBut ofliving being a yoga nothing else, all those years of being a yoga instructor taught me that strength and flexibility areare powerful together. So, I marshalled those parts of me and withof myme and with my family’s flexibility powerful together. So, I marshalled those parts family’s encouragement, I took the leap. encouragement, I took the leap. Now, I’m doing what is important to me and not worrying about anything else. Like CordiaTC.com Now,other I’mpeople doingatwhat is Iimportant to me and not worrying about anything else. Like many many Cordia, wish I had moved sooner!
other people atfor Cordia, I wish Call Heidi today a personal visitI had moved sooner!
thetries word Quality is the Word. ItQuality took me is a few to find the right retirement community. SomeIt took me a fewthat triesittowas find the the right community. Sometimes, I joke times, I joke foodretirement that made the decision for me, but it was other things, too. that it was the food that made the decision for me, but it was other things, too. You You can see the quality. You can touch it. I’ve been at Cordia a full can see the quality. You can touch it. I’ve been at Cordia a full year and I can’t year and I can’t think of thinkcriticism of any criticism whatsoever. I can’timagine imagine leaving any whatsoever. I can’t leavinghere. here. ininthe insurance business a long time. Insurance is intangible,isand so is qualityand so is quality CordiaTC.com IIofwas was the insurance business a long time. Insurance intangible, of life. life. I’m glad I didn’t give up looking for it. 231-714-6237 I’m glad I didn’t give up looking for it.
Call Heidi today for a personal visit
Cordia has resources to help you decide if a move to our senior community would be right for you. We can help guide you through the doubts, show you our beautiful residence options until you find just the right one, and then work with you to make your move smooth and efficient.
Point Yourself in a New Direction! If you enjoy good food, good company, and interesting things to do, learn more about us. Why wait? Call Heidi today? 231-995-5266
Some things can get easier.
Some Things Can Get Easier. Like inviting friends to your home for a splendid meal. And Like inviting friends to your home for a splendid meal. And being with people who beingexercise with people who exercise your mind. It can get easier to go out to a concert, or shopyour mind. It can get easier to go out to a concert, or shopping, or to a ping,class or tothat a class that will improve yourItbalance. caneasier evento getlearn easier learn the will improve your balance. can evenItget thetogadgets yourgadgets your grandchildren grandchildrenuse usetotosend sendyou youphotos. photos. When friendship, convenience, personal When friendship, convenience, and and personal care services areatall at your fingertips, easier–and better. care services are all your fingertips, dailydaily life life getsgets easier–and better. Why wait? Call Cordia today.
Call Heidi today for a personal visit
I know value when I see it
I Know Value When I See It. I used to imagine that in a retirement community I would I used to imagine that in a retirement community I would have time to do the things have to“get doto” thewhen things I said I would when only I slowed I said time I would I slowed down. After “get a yearto” at Cordia, one of down. them After a year at Coris done! I tell myoffriends I’ve gone back to college--there are lots of interesting things dia, only one them is done! I tell my friends I’ve gone back to college--there are lots of going on and fascinating people doing them, and tons of opportunity. I feel blessed! interesting things going on and fascinating people doing them, and tons of opportunity. I I sold investment real estate for years, so I know value when I see it. Cordia is the real CordiaTC.com feel blessed! thing. 231-714-6237
ICall soldHeidi investment estate for today forreal a personal visityears, so I know value when I see it. Cordia is the real thing.
IMMERSE! Sure, it’s important to stay fit, but what kind of exercise should you be doing as you grow older? Running jars bones and joints. Leg presses and crunches can injure your back. Lifting weights straight overhead, like in a military press or dumbbell press, stresses the shoulders and rotator cuff tendons. So how about swimming? It’s a good cardiovascular exercise. The buoyancy of water helps limit injuries. And a recent study suggests swimming is the only type of exercise that actually lowers older adults’ risk of falls. Researchers in Australia looked at 1,700 men ages 70 and older, and compared the types of exercise they did with their likelihood of experiencing a fall over a four-year period. Turns out the men in the study who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall. “Swimming is an all-body sport, and you’re going against the element of water. You’ve got friction,” says Kathy Coffin-Sheard, a swimming instructor at the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA, in Traverse City. And there’s another important reason swimming keeps people healthy, according to Coffin-Sheard. Swimming in a community setting includes a social component that helps people return. Some people swim every single 10
day, and if someone misses a couple of days, swimming friends ask, “Where were you?” Sleeping in, maybe? The first group hits the water at 5:30 a.m. Another group comes in at 8 a.m., and a third at noon, so swimmers can find a group that suits their schedule. It isn’t simply an opportunity to come in and splash around and maybe swim a few laps. Swimmers
arrive ready to learn, work on their form, and stretch their muscles and capabilities. Coffin-Sheard says those in the class learn four common swimming strokes, in part because the mix helps keep swimmers avoid repetitive use injury. “If you keep doing [only] freestyle, you could injure the same part of your shoulders,” she says. Good technique is also essential to avoiding injury. “The
No impact and lots of community keep swimmers healthy in body and mind. BY ROSS BOISSONEAU
HOW TO GET STARTED
question is can I teach Olympic-quality technique to adults?” Those who participate would no doubt say yes. The biggest overall challenge is “having to forget everything you know and retrain,” says Patricia Bearup, a mid-60s member of the early riser group. Though she grew up on a lake, she found that swimming in a class for exercise was very different from what she was used to. “It’s been very challenging,” she concedes. But swim skills are also attainable. “Like running, anybody can do it. You just have to put the time in.” Bearup has always been active. “I was originally a runner. I ran marathons. But I started finding as I got older that my body couldn’t take all the pounding,” she says. “So I got in the pool.” The hardest stroke to master? “The butterfly. It’s so awkward,” Bearup says. But she kept at it, and eventually conquered even the butterfly. “I used to do about three strokes. Now I can go the length of the pool and back.” Besides the camaraderie and the health benefits, senior swimmers are also motivated by competition—against others and against the clock. Harriet Wall is 75 and competes in swim meets. “She swims three hours a day, 1,500 miles a year,” Coffin-Sheard says. Bearup also pushes herself to be her best—likely a lifelong result of being an athlete at the University of Michigan. “Anytime you can do something that challenges you, it’s a great thing,” says Coffin-Sheard. And she’s infused her acolytes with that spirit: 15 of her swimmers are going to the U.S. Masters Championships in Indiana in May. One of the things Bearup enjoys is that the Masters group with which she swims has a broad range of ages. “Masters in running is 50 and up. Masters for swimming is 18 to death,” Bearup says with a laugh. “It’s a different vibe when you have such a mix of ages. It keeps you younger.”
So you’ve decided to take up swimming for exercise. How and where should you start? Here are a few tips. EQU IPM E NT It sounds intuitive, and to a degree it is. You need a swimsuit, but you want to make sure it’s good quality, provides the support you need and is comfortable and durable. The same rules about good fit are true for goggles, which protect your eyes and help you see everything more clearly. Like suits, it may take some time to find goggles that are snug yet comfortable. Several manufacturers now make prescription goggles.
STA RT SLOW LY A ND BU ILD “Don’t do too much at first,” warns YMCA coach Kathy Coffin-Sheard, noting you could injure yourself or burn out. Build your routine slowly. Start with a couple of days a week and gradually increase. Likewise, take it easy when increasing your swimming distance. Consider using the “10 percent” figure that runners often use as a guideline—don’t increase your distance by more than 10 percent a week. Use “gradual” as your byword to avoid injury and build confidence and stamina.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM If you swim with others, you’ll find encouragement and camaraderie. Taking an Adult Learn to Swim class will provide the fundamentals. “We offer small group and private lessons,” says CoffinSheard. She says for some people, the hardest part is putting on their swimsuit and coming out of the locker room.
DON’ T GE T DISCOU R AGE D “Swimming takes longer to adapt to than any other sport,” Gerry Rodrigues, a Los Angeles– based swim instructor, told the cancer-fighting organization Livestrong. Even if you’re a marathon runner or have logged hours on the stair-climber, you have to acclimate to the new breathing pattern swimming requires.
MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
VISTAâ€”GET PAID TO VOLUNTEER This program typically viewed as targeted to youth is welcoming seniors, too. BY ROSS BOISSONEAU
Peter Forton didn’t set out to be a volunteer for the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Department. He wanted to be a news reporter. Or work in sales. Or marketing. Maybe be a photographer. Thing is, he’d done all those things by the time he moved back to Traverse City from Tennessee. And as he already had some retirement income, he didn’t need to secure a fulltime job with a fulltime wage. So, he sat down with Ryan Walsh, the parks and recreation office manager. Forton outlined his vision for the position, the value he could bring. “We agreed 100 percent,” he says. So today the onetime Traverse City television news reporter, who also spent time in sales and marketing in the energy field, does media outreach in a variety of communication roles for the county’s Parks and Recreation department. He is part of the VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program. It was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and was started by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. The local program is run by the United Way. Ranae McCauley is the executive director of the United Way and helps place the VISTA volunteers, such as Forton. “They work with populations in poverty,” she says. That can include working with organizations focused on early childhood or senior citizens, healthy access to food, veterans, and other groups and programs. In the case of Forton and the city’s parks department, his role is to help those seeking inexpensive ways to be outdoors and be active. As most of the park activities are free, it was a perfect marriage. Since its beginning in 1965, when VISTA volunteers served in migrant farm worker camps in California, the hills of eastern Kentucky, and the urban neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut, over 220,000 VISTA members have worked in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Applicants need to be over 18 years
old when they start their AmeriCorps VISTA service, but there is no upper age limit. The focus of the program has traditionally been on younger people who don’t need or expect a large income. For a year of service, the program provides a stipend of around $12,000 or educational credits. For younger volunteers, the work helps them build skills and gives them experience in a number of areas. For older volunteers, it’s all about using their existing skills in service to others. “Seniors are not building their résumés. They have experience, talent and time,” McCauley says. As there is no upper age limit, she and her staff are reaching out to older people—such as Forton, who concedes he recently applied for Social Security. A nice bonus for some seniors is the educational bonus can be transferred to another individual, say a child or grandchild, to help pay their college tuition. Of the eight volunteers in McCauley’s VISTA program, two are seniors—Forton and Julie Kerr, who works at the Traverse City Senior Center.; the other six are recent grads. McCauley hopes the appeal to seniors continues. “We recruit seniors to register, not just recent graduates,” she says. “We used to talk [only] to NMC students. Now we’re talking to organizations with seniors,” she says. As for Forton, how long does he see himself doing this? “I’ll work till I’m 70,” he says. If you are interested in the program, go to my.americorps.gov to learn more. You can also contact McCauley at Traverse City United Way, 231.947.3200 or unitewaynwmi.org.
EXPLORE DOZENS OF WAYS TO VOLUNTEER! Go to MyNorth.com/GuideToGiving.
MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
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HELP FOR THE SANDWICH GENERATION Senior Center programs free up time for caregivers.
BY ROSS BOISSONEAU
According to the Pew Research Center, today nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child. Behold the sandwich generation. The research center says this has become a phenomenon in our culture for two reasons. One, people are living longer, which means that more adults are finding themselves in a position where they have to provide at least some level of care or support to an elderly parent. Two, kids and young adults are finding it harder and harder to maintain financial independence. “It’s parents caring for (their) children and aging parents,” says Lori Wells, the Senior Center Network Manager for Grand Traverse County. And she knows what she’s talking about as the phenomenon includes her. “I am in it myself.” According to the Huffington Post, the term “sandwich generation” was originally coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981 to describe women in their 30s to 40s who were “sandwiched” between young children and aging parents. Today, men and women are equally likely to be members of the sandwich generation. The sandwiched are mostly middle-aged—71 percent are age 40 to 59. Ten percent are age 60 or older. Those who find themselves squeezed between kids and parents do have places to turn. One of them is the Senior Center, located at 801 E. Front Street. “There are resources,” says Wells. “We play a pivotal role. The Senior Center is a place to come, have a social network.” The Senior Center offers opportunities for attendees to engage with others in this stage of life. The senior parents find opportunities to socialize, have some healthy food, and engage in activities that stimulate them. For the sandwiched adult children, that means time to take care of their own kids—and themselves.
While the Senior Center is open to anyone age 60 and over, Wells says most of those taking advantage of the programs there are older. “Most of what we do is in the daytime, when younger seniors are still working. The average age here is 74,” she says. The Senior Center hosts numerous programs, everything from table tennis and pickleball to cards and games, as well as yoga, Reiki, and massage. There are educational programs on blood pressure, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, programs for weaving or music, and a host of other activities. Providing such resources and stimulating pastimes give those in the sandwich generation not only time for themselves and their kids, but assurance that their parents are safe and enjoying themselves as well. Wells and her staff recognize the challenges of those like her in the middle of the sandwich generation, and partner with schools as well in an effort to connect the two ends of the age spectrum. “We establish partnerships with other groups. We partner with schools, the Boys and Girls Club, the Y,” she says. MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS Before you decide, assess your health and lifestyle. BY ROSS BOISSONEAU
As we age and our bodies change, our nutrition needs change as well, but is the answer to maintaining the right nutritional balance to be found in pills like vitamins and other supplements, or on our dinner plates? That depends on each individual’s health and lifestyle. Mary Beth Hardwicke, M.D., who frequently does presentations about seniors’ supplemental nutrition needs, says the most important habit to establish is getting proper nutrition on a daily basis. “As we get older, diets tend to become less nutritious,” she says. Seniors may find themselves taking less time to prepare meals or reaching for single-serving meals high in sodium or saturated fats. She suggested following the recommendations found at ChooseMyPlate.gov:
» » » »
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables Make half your grains whole grains Move to low-fat and fat-free dairy Vary your protein variety
Still, seniors face common nutritional problems, and one is vitamin D deficiency. “Vitamin D is really important for brain and muscle health,” Hardwicke says. “It’s the only vitamin your body manufactures.” It does so from sunlight exposure on skin. Because this region sees little sun in winter and seniors generally don’t get outside much in winter, a shortage of the vitamin in older adults is not uncommon. Another vitamin that seniors are often short on is B12. As we age—especially after 60—the acid levels in our gut changes, making us less able to absorb B12, explains Hardwicke. Before running to the drug store for vitamin D and B12 supplements, you might consider natural sources. Foods such as tuna, mackerel, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are rich in vitamin D. Fortuitously, B12 is found in many of the same foods: clams, liver, fish, crab, shrimp, low-fat beef, fortified cereal, fortified tofu, low-fat dairy, cheese, and eggs. When people realize they aren’t eating as nutritiously as they should, “a good multivitamin can be helpful,” Hardwicke says. Doctors are split on whether to recommend their patients regularly take a vitamin. “Half say yes, and half say no,” says Hardwicke. There are no studies that demonstrate taking multivitamins prevents diseases, but there are none that show a multivitamin hurts, either.
Hardwicke typically comes down on the side of those who recommend taking a daily vitamin. “A multivitamin won’t hurt. I take one myself. I know it won’t hurt me, and I don’t (always) eat well enough.” For those who do decide to take a regular daily vitamin, Hardwicke recommends a well-known brand formulated with seniors’ needs in mind. On the other hand, Hardwicke warns against taking megadoses of most vitamins. “A, D, E and K are fat soluble. You can develop toxicity,” she says. Though studies have yet to demonstrate any benefit from dramatically increasing one’s intake of vitamin C to combat or ward off a cold, Hardwicke doesn’t dissuade anyone, as long as it’s not done on a sustained basis. “I have no problem with a megadose of C on a short-term basis,” she says. But, another note of caution: Too much C can make you prone to kidney stones. Hardwicke is less enthusiastic about many nonvitamin supplements, including herbs and minerals, noting that most diets provide necessary amounts of the latter. One exception: calcium. The mineral helps keep bones and teeth strong, which is important among seniors as bone loss accelerates after age 50, especially among women. “Since estrogen helps maintain bone mass, women become more vulnerable to bone loss after menopause,” Diane McKay, a nutrition researcher at Boston’s Tufts University, told AARP. “Women younger than 50 need 1,000 to 1,200 mg [of calcium] daily. It’s 1,200 to 1,500 mg post menopause,” Hardwicke says. Again, if you can obtain that amount from your diet, all the better. To boost your calcium intake, eat cheese, yogurt, milk, and figs. The best advice Hardwicke has is to talk with your doctor about your diet and medications. “Check with your physician and [do] whatever your doctor tells you.”
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You Can Live With Diabetes Northern Michigan Diabetes Initiative connects you to classes, seminars, and other resources to help you live life to the fullest while managing your diabetes. To learn more about how to thrive with diabetes, call 231-935-9227 or visit nmdi.org.
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Our intimate lakeside retirement community offers assisted and independent senior living in all of our spacious one and two bedroom apartments. With a wide variety of care plans to choose from you can live the lifestyle that best suits you. • Three Full-Time Registered Nurses on Staff • Three Chef-Prepared Meals plus Snacks Each Day • A Full Calendar of Stimulating Activities & Events • Scheduled Transportation Services
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KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS OF 70.5 The tax man knocks, and it’s best to answer. BY JASON TANK
Remember the days when your birthday really meant something? Driving at 16. Voting at 18. Ordering a beer on your 21st birthday. If you’ve yet to reach that glorious age of 70.5, congratulations, a fresh milestone awaits. You get to pay Uncle Sam some of the taxes he’s been patiently waiting to collect. For years, your tax-deferred retirement accounts, like your IRA and 401(k), have been building up in value. All along the way, as your investments have earned interest and as you’ve received dividends and enjoyed capital appreciation, the IRS has not received a single penny. At 70.5, the government demands you to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) and pay some tax every year. There are three things that you should know about your obligation to satisfy the required minimum distribution rule. First, forgetting can be costly. If you fail to satisfy your RMD obligation, the penalty is 50 percent of the required distribution. This may be one of the biggest penalties in the tax code. And, ignorance of the rule is a frowned-upon excuse, no matter how truthful it may be. Second, you are allowed to satisfy your RMD by taking the full amount from just one of your tax-deferred accounts. As long as you factor in the total value of all of your accounts as of December 31 of the prior year, you can draw from a single account of your choice. It is my general advice, however, to develop a habit of taking your required minimum distributions separately from each of your accounts. Life gets increasingly complicated and covering your bases, account by account, can help to avoid future panic that an account was inadvertently overlooked. Better yet, to avoid the administrative burden of tracking your various RMDs, consider combining all of your tax-deferred accounts into one single IRA. One account means only one required minimum distribution to remember. There’s a beauty in simplicity!
Third, if your spouse passes away, you are allowed to combine his or her IRAs with your own. And, if you have not yet reached age 70.5, regardless of your deceased spouse’s age, then your newly-combined IRA will continue to fully enjoy its tax deferral. In this way, Uncle Sam can once again be pushed off! However, any non-spousal beneficiary you name, even if they are much younger than age 70.5, will forevermore be subject to annual RMD obligations. Fortunately, the younger the beneficiary, the slower the government will get their hands on their taxes. Since the calculation of the RMD amount is based on the beneficiary’s own life expectancy, imagine how long this always-separate inherited IRA might last? In some cases, it can stretch on for decades. This “stretch” feature can be wildly beneficial to your heirs. Finally, keep in mind the required minimum distribution rule only applies to money that’s never been taxed. Roth IRAs, as a result, don’t face similar distribution requirements. Smart tax planning opportunities may arise where strategic Roth conversions make imminent sense. By splitting off part of your regular IRA and placing it into a Roth IRA, you can choose to pay your taxes now, rather than later. This planning tool can be expertly applied when you find yourself in a lower-than-normal tax bracket. As the saying goes, however, all good things must come to an end! For many years prior to age 70.5 you enjoyed the fruits of your tax deferral. There are obviously worse things in life than being forced to pay some taxes. By the time you reach that oddly specific age of 70.5, you’re clearly wise enough to know that!
Jason P. Tank, CFA, is the owner of Traverse City–based fee-only wealth advisory firm, Front Street Wealth Management, and founder of the non-profit Money Series providing open-access to financial education, for all. Contact: 231.947.3775, email@example.com, frontstreet.com. MyNorth INSPIRED LIFE 2018
KEY HOUSING TERMS CLA RI F I ED Deciding where to live as one ages can be challenging. The jargon of senior housing doesn’t make it much easier. We’re here to help with a quick-reference list of common terms.
INDEPENDENT LIVING: A straightforward term describing living situations for seniors who are still able to live on their own and manage the necessities and social aspects of their lives. In some communities, subsidized independent living apartments are available for low-income seniors. AGING IN PLACE: Often used to describe strategies for designing new homes or modifying existing ones to accommodate aging seniors. A growing number of builders and contractors specialize in Aging in Place design and modification. The term can also refer to staying in a facility that takes a person who is highfunctioning all the way through end-of-life. CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY: Usually defined as a “one-campus” system of independent housing, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Residents shift easily from one type of housing to another as their needs change, preventing disruptive moves. A spouse who is healthy enough to live independently can typically stay near a husband or wife in an on-campus apartment. RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES: A term for seniors-only apartments with amenities such as meals, laundry, housekeeping, transportation, carports, storage and activities. Amenities are optional in some retirement communities but included in rent at others. Retirement communities provide less care than
assisted living facilities; residents need to be able to live unsupervised. Most offer annual leases with early-out clauses for medical situations. SENIOR RESIDENTIAL CLUB: Designed for both independent seniors and those needing assistance, this is a community-focused “city-in-miniature.” Residents live within walking distance of restaurants, yoga studios, coffee shops, art galleries, and more. It also has a multi-generational component since the area attracts people of all ages to enjoy its vibrant community. ASSISTED LIVING: A broad category that describes options between independent living and skilled longterm care. In many facilities, residents live in private apartments or rooms but receive care tailored to their level of ability. Services may be as simple as meals and cleaning, but could also include more extensive care, such as dressing, bathing, monitoring medications and transportation for appointments and shopping. Most assisted living facilities serve residents through hospice and end of life. Depending on the services they provide, assisted living facilities are not necessarily licensed in Michigan. Medicare does not provide funds for assisted living. ADULT FOSTER CARE AND HOMES FOR THE AGED: These are state licensing definitions for facilities that care for seniors who can no longer live independently but do not need continuous medical support. In
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addition to on-site supervision, seniors at these facilities get help with bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, walking, toileting and medications. (The state defines smaller operations, often based in private homes and residential neighborhoods, as adult foster care. Facilities with more than 20 residents are licensed as homes for the aged.) Some seniors prefer the cozy atmosphere of smaller residential homes, while others find more stimulation at larger facilities that offer a range of activities. Medicaid is accepted at some of these homes. SKILLED NURSING FACILITY: Describes facilities for people with mental or physical impairment and extensive medical needs. Skilled nursing facilities, commonly called nursing homes, have in-house activities for stimulation and rehab services for shortterm stays. They are also the most expensive option. According to federal statistics, Medicaid pays for seven out of every 10 nursing home patients. So unless a senior is wealthy or has good long-term care insurance, the number of Medicaid beds in a nursing home may be an important selection criteria. ADULT DAY SERVICES: A service that allows seniors to drop in at a residential care facility for specific periods during the day, especially helpful for people with Alzheimerâ€™s and their caregivers. The senior at adult daycare gets assistance and social interaction while the caregiver is able to go to work or run errands, or just take a break. When caregivers need more time, they may use overnight respite at certain residential facilities. Such short-term stays help a senior become familiar with the staff and environment of a facility that may eventually become their fulltime residence.
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LONG-TERM CARE: General term for 24-hour medical and personal care. Most commonly, long-term care is provided in a skilled nursing facility. SKILLED REHAB: General terms for those individuals who are going to a nursing home for a short-term stay while receiving some type of therapy.
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or years you’ve never thought twice about putting on your pants or your socks in the morning, but then all of a sudden, out of nowhere you find yourself looking for something to hold onto or lean on just to get dressed. Well you are not alone… It seems as we start north of 50, we start losing our balance (amongst many other things). But there is good news!
Senior Balance and Stability. There are some very specific exercises that will help you progress quickly and keep you safe and independent. You will be asking yourself—‘why haven’t I started this sooner?’
Every Tuesday and Thursday at Fit For You Health Club we hold a Give us a call today at 231-9227285 and ask for Michele. class that tackles just that -
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PARADE OF SENIOR HOMES The Alliance for Senior Housing, LLC makes finding a home later in life much easier, thanks to its annual Parade of Senior Homes. The free daylong tours, which take place in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties, provide access to a variety of residential choices. Housing options on the tour include independent living retirement centers, assisted living, adult foster care and nursing homes. Tour guides and hosts will provide information about types of housing, funding options and how VA, Medicare/ Medicaid may be available. The Alliance charters a bus for up to 29 people per tour. Each tour features four different housing options. Register for one or all tours. Rides are relaxed and fun; expect information, food, games, prizes and more. Tours typically are held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will take place in Traverse City on April 20, June 22 and Sept. 14. To register for Grand Traverse tours, contact the Traverse City Senior Center at 231.922.4911. The Leelanau County Parade is scheduled for May, but the specific date was undetermined at press time. Please call Leelanau County Senior Services for more information at 231.256.8121. If you have any questions, please contact the Alliance for Senior Housing, LLC at 231.263.4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. allianceforseniorhousing.com.
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RESOURCES, HERE TO HELP Senior citizens and their families are often surprised at the extensive resources for seniors available free or at low cost, thanks to tax support. Some of the following resources are agencies offer that services to seniors of all income levels and situations. Other resources listed below are commercial healthcare organizations that offer in-home and residential care options.
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION The Alzheimer’s Association serves Northern Lower Michigan with two regional offices in Traverse City and Alpena. The association offers many programs and services that benefit caregivers as well as people living with Alzheimer’s disease. A support group for caregivers can be found in each Northern Michigan County as well as care consultation, care management services, education and training, and lending libraries with books, videos and DVD’s. A helpline is available 24 hours a day at 800.272.3900 or call the offices in Traverse City office at 231.929.3804 or Alpena at 989.356.4087. alz-org-northern-mi.blogspot. com/ and www.alz.org/gmc/
AREA AGENCY ON AGING IN NORTHWEST MICHIGAN (AAANM) AAANM provides key public services as both an information clearinghouse and as a services provider assisting senior and disabled individuals to remain in/ or return to the community. AAANM information specialists are a good place to start for an overview of programs and services available to older adults and their caregivers. Options Counselors are available for more in-depth assistance, identifying needs and navigating the system. In addition benefits counselors are also available by appointment to answer questions and troubleshoot problems with Medicare, Medicaid or prescription drug policies and claims. This information and counseling is the best deal around—free, unbiased and available to all. The agency also provides some direct services to specific populations, such as job searches for lowincome seniors and care management for the “frail elderly” who need multiple services to stay in their homes. Most direct services, however, are provided
through local Councils and Commissions on Aging and private pay agencies. This regional organization, with local headquarters in Traverse City, has overseen and distributed government funds to service providers throughout 10 counties in Northwest Lower Michigan since 1974. AAANM Information Specialists are available in person at 1609 Park Drive, Traverse City, by phone 800.442.1713 or 231.947.8920, or by e-mail under the “Contact Us” feature at aaanm.org.
BOARDMAN LAKE GLENS This senior living community on the shore of Traverse City’s Boardman Lake is set amid the calm beauty of nature and is also conveniently located close to downtown and the Grand Traverse Bay. Movie theaters, stage performances, dining and shopping are all easily accessible. The small, intimate retirement community gives residents ultimate flexibility, by offering independent living and assisted living lifestyles in beautiful lakeside apartments. Operated by Christopher Place Senior Communities, chrisplacesenior.com.
COUNCIL ON AGING OR COMMISSION ON AGING Each county in Northwest Lower Michigan has either a Council or a Commission on Aging that provides services directly to seniors. Subsidized by local millage funds and/or state and federal dollars, these agencies help eligible seniors with yard work, house cleaning, personal care, transportation, and much more. Some services may have waiting lists or limitations on the number of hours provided. Payment is usually required, typically on a sliding scale. Services and terms vary widely from county to county—important to remember for seniors who plan to relocate.
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R ESO U RC ES
HARBOR CARE ASSOCIATES / HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATES When life changes due to an illness, accident, or aging, it can be difficult to maintain one’s independence and personal care as before. Help with errands and transportation, doctor’s appointments, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping and more can relieve much of the stress you and your loved one may be experiencing. Care provided by qualified, professional and loving home care agency is an ideal option and can bring back the joy in family life. Harbor Care’s 30+ year history allows them to accurately and quickly assess your personal situation and guide you to the right resources or care solutions. Offices in Petoskey and Traverse City.
NORTHERN VISION EYE CARE An experienced team, led by Dr. Robert Butryn and Dr. Amy Ranger, provides the latest in advanced eye care technology to cover all of your eye care needs— from state of the art LASIK and cataract surgery to a complete selection of stylish frames and lenses. NVEC is dedicated to providing personalized eye care to promote a healthy community.
LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN The Long Term Care Ombudsman program is available for concerned individuals to investigate complaints, suggest remedies and assist with resident rights payments, issues, guardianship and nursing home placement. 866.485.9393 Michigan.gov/osa.
SENIOR CENTERS Many communities have senior centers that provide recreational and social activities, including some that are run by county aging commissions or councils. In Traverse City, the Senior Center is the hot spot for everything from pickle ball to computer classes. The center brings in other services such as foot care and legal assistance, in addition to being a senior nutrition site for the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency. To connect with your local Commission or Council on Aging, Area Agency on Aging, or the senior services available in your area, contact the AAANM 800.442.1713, aaanm.org, or the nationwide ElderCare Locator service 800.677.1116, eldercare.gov.
MONARCH HOME HEALTH SERVICES Monarch Home Health Services was founded by an experienced team of healthcare professionals who wanted to go beyond the industry's basic requirement and set higher standards of excellence, service, and professionalism. The staff at Monarch will work with clients and their families to custom design an assistance program to fit their needs. Nursing care visits can be combined with Home Health Aide visits for comprehensive care. Monarch home health employees are tested and certified either as CNA's or Home Health Aides. Monarch also provides on-going training and education to all employees.
MUNSON HEALTHCARE HOME HEALTH Munson Healthcare Home Health is the largest, most comprehensive home health provider in northern Michigan. We’ve built our reputation for excellence by providing kind, attentive, and respectful inhome care for more than 50 years. Our home health services include: home care, home medical equipment (HME), hospice, medical alert system, palliative care, private duty services, transportation, patient and family resources. 800.252.2065, munsonhomehealth.org.
PARKINSON’S NETWORK NORTH Parkinson’s Network North, a non-profit organization serving Northern Michigan, provides support, education and community resources helpful to those living with the disease and their loved ones. gtaparkinsonsgroup.org, 231.947.1946 or 231.947.7389.
VILLAGE AT BAY RIDGE Village at Bay Ridge is a luxurious, independent senior living community that is close to downtown Traverse City and has spacious one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as beautiful cottage-style homes with adjoining garages. The Village at Bay Ridge, specifically, is designed for residents who wish to maintain a carefree, independent lifestyle. The Village at Bay Ridge is part of the Bay Ridge continuum of care community. Bay Ridge also features an assisted living center, as well as a community that specializes in dementia care. This means that if at any point you need additional care, help is just minutes away.
I have great choices for senior living in Kalkaska. It’s important to live life well no matter what your age, but it’s especially true as you grow older. Life should be enjoyed, not just endured. Come live well with us. Long-term Care Eden Center, our skilled nursing home, has an overall five-star rating from Medicare, and is one of the US News and World Report Best nursing homes for 2017-18. This hospital-based home-away-from-home is full of life, with trusted nursing care as needed and easy access to a variety of health care services. Legacy Home Semi-private and private rooms are available in an environment full of life and choices. Residents enjoy interacting with preschool children and animals, while developing their own schedules and dining choices. Memory Care Located within the Eden Center, our Memory Care Unit provides a secure setting with decreased stimulation, which helps residents remain more calm and content. Green House® Homes Two unique 10-bed Green House homes provide a close-knit family atmosphere. In this new model of skilled nursing facility, every resident enjoys their own spacious bedroom and bath, with shared access to all of the home’s comforts and a focus on personal development and growth. Assisted Living Enjoy all of the comforts of home in your own private apartment. Tasty restaurant-style meals and room service, housekeeping, laundry, and 24-hour personal care services take the work out of living. To learn more, call 231-258-7500 or visit munsonhealthcare.org/kmhc.
Living Well After 55 in Northern Michigan / Be Happy, Stay Fit! Immerse in this Place / Know your Health: Straight talk about vitamins / Get...
Published on Mar 23, 2018
Living Well After 55 in Northern Michigan / Be Happy, Stay Fit! Immerse in this Place / Know your Health: Straight talk about vitamins / Get...