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Senior OCUS A Special Publication of the Vilas County News-Review

S U M M E R / FA L L 2 0 1 3

and The Three Lakes News


St. Germain develops housing for seniors À la Carte Care expanding in North Woods Organizations promote outdoor recreation

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013


it’s more than a job …

NEWS-REVIEW Eagle River Vindicator Established 1886

Eagle River Review 1890

Publisher KURT KRUEGER Asst. Editor ANTHONY DREW Production Manager JEAN DREW Circulation Manager ELIZABETH SCHMIDT Graphic Design SHARINA ADAMS, CARLY RATLIFF

Vilas County News 1892


Published by Eagle River Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 1929, 425 W. Mill St. at Eagle River, WI 54521 • ~ Phone 715-479-4421 • Fax 715-479-6242

Kirby D. Redman, O.D. • Michel P. Gelinas, M.D. • Benjamin K. Redman, O.D. 141 B South Willow Street — Eagle River

(715) 479-9390

Toll Free (800) 441-0717

Optical (715) 477-1602 Woodruff Office: 715-356-2262 • Park Falls Office: 715-762-2300

it’s a mission. it’s a mission. Keeping you at home with

SERVICES FOR SENIORS comfort. convenience. certainty.

Home Care 7 Days a Week, 24 Hours a Day

In-home Services SPECIALIZING IN: • • • • • •


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800.234.3542 Member Alzheimer ’s Association


Call Collette Sorgel for a free consultation!


Serving Oneida, Vilas & Lincoln Counties

Lisa, Collette and Leanne


home health, hospice, Keeping therapy, you at home infusion respi-with home health, ratory therapyhospice, and quality infusion therapy, respihome medical equipment. ratory therapy and quality home medical equipment.

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Schellingers stay active in retirement They’ve been delivering Meals on Wheels for 28 years ___________ BY COURTNEY BOLTE NEWS-REVIEW INTERN


Nearly three decades ago, Fred Schellinger started delivering meals to area residents and he’s been doing it ever since. In 1985, Fred Schellinger and his wife, Irene, left their dairy farm in southern Wisconsin to move north to the Eagle River area for retirement. Schellinger was busy helping set up Carl Schel’s Wood Art Museum in Eagle River when a friend asked him if he would take over his meal delivery route for a couple of weeks as a favor. “That’s when it started and it hasn’t ended yet,” said Fred, now 90 years old. When Schellinger started delivering meals, there were only three other volunteers in the program. At that time, they covered two routes from the local hospital. The program was intended to provide meals to those with special dietary needs. Eventually, the hospital discontinued the program and the Vilas County Commission on Aging expanded into delivering meals everyday to residential homes. This program is commonly known as Meals on Wheels. On his route, Schellinger would deliver 15 to 25 meals a day. Delivering the meals consisted of driving to the home, getting the meal together in a bag, dropping it off and visiting with the people. He eventually invited his wife along to help make the route easier. “He came home and said to me, ‘If you came along to help get the bags ready for me to take in the house, the route would go much faster,’ so that’s how I got started!” said Irene, who is 85 years old. The couple’s route takes them close to two hours to complete. Originally, they did their route everyday. Today, Fred and Irene only do the route once a week, delivering about 15 meals. They ride together and work as a team on the route, which includes delivering meals to an Alzheimers group at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Eagle River. The Schellingers take time to talk with the people they deliver to and Fred even does small favors for some of them such as taking their bills and letters out to the mailbox. After their years with Meals on Wheels, the Schellingers said they find it to be very rewarding. “It’s really nice to see the satisfaction people get from receiving the meals and having someone to talk to. A lot of these people are homebound and aren’t able to get out very much,” said Irene. Over the 28 years of delivering meals, the Schellingers have gotten to know the people on their route and made friends

With insulated carriers in hand, Fred and Irene Schellinger of Eagle River are ready to deliver another meal to a senior citizen through the

with some of them. Irene showed notes of appreciation and birthday cards that they have received from some of these people. That type of response makes the job worthwhile, she said. The Meals on Wheels program now has a crew of seven or eight delivery drivers. They deliver nutritional meals to seniors age 60 or older who are essentially homebound by reasons of illness, disability or isolation. Aside from offering delivered meals, the Vilas County Commission on Aging also offer services such as transportation, health and wellness presentations and

Meals on Wheels program offered through the Vilas County Commission on Aging. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

workshops for seniors, caregiver support and more. The Schellingers enjoy staying active in their retirement. Irene enjoys the freedom to sleep in and does crocheting to stay busy. Fred enjoys doing woodworking projects. He has a home wood shop set up in his garage. He originally started out making side tables and shelves and his hobby has since evolved into making toys. Throughout their retirement, the Schellingers have been very involved in the community. They have volunteered at the Northwoods Children’s Museum and have called bingo at the Kalmar Senior Center in Eagle River. They have also pro-

vided courtesy rides for other seniors who have doctor appointments and for shopping trips through the Vilas County Commision on Aging. Delivering meals is just one way Fred and Irene are setting a good example for any senior with an interest in getting involved and staying active. The Vilas County Commission on Aging provides supportive and advocacy services to county residents 60 and older to meet their community needs. For more information or to get involved, call the Commission on Aging at (715) 479-3625 or visit their website at

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Pickleball is escalating in popularity around the North Woods, and a new group has launched in Three Lakes playing three days per week. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Sport of pickleball growing in North A one-of-a-kind sport called pickleball is growing by leaps and bounds in the North Woods, as a new court has taken root in Three Lakes and the established club in Eagle River has added dozens of members since last summer. The local groups, composed primarily of senior men and women, have found an enjoyable way to stay active. Pickleball is played on a court similar to doubles badminton with a perforated plastic ball and wooden (or composite) paddles. The Eagle River group meets at Riverview Park Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. The new group in Three Lakes meets at Don Burnside Park Mondays and Fridays from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. They plan to play in the high school during the fall and winter months. Both groups welcome new players, and the club in Eagle River has certainly seen plenty of those. On a typical Tuesday or Thursday morning, passersby could see as many as 20 cars at the park for the games. Spearheaded by area pickleball enthu-

siast Allan Geiger, the Eagle River club got its initial start on the blacktop behind Eagle River City Hall in the summer of 2009. However, they arrived at Riverview Park after Geiger convinced city officials to allow the group to paint lines on the tennis courts. For more information, contact Gieger at (715) 891-3558. About pickleball The pickleball court is the same size as a conventional badminton doubles court (20 feet by 44 feet), with a 3-foot-high net. Players volley the hollow plastic ball or play it off the bounce and serve it with oversized table tennis paddles. Singles or doubles can play pickleball, but the Eagle River group focuses on doubles play. The game was invented in 1965 in the backyard of former U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard of Seattle. Pritchard and family members improvised the game on a badminton court after they couldn’t find a shuttlecock.

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St. Germain group offers housing for seniors, others in community ___________



Sunrise, Sunshine and Sunset are three immaculately-maintained buildings along Sunrise Lane in St. Germain. They are owned by the town and managed by the St. Germain Housing Authority under guidelines of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Development agency. The buildings were housing projects of the St. Germain Town Board beginning in 1982. The board recognized a potential need for senior housing and undertook a study in 1983 to see if there was interest by seniors in the community. Surveys indicated a need for a secure building to call home, adequate parking, within walking distance of the post office, grocery store and pharmacy, as well as onsite amenities such as a community room, laundry room and communal kitchen. Construction on the first building, Sunrise, was finished in 1986 with occupancy beginning in February of that year. The total building cost was about $384,000. Demand for occupancy was obvious and the second unit, Sunshine, was undertaken almost immediately. It was ready for occupancy in November 1988. Sunset, the third building, was begun because the need for low-income senior housing was apparent when Sunshine was filled shortly after completion. The third unit was ready for occupancy in December 1992, according to Francine Byrns, executive director who is responsible for management of the facility. “The continued success of the project can be attributed to the ongoing support of the town and its residents,” said Byrns. “They recognize it as a valuable asset that the tenants are proud to call home.” Today, the St. Germain Housing Authority’s board of directors are Jerry Eliason, chairman; Lee Christensen, vice chairman; Nancy Neff, secretary; and Peggy Anderson, treasurer. Committee members include town Supervisor Marv Anderson and Barb Zimmerman. The facility is officially a “low-income senior and disabled housing facility,” according to Byrns, just the second executive director of the facility. “We have residents here from ages 33 to 89. Twenty-nine are considered seniors and seven have met federal guidelines for low income ‘disabled’ housing,” said Byrns. “Unit one had a tremendous boost when it was planned. Eight lots were donated by Jerry, Don and Dick Eliason,” she said. “Only two additional lots needed to be purchased ($7,700) so there would be enough square footage to meet zoning

St. Germain’s low-income senior and disabled housing is located one block south of Highway 70 West, where residents enjoy a quiet, se-

regulations.” Jean Seifried, the first secretary of the St. Germain Housing Authority, commented in November of 1985, “We are the only facility of its kind in the entire state to have its own well and septic system.” Press releases from 1992 revealed that only unit three required a variance from Vilas County because the property is only 79,500 square feet. Without the variance, it would have required 197,340 square feet and the five lots purchased at $25,000 would have not been adequate. While responses to the first questionnaire indicated concern of citizens about the project costing tax dollars, the project was financed through 50-year loans with the Department of Agriculture and is not part of the tax paid by residents because rents are federally subsidized. Norm Schuettner Sr., was the first executive director, was quoted as saying, “The North Woods has long been a retirement haven for senior citizens, evident by an increasing demand for additional lowincome housing in St. Germain.” Units one and two are dedicated to the memory of various individuals who played a role in the community. Sunrise is dediTo HOUSING, Pg. 25

cure environment within walking distance of the post office, grocery, banking and pharmacy. —Photos By Wally Geist

The St. Germain Housing Authority Board of Directors includes, from left, Marv Anderson, town supervisor; Barb Zimmerman, member; Francine Byrns, executive director; Jerry Eliason, president; and Nancy Neff, secretary. Missing from the photo were Lee Christensen, vice chairman; and Peggy Anderson, treasurer.

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The Vilas County Commission on Aging is committed to providing programs designed to enhance the quality of life of older adults. Services provide the opportunity for choices, encourages health, wellness and living independently. The 12-member Commission on Aging is appointed by the County Board of Supervisors and is responsible for setting policy on all programs.

Funding for services is provided through federal, state and county governments, private contributions and participant donations. Programs through the Federal Older Americans Act do not have fees, but donations are vital to the success of our programs and are greatly appreciated. No one is denied service because of inability to donate.

521 E. Wall Street Downtown Eagle River Mailing address: 330 Court Street Eagle River, WI 54521 (715) 479-3625 or 1-(800) 374-1123

Who is eligible for services?

Generally, any person age 60 or older may use services. A few programs have more specific guidelines.

Help when you need it most!

Elder Benefit Specialist

Friendly Visitor

The Elder Benefit Specialist helps cut the red tape involved with health care and public benefits, such as: • Medicare • Medical Assistance • Medicare Supplemental Insurance • Consumer Concerns • Supplemental Security Income • Disability Claims • SeniorCare Prescription Coverage • Judicare Information • Homestead Tax Credit • Benefit Counseling

Volunteers visit the homebound or isolated frail older adults, providing companionship, a link to the Vilas community and to other available services. The Friendly Visitors also provide telephone reassurance.

Health & Wellness Program


Provides informational programs on health and wellness to enrich the quality of life of our seniors.

Volunteer escort drivers provide rides for people unable to drive themselves to medical appointments, grocery shopping, personal business, other shopping and personal care needs. Call (715) 479-3625, 48 hours in advance to arrange a ride.

• Powerful Tools for Caregivers program provides caregivers with tools and strategies to better handle caregiver challenges.

• Stepping On is a program proven to reduce falls and build confidence in older people. • Living Well is a workshop for people who have one or more chronic health conditions.

Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program Provides information and/or funding to caregivers of family members who have Alzheimer’s disease or other closely related irreversible dementia and are financially eligible.

Bus and van rides are also available to transport seniors to adult day care, shopping, nutrition sites, recreational activities, and other activities are available through the following senior groups: Eagle River (serving Eagle River) — (715) 891-1221 Lac du Flambeau (serving Lac du Flambeau) — (715) 588-3303 Lakeland (serving Woodruff & Arbor Vitae) – (715) 356-9118 Phelps Seniors (serving Phelps & Land O’ Lakes) – (715) 477-1611 Northwoods Seniors (serving Manitowish Waters, Boulder Junction, Winchester and Presque Isle – (715) 356-2650 St. Germain PrimeTimers (serving St. Germain area) — (715) 479-6310

Home Support Program Nutrition Program

Links caregivers with private agencies or self-employed workers who can help with caregiving or provide respite care.

Serves hot and nutritious meals at congregate sites which provide socialization, educational and recreational activities at the following sites located throughout the county: American Legion Eagle River Area Wellness Center Lac du Flambeau Area Gateway Lodge Land O’ Lakes Area

Phelps - Holiday Lodge Phelps Area Fibber’s Restaurant St. Germain Area Boulder Beer Bar Restaurant Boulder Junction Area

Home-delivered meals prepared at the nutrition sites are delivered to eligible homebound people throughout Vilas County. Meal reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Donations are encouraged to maintain the viability of the program, but are not required.

Chore Service Matches workers with people needing light housekeeping. Our chore workers will provide other services such as shopping or laundry depending upon the needs of the individual.

Volunteer Opportunities Our volunteers are an integral part of the Commission on Aging Programs. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for one of our programs, please call our office at (715) 479-3625. Mileage reimbursement is available. We need volunteers to be • Escort Drivers • Delivery Drivers for Meals to Homebound Seniors • Friendly Visitors

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Always ready to lend a hand John ‘J.P.’ Holtz began volunteer endeavor 23 years ago ___________ BY JOAN MEEDER SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


John “J.P.” Holtz of Three Lakes finds joy by involving himself in causes close to his heart as well as life-enhancing recreational activities. His active lifestyle for many years included a lot of cross-country highway travel. Born in Elroy in 1928, Holtz hauled milk from farmers to a creamery and later bought his own truck to haul gas, diesel fuel and jet fuel. Holtz later hauled freight and then served in the Korean Conflict. After returning to the United States, Holtz drove truck for almost 30 years for a Kenosha company. These travels covered all 48 states and with later vacations to Alaska and Hawaii, he has visited all 50 states. He says he especially liked hiking in Alaska. Camping with his first wife in Three Lakes in the 1980s, Holtz and she decided to move to the small community in 1988. He did inside work on their home, except for plumbing, electrical and heating, and also put in a lawn. At that time, Holtz worked for a contractor and enjoyed muskie fishing from his sport canoe. A few years ago, Holtz used his roofing skills to help George Rychlock put shingles on the Cy Williams Park gazebo in Three Lakes. Twenty-three years ago, Holtz began his favorite volunteer endeavor, working with the Three Lakes Christian Food Pantry. A friend from Illinois, Bob Kruecke, moved up and approached him about starting a food pantry in Three Lakes. They began the pantry operation by bringing in food from Omro, 150 miles away, for distribution at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church basement the first two years. Holtz is still involved in the pantry, mostly by transporting food donated by Wisconsin’s Second Harvest from a site in Eagle River as well as food from Baker’s Foods to the current site, the Three Lakes Community Building. “We have 20 great volunteers who work at the pantry. We appreciate very much all help and finances the pantry receives from the community, churches and individuals,” said Holtz. He is now a part of the committee that, since 2008, has been putting out a calendar every year to benefit the pantry. Members of seven local churches serve on the committee and all proceeds, between $1,000 to $1,900 per year, are donated to the food pantry. The calendars are popular and available for purchase at the Three Lakes Hardware Store, chamber of commerce office, Pumpkin Fest or through

John “J.P.” Holtz of Three Lakes has been volunteering in the Three Lakes area for 23 years, helping out at the food pantry, church and doing mission work. —Photo By Joan Meeder

contacting any of the area’s seven churches. Holtz is active at his home church, the Three Lakes Evangelical Free Church, where a group of men saw, split and deliver donated firewood free of charge to peo-

ple in need. During summer, the older Honey Rock campers help with splitting the wood. “Often there is volunteer work to be done in or around the churches. I help whenever I am able,” Holtz remarked

with a smile. “For a few years, I served as chaplain in the American Legion Post 431. At the present time, I am serving as the service officer, helping spouses of bereaved and hospitalized veterans and giving out information as needed. I take part in the Legion Memorial Day service and help with other Legion activities.” For the past several years, Holtz also has enjoyed delivering Christmas presents to less fortunate children. The presents are purchased by church members. Holtz met his current wife, Barbara Bauknecht, through an Alzheimer’s support group that she started. He is involved in its events, such as the annual walk in Rhinelander in September. For the past five years, they also have been delivering birthday and Christmas gifts for Prison Fellowship through her church, Union Congregational. If someone’s spouse is in jail and the couple have children, their names are forwarded to the organization. Since 1995, Holtz has been going on Volunteers in Mission (VIM) trips through the United Methodist Church in Wisconsin about once a year. “Forty to 45 of volunteers travel by bus and we pay to go. Any funds left over go to the mission,” he said. “We help repair homes damaged by natural disasters such as tornados. I helped set up some of the 40 buildings at a camp near Wautoma, prepared firewood and built a stockade for horses. Besides VIMs in our state, I’ve been to the Gulf states, like Alabama and Mississippi, and states in between, such as North Carolina.” To keep in shape and balance all these volunteer efforts, Holtz still finds time for recreation. His hobbies have shifted over the years from fishing and camping to playing horseshoes on a team for 15 years and basketball. “I started playing basketball at the Conover Evangelical Free Church when I was 62 and continued until I was 72 on Monday nights in the wintertime. The court was smaller and we used only four players on the team. When it was time to go, I didn’t want to quit,” he said. Other pursuits include walking a few miles every morning and watching the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers. With his straightforward manner and alert, twinkling eyes, Holtz offered advice to senior citizens either living here or moving to the area. “There’s a lot to do and get involved with in this nice little town. When you get adjusted, check different organizations and churches, there are lots of them available,” he said. “I wish I could do more, if we didn’t have so many activities now.”

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Trees’ Road Scholar program offers biking adventure for those over 50 Adults in their 50s and beyond are invited to bicycle the quiet roads of northern Wisconsin, witnessing the first flashes of autumn color and winding through deep forests and past hidden lakes. Leading the way in the week-long Road Scholar program at Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River, Sept. 1-7, will be local naturalists. They will teach participants about the ecology of the northern forest ecosystem. Some of the program highlights include: — Led by local experts and accompanied by a support van, participants will enjoy biking through Wisconsin’s spectacular North Woods. — Take a break from biking for a day of canoeing on a local waterway or hiking on a beautiful trail in the area. — Evening presentations will introduce participants to wildlife of the region, including the resurgent gray wolf. — An evening field trip to the Kovac Planetarium, a rotating mechanical globe constructed by a dedicated amateur astronomer. Another unique aspect of the program is visiting and walking on a northern quaking bog, an experience many equate to

walking on a giant waterbed. “Sometimes participants are unsure of the bog, but are amazed after experiencing it and learning about the interesting plants that live there,” said Walters, Road Scholar coordinator at Trees For Tomorrow. Backroads Biking Adventure participants will have an opportunity to see education raptors (birds of prey) up close. Bicycling distances are 20 to 35 miles per day at a pace of 10 to 14 mph on paved roads with little traffic and rolling terrain. Walters said Trees For Tomorrow group leaders will adjust route distances and speed to accommodate group needs. Also, there will be support vehicles for the routes. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own bicycle and helmet, as there will be a limited number of bike rentals available on a first-come, firstserved basis. Cost for the workshop is $599 per person (for a double room) or $629 per person (for a single room), which includes lodging, meals, instruction, field-trip transportaTo BIKING, Pg. 25

The Road Scholar Backroads Biking Adventure, offered through Trees For Tomorrow, will take participants on the roads of Vilas and Oneida counties. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Age-related eye disease affects 38 million ___________ BY STEPHANIE GROVES SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 38 million Americans, or one in eight, have common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. By the year 2030, the number is expected to increase to 56 million. Statistics show that by age 65, one in three seniors have some form of vision-impairing eye disease. Vision loss is an important health concern because it is associated with falls, depression, social isolation and overall poorer health. Among those 65 years old and older, 54.2% of those who are blind and 41.7% of those with impaired vision say their overall health is fair or poor. Eye Care Associates Drs. Michel Gelinas, Kirby Redman and Ben Redman say that after the age of 40, especially if there is a history of eye disease in the family, adults need yearly screening exams by an eye-care professional. The earlier these diseases are diagnosed and treated, the greater the success with countering their progression. In addition, the better a person’s overall health is, the healthier their eyes will be. “We check for all four of the most common eye diseases — macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy — which are sneaky, insidious diseases,” Gelinas explained. Macular degeneration is the most common and worst eye-related debilitating disease affecting the older adult population. The inherited disease diminishes sight by affecting the central vision. Normally, people with the disease do not go blind be-

cause of it, but find it difficult to read, drive and perform other daily functions. “Eyes are like a camera with two lens,” said Gelinas. “The retina absorbs light which becomes a signal that travels to the brain via the optic nerve.” With macular degeneration, the macula, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, becomes damaged and vision decreases since the conversion of light, or an image, cannot fully be transmitted into electrical impulses and then sent to the brain. People with the disease can be treated with laser surgery, anti-angiogeneses drugs which normalize the blood vessels, and low-vision devices. Age is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. After age 75, up to 46% of people may have some form of the disease. Caucasians also have a higher risk for the disease. The second-leading age-related eye disease is glaucoma. The CDC describes the two major categories as “open angle” and “closed angle” glaucoma. Open angle is a chronic condition that progresses slowly over long periods of time without the person noticing vision loss until the disease is very advanced, which is why it’s called the “sneak thief of sight.” Closed angle can appear suddenly and is painful. Visual loss can progress quickly, however the pain and discomfort usually leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Gelinas said glaucoma usually affects people as they age. Eye pressure can gradually damage the eye by decreasing both

Cataracts are a common cause of blurred or distorted vision in adults. Early detection from a professional can help maintain the clearest vision possible.

The doctors at Eye Care Associates urge adults to get yearly screening exams for early diagnosis and treatment of any eye disease. —Contributed Photos

the blood flow and causing some press-like damage to the nerve fibers that extend to the brain. This can lead to potentially permanent visual loss. “Eye pressure is like a car tire,” he explained. “Higher pressure increases the blood flow, damaging the optic nerve.” Symptoms include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights, and painful or reddened eyes. People at high risk include those over the age of 40, diabetic, nearsighted, African-American or those who have a family history of glaucoma. Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled with treatments like prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy and surgery to lower pressure in the eye. It is estimated that 2.2 million people are currently affected by glaucoma and by the year 2020, it is projected that 3.3 million will be impacted by the disease. Cataracts are caused by a chemical change of unknown origin in the eye, and cause blurred or distorted vision. They cannot be prevented from forming, but early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible. “A cataract is a cloudy or yellow discoloration of the normally clear fluid between the eye lens and pupil of the eye,” said Gelinas. “Treatment includes vacuuming out the cloudy fluid and replacing it with a lifelong lens replacement implant, or intraocular lens. This is the most common surgery done in America.” Risk factors for developing cataracts include being older than 55 years old, eye injury or disease, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications. There is no pain associated with the condition, but symptoms include blurred or hazy vision, spots in front of the eye or eyes, sensitivity to glare, a feeling of “film” over the eye or eyes, and a temporary im-

provement in near vision. In addition, women are at slightly higher risk than men for developing cataracts. Currently, 20.5 million people have been diagnosed with cataracts and, in 2030, it is estimated that 30.1 million will be affected by cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that nourish the retina in the back of the eye. “Diabetes can cause damage to the veins and capillaries of the eye as well as cause bleeding and potentially retinal detachments,” said Gelinas. “When it is caught early, it is far more treatable than at later stages. It is important for anybody with diabetes to have their eyes screened at least yearly for this condition.” Vision can be lost if these weak vessels leak, swell or develop thin branches. As they try to heal, the blood vessels can contract and detach the retina. Symptoms include shadows or dark objects that float across your field of vision, blurred or distorted vision, partial loss of vision and pain in the eye. Laser treatment can be very effective at preventing vision loss if it is done before the retina has been severely damaged. People with diabetes are most susceptible to developing the disease, but the risk is reduced when a patient follows a prescribed diet and medications, exercises regularly, controls their blood pressure and avoids alcohol and cigarettes. The number of people who experience diabetic retinopathy is expected to exceed 16 million people by the year 2050. For more information, visit Eye Care Associates in Eagle River, Minocqua/Woodruff or Park Falls, or visit Vilas County News-Review Editor Gary Ridderbusch contributed to this article.

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Should you take a pension buyout? ___________ BY RICK DONOHOE FINANCIAL ADVISOR


Have you recently received a pension buyout offer? If so, you need to decide if you should take the buyout, which could provide you with a potentially large sum, or continue accepting your regular pension payments for the rest of your life. It’s a big decision. Clearly, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your choice needs to be based on your individual circumstances. So as you weigh your options, you’ll need to consider a variety of key issues, including the following: • Estate considerations — Your pension payments generally end when you and/or your spouse dies, which means your children will get none of the money. But if you were to roll the lump sum into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and you don’t exhaust it in your lifetime, you could still have something to leave to your family members. • Taxes — If you take the lump sum and roll the funds into your IRA, you control how much you’ll be taxed and when, based on the amounts you choose to withdraw and the date you begin taking with-

drawals. (Keep in mind, though, that you must start taking a designated minimum amount of withdrawals from a traditional IRA when you reach age 701⁄2. Withdrawals taken before age 591⁄2 are subject to taxes and penalties.) But if you take a pension, you may have less control over your income taxes, which will be based on your monthly payments. • Inflation — You could easily spend two or three decades in retirement, and during that time, inflation can really add up. To cite just one example, the average cost of a new car was $7,983 in 1982. Thirty years late, that figure is $30,748, according to If your pension checks aren’t indexed for inflation, they will lose purchasing power over time. If you rolled over your lump sum into an IRA, however, you could put the money into investments offering growth potential, keeping in mind, of course, that there are no guarantees. • Cash flow — If you’re already receiving a monthly pension, and you’re spending every dollar you receive just to meet your living expenses, you may be better off by keeping your pension payments intact. If you took the lump sum and converted it into an IRA, you can withdraw whatever amount you want (as long as

you meet the required minimum distributions), but you’ll have to avoid withdrawing so much that you’ll eventually run out of money. • Confidence in future pension payments — From time to time, companies are forced to reduce their pension obligations due to unforeseen circumstances. You may want to take this into account as you decide whether to continue taking your monthly pension payments, but it’s an issue over which you have no control. On the other hand, once your lump sum is in an IRA, you have control over both the quality and diversification of your investment dollars. However, the trade-off is that investing is subject to various risks, including loss of principal. Before selecting either the lump sum or the monthly pension payments, weigh all the factors carefully to make sure your decision fits into your overall financial strategy. With a choice of this importance, you will probably want to consult with your financial and tax advisors. Ultimately, you may find that this type of offer presents you with a great opportunity, so take the time to consider your options. Rick Donohoe is a financial advisor for Edward Jones.


Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Sadowske’s interest in gardens, tales developed into unique Faerie Festival ___________ BY JAN HINTZ SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


Retirement often allows individuals to explore new and different interests. This is exactly what Sue Sadowske did. Sadowske grew up in Three Lakes, where her parents ran the Chalet Hotel for 30 years. She is retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin Extension, receiving her Ph.D. in adult education and marketing from UW-Madison. After she and her husband, Ed Jacobsen, retired in Three Lakes, Sadowske turned her attention to gardening and developed an interest in stories and tales of faeries. As part of the gardens on her property on Town Line Lake, Sadowske developed a “faerie garden.” It wasn’t long before she was asked to have her well-manicured gardens in the Three Lakes Garden Walk. “Jane More was so taken with the faerie garden she told me if I could have children sit still in the garden that she would read stories to them there,” said Sadowske. About the same time, Sadowske was given a copy of Faerie Magazine, which talked about faerie festivals and showed photos of various gardens decorated with faeries and their houses. That inspired her to turn her gardens into the grounds for a faerie festival. She was excited to build a place in Three Lakes where people could come and let their imaginations soar. “Almost every country across the earth and across time has had stories and mythology about faeries,” she said. “Faeries have often been considered the guardians of the earth. Some people believe that faeries are pure energy such as fire, water, air and earth.” When asked how receptive people were to the idea of a faerie festival in Three Lakes, Sadowske said, “It took a while, but once people ‘got it’ they embraced the idea. “People of all ages enjoy dressing up and becoming a different persona. This allows the inner creativity in all of us to come alive,” she continued. “Where else can you put on a thrift shop dress, add maybe some flowers and wings, and be gorgeous?” This will be the fifth year that Sadowske, with the help of neighbors and talented volunteers, has put on the Woodland Enchantment Faerie Festival. It started small, with about 100 people participating. Last year, about 400 people attended and there were 60 volunteers. Imagination comes alive during the event, but also in those who plan and set it up, according to Sadowske. Volunteers

Sue Sadowske’s interest in gardening and faerie tales led her to the development of the annual Woodland Enchantment Faerie Festival in

let their imaginations go free in designing the costumes, floats and decorations. Preparation for the festival starts months in advance and Sadowske makes many of the costumes herself. In talking to her, it is apparent that the volunteers have just as much fun in creating the festival as the participants have on the day of the event.

Three Lakes. About 60 volunteers help her put on the annual event for more than 400 people. —Photo By Jan Hintz

Whether it be the singers and dancers performing in a show or individuals stepping up on one of the stages to explore their own talents or people making faerie houses out of materials found in the woods, creativity is flowing through the event. “You can do anything once you put on a pair of wings,” said Sadowske.

This year’s Woodland Enchantment Faerie Festival will take place Saturday, July 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Enchanted Garden located at 7434 Halverson Road in Three Lakes. Carpooling is appreciated. Tickets are available at the Three Lakes BMO Harris Bank for $8 each. Sunday, July 28, is the rain date. For more information, call (715) 546-3771.

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Our residents enjoy meals that are made from scratch and many different homemade desserts to enjoy. We do not have any unnecessary restrictions about freedom or activities. Residents enjoy all activities based on their likes and abilities, and have the freedom to come and go as they please for outside activities. We are always willing to go above and beyond to make sure our residents have all they need to make their stay the best possible. We accept Alzheimer’s and dementia people; we have never turned anyone away based on their physical or mental health. Our pledge to our residents is to always give them respect and compassion and to treat them like our own family member. Our residents are never alone, of course. We have 24-hour awake staff and management is on call 24/7 EVERY DAY. Visitors are always welcome; no appointment is necessary.

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Your hearing loss can be helped! ___________ BY JIM OGUREK SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


How many people suffer from hearing loss? Here are some general guidelines regarding the incidence of hearing loss: — three in 10 people over age 60 have hearing loss. — one in six baby boomers (ages 41-59), or 14.6%, have a hearing problem. — one in 14 Generation Xers (ages 2940), or 7.4%, already have hearing loss. — at least 1.4 million children (18 or younger) have hearing problems. — it is estimated that three in 1,000 infants are born with serious to profound hearing loss. How do you know if you have a hearing loss? Socially: — require frequent repetition. — have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people. — think that other people sound muffled or like they're mumbling. — have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms. — have trouble hearing children and women. — have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume. — answer or respond inappropriately in conversations. — have ringing in your ears. — read lips or intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you. Emotionally: — feel stressed out from straining to

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hear what others are saying. — feel annoyed at other people because you can't hear or understand them. — feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying. — feel nervous about trying to hear and understand. — withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing. Medically: — have a family history of hearing loss. — take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs). — have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems. — have been exposed to very loud

sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise. Do hearing aids work? Research by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss as well as their significant others demonstrated that hearing aids clearly are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe. Specifically, hearing aid usage is positively related to the following quality of life issues. Hearing loss treatment was shown to improve: — earning power.

— communication in relationships. — intimacy and warmth in family relationships. — ease in communication. — emotional stability. — sense of control over life events. — perception of mental functioning. — physical health. What to do? Have a complete hearing evaluation by a licensed provider. Jim Ogurek is a national board-certified hearing instrument specialist. He is owner of Beltone Hearing Solutions serving Wisconsin’s North Woods. Call 1-800-2364060 for an appointment.

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Phelps women build friendship thru passion for volunteerism

Page 17



Lola Sobieck and Carol Hockers of Phelps — friends since 2006 — have built a camaraderie structured around volunteerism. Both women moved to Phelps from Green Bay, but hadn’t known each other until their relocation to the small rural town. The two first met at a mutual friend’s home seven years ago. They promptly became best friends and have volunteered together at the Phelps Lillian Kerr Nursing Home for happy hour and decorating at Christmas. “We put up lots of decorations at Christmas,” said Hockers. “It would take us a week to put them all up.” They also volunteered at the Northwoods Children’s Museum in Eagle River wherever needed and the Phelps Historical Museum welcoming guests. Both are active at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Phelps, making and selling apple pies in the fall and co-hosting funeral lunches and Bible camp. Members of the Phelps Womens’ Club, Sobieck is the current president and Hockers serves as secretary. Together they plant and water the club’s five flower boxes in downtown Phelps. Since 2011, the duo has volunteered at the Phelps grade school helping in the classrooms. Sobieck also is a Scarecrow Fest organizer and the Phelps blood drive coordinator. Hockers also volunteered at a Bible camp in Michigan and serves at the Kalmar Senior Center in Eagle River during bingo night. Both have been members of the Phelps Snowmobile Club, although Sobieck dropped out this last year. They both are active in the Phelps Quilters Club Wednesday evenings at the Phelps Fire Hall. “I didn’t know anything about quilting, but thought it would be a great place to meet people,” said Sobieck. Hockers and her husband, George, have been married 45 years and have two daughters, two sons and seven grandchildren. “The home we bought in Phelps was quite run down, but we bought it for the sunset over North Twin Lake,” said Hockers. Sobieck and her husband, Joe, have been married 53 years and have two daughters, three sons and 10 grandchildren. They bought the home on North Twin Lake because they wanted to have a home on the water. Hockers’ hobbies include painting, gar-

Lola Sobieck (left) and Carol Hockers of Phelps have made a lasting friendship through service to their community. Although they both pre-

dening and boating, and years ago was a deer hunter. Sobieck said she enjoys gardening and quilting. Moving to the area wasn’t easy, according to Sobieck, but volunteerism helped with the transition. “When we first moved up here, it was hard for me,” she said. “I missed all my

viously lived in Green Bay, they didn’t meet until 2006 in Phelps. —Photo By Sharon Gifford

kids and grandkids so I would be driving back to Green Bay a lot, but now I don’t go there so much. On weekends when the kids would come up, it was hard for me when they would go home.

“Whenever there is something going on in town like the Scarecrow Fest, my kids come and help out. Last year at the Scarecrow Fest, almost all of my family was here helping.

But since I got into volunteering and making many new friends, Phelps is my home now and I love it here,” she said.

“My family likes volunteering,” she said. “They must have gotten that from me.”

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Painful shingles can be prevented ___________ BY AMBER WELDON SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


Walk into any gathering of people over the age of 50 and one of the topics of conversation will likely be someone’s account of a painful experience with shingles. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster. There are an estimated 1 million cases each year in this country. “Anyone who had chickenpox may develop shingles,” said Dr. Diane Hrdina, family medicine, Marshfield Clinic Eagle River Center. “Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After the chickenpox is over, the virus stays in your system but is dormant. With shingles, the virus reoccurs years later. It is believed that you are at greater risk from shingles if you are over age 60 because your immune systems weaken as you age.” Dr. Hrdina explained that many seniors believe if they have not had chickenpox, they do not need the vaccine, which is not true. “I recommend it for everyone because many have had silent or undiagnosed chickenpox and they are at risk,” she said.

People who have medical conditions that keep their immune systems from working properly, such as certain cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation, are also at greater risk of getting shingles. “Usually, people who get shingles only get it once in their lifetime. However, a person can have a second or even a third bout,” said Dr. Hrdina. “Also, currently it is recommended that even if you had shingles, you should still get the vaccine to avoid second outbreak. Although it is less common, it happens.” In May 2006, the FDA approved the first shingles vaccine for people 60 and older. Dr. Hrdina explained the vaccine cuts the risk of developing shingles in half. “While shingles could be treated with antiviral drugs to lessen its impact, up until 2006, we had no way to prevent it,” she said. According to the CDC, the shingles vaccine contains a live but weakened version of the virus. This allows a person’s immune system the chance to “learn” to fight the virus with no risk of infection. “The vaccination doesn’t seem to have any significant risks, but it’s unclear how

long the vaccine’s effects will last. What we know is that it protects people for four to five years. In the long run, people might need booster shots,” Dr. Hrdina said. At this time, the CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in persons 50 through 59 years old. However, the vaccine is approved by FDA for people in this age group. “I now recommend and offer the vaccine for those over 50 because they are at risk,” Dr. Hrdina said. Several antiviral medicines are available to treat shingles. These medicines will help shorten the length and severity of the illness. But to be effective, they must be started as soon as possible after the rash appears. Dr. Hrdina recommends that people who have or think they might have shingles should call their health care provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. For more information, call the Marshfield Clinic Family Medicine department in Eagle River at (715) 479-0400 or visit the website at Amber Weldon is the marketing and public relations specialist for Marshfield Clinic Northern Division.


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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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À la Carte Care expands services to seniors in Vilas, Oneida counties ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR


À la Carte Care has assisted seniors at their homes home since 2006, offering seniors and physically impaired adults assistance for independent living. The goal of À la Carte Care is to keep older adults in their own homes, living independently and with dignity for as long as possible, according to owner Geralyn Sweet. “À la Carte Care provides affordable nonmedical services that give you the control you need to live healthy, happy and at home,” said Sweet. Sweet started À la Carte Care seven years ago and moved its operations to Tomahawk in 2008. “I started in Tomahawk with myself as the only employee and the desire to provide services for seniors in the North Woods area. “Needless to say, I found a niche in the market as today we are 40 employees strong and growing,” she said. À la Cart Care expanded to the Eagle River area in February of this year and Collette Sorgel came on board as the manager of the Eagle River office. Sweet said it’s all about providing services for seniors to facilitate at-home independent living

An À la Carte Care employee assists a client with his daily walking program.

seven days a week and up to 24 hours a day. “Just as our name says, we can customize any combination of services and times to fit the needs of our clients,” she said. “We believe it is important to allow senior citizens to accomplish any task that they are still able to do. We are there to help them with the tasks that are difficult.” Some of the services provided include: dementia care, respite care, companion care, errand and transportation services, grocery shopping, bathing, grooming and dressing assistance, meal preparation, laundry and linen washing, light housekeeping, hospital sitting and post-operative assistance. But it’s also about developing relationships, according to Sweet. “We also feel it is important to pair the client with a caregiver who will complement their personality and bring some laughter into their everyday life,” said Sweet. “Someone they can develop a relationship with and will look forward to seeing again and again.” Selecting personal assistance services is an important decision, according to Sweet. “We want clients to feel confident in the decision they make,” she said. “Their safety and security is our top concern. We personally and carefully interview and screen all caregiver candidates.” All of the À la Carte Care employees have passed a Wisconsin Department of Health Services caregiver background check, a Wisconsin Department of Justice criminal background check, a civil record check and a driver’s record check, as well as comprehensive pre-employment drug test screening. “We will not employ anyone we wouldn’t feel comfortable with caring for our own parents,” said Sweet. “Our employees are covered by workman’s compensation and our company is fully insured.” With 38 caregivers and three client managers, À la Carte Care is large enough to meet the needs of new clients as well as its current clients. “We are able to staff client accounts not only with a primary caregiver, but with a backup caregiver and our client managers will stay in touch with you to be sure your needs and requests are being met,” said Sweet. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, phone (715) 337-0189 or 1-(855) 473-6477 (toll free), or visit

À la Carte Care employees go into the home of the client and can assist them with daily chores, including folding clothes. —Contributed Photos

Geralyn Sweet, left, started À la Carte Care in 2006 and has expanded the business to Tomahawk and Eagle River. Collette Sorgel, right, manages the new Eagle River office.

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Allow Social Security’s lighthouses to guide you into a smooth retirement ___________ BY KEN HESS SOCIAL SECURITY PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST


August 7 is National Lighthouse Day. The day honors and commemorates lighthouses, which for centuries have served as beacons of light to guide ships safely through dark and uncertain waters. August 21 is National Senior Citizen Day, which recognizes the contributions senior citizens make in communities across the nation. Social Security offers a bright beacon of light for seniors and younger captains who navigate the waters of retirement planning. In fact, we have a few lighthouses that can illuminate the way to a happy retirement. Lighthouse One: The Retirement Estimator is an easy way to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits. Just enter some basic information and the estimator will use information on your Social Security record, along with what you input, to give you a benefit estimate on the spot. You also can experiment with different

scenarios, such as changing your future earnings and retirement date. Check it out at Lighthouse Two: “my Social Security” is an online account that allows you quick access to your personal Social Security information. During your working years, once you create your online account, you can use my Social Security to view your statement to check your earnings record and see estimates of the future retirement, disability and survivor benefits you and your family may receive. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can sign into your account to view, save and print your benefit verification letter, check your benefit payment information or change your address and phone number in our records. You also can start or change your direct deposit information. Check it out at Lighthouse Three: The online Benefit Application is the most convenient way to apply for Social Security retirement and spouse’s benefits. You can apply from the comfort of your home — it’s fast, easy and secure. It’s so easy, in fact, it can take you



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as little as 15 minutes to apply online. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if any further information is needed. Join the millions that have already applied online. Try it out when you’re ready to retire or just want to learn more at Other Lighthouses: You’ll find a host of other lighthouses at to ensure your retirement plans don’t go off course. For example, we offer an online library of topical publications you can read or listen to, and hundreds of frequently asked questions. Whether you’re a new captain learning how to navigate the waters of financial planning, or a salty seadog ready for retirement, Social Security’s online lighthouses are here to make sure you don’t crash on the jagged sea rocks of procrastination or shallow straights of poor planning. The beacon is guiding you to



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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Page 21

Plant the seeds to a better future Master gardener program available to seniors Senior citizens who enjoy being outdoors and working with plants might be interesting in getting involved in the master gardener program. The master gardener program is an allvolunteer organization sanctioned by land grant institutions in each state and functions as an extension of the college or university. In Wisconsin, the program is sponsored by the UW-Extension, according to Anna Gauthier of the Oneida County UW-Extension office. Gauthier said master gardeners are trained volunteers who aid UW-Extension staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment. The seed for the master gardener program was planted in 1972 by Washington State Cooperative Extension. “Master gardener volunteers were trained to extend Extension’s outreach to community residents in educating people about horticulture,” said Gauthier. The master gardener program began in Wisconsin through the UW-Extension in the late 1970s. Local master gardener groups banded together in 1992 to form the Wisconsin Master Gardener Association. “The goal of the master gardener program is to train enthusiastic volunteers so they can, in turn, provide research-based information on a wide variety of horticultural topics to the general public in their communities,” said Gauthier. Master gardener training is offered through local UW-Extension county offices (training varies by location; not all counties offer all types of training). “To participate, you must contact the office where you would like to take level-one

training and follow their procedures if they are offering the program,” said Gauthier. “You do not need to reside in a county to participate in their program.” Once a person becomes a master gardener volunteer, opportunities and experiences become endless, according to Gauthier. “Not only will you meet new people with the same interests as you, but you will have endless opportunities to visit different horticulture/gardening sites from Wisconsin to Costa Rica,” she said. Gauthier said master gardener volunteers have expressed much satisfaction through the program. The following is a statement from one North Woods master gardener volunteer: “Gardening contributes to my good health in every possible way. The physical work of gardening is an obvious benefit, but it also keeps my mind sharp through constant learning about new plants, products and techniques, as well as through all the decisions that I need to make while planning, organizing and maintaining my garden. “Spiritually, I find communication with God is continuous, as I plant my seeds in hope, wait for the first sign of life with faith, watch the growth with awe, and harvest the bounty with gratitude. Socially, my garden provides me with self-confidence and pride — ‘I made this!’ I wouldn't be the person I am without my garden.” For more information and additional reasons on becoming a master gardener volunteer, contact Gauthier at the Oneida County UW-Extension office at (715) 3652750 or People also can visit the Wisconsin Master Gardener website to learn more at

The master gardener program is an all volunteer organization that helps connect people to their communities through horticulture. These volunteers prepared plants for display in downtown Eagle River. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Aging group offers tips on caregiving basics ___________ BY JANE MAHONEY SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-REVIEW


When you first learn that a loved one needs help it is hard to know where to begin. Sometimes there is a sudden change of health that prompts you to get involved. Other times it is a gradual realization that the person is no longer capable of meeting all of their needs. In either situation, knowing what steps to take can be difficult. The following are some basic steps to get you started. Learn about the person’s illness, disease or condition. Understanding the nature of the disease, its symptoms and what to expect, is helpful in caring for the person. Talk to a health care provider, research the internet or read books or pamphlets to understand what the person is dealing with and specific ways you can help. Determine areas of need. Write down the specific needs such as housecleaning, grocery shopping, meals, help with bathing, and transportation to medical appointments. Then discuss possible ways to meet these needs with friends, family members and the person’s health care provider. Research community resources. Contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Northwoods for local re-

sources and services. Explore options like home-delivered meals, in-home supportive care services, Lifeline, transportation services and adult day care. Contact organizations specific to the disease such as the Alzheimer’s Association or the Stroke Foundation. Keep the information you gather in a file for use later on. Plan for immediate care. Find out the persons wishes for immediate and long term care. Adapt the environment by doing a home safety check as well as purchasing items for any special needs such as a walker, commode, wheelchair or other adaptive equipment. Find a way to log the person’s health such as eating patterns, symptoms, and medications. Enlist the help of others. Determine what you can realistically do, then make a list of other people who can help. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Write down tasks that others can help with such as running errands or providing a meal. Include an alternate emergency plan in case you are unable to carry out your duties. Organize important information. Write down pertinent medical information including doctors’ names and phone numbers, insurance information and medication/pharmacy information. Collect and list financial and other important information such as household bills, loans, bank accounts and insurance policies. Also in-

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clude copies of social security, driver’s license and insurance cards of the person being cared for. Plan for the future. Get information about the long term prognosis in order to make appropriate plans. Assess the financial situation and contact a financial advisor who is familiar with caregiving issues if necessary. Talk to a lawyer about a Power of Attorney for health care and finances. Include the person as much as possible in the planning. Take care of yourself, too. Find support through a friend, counselor or support group. Talk about your struggles and how it feels to be a caregiver. Take regular breaks from caregiving and keep doing

some activities or hobbies that bring you pleasure. Let go of less important commitments. No one can do it all! Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise and are spending time with family or friends in order to keep yourself healthy. Call Amie Rein at Vilas County Commission on Aging at (715) 479-3725 for information on caregiver support groups, local caregiving resources, a home safety checklist or to talk to someone about specific caregiving issues. Jane Mahoney is an Older American’s Act consultant for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources.

About the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. The mission of the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. (GWAAR) is to deliver innovative support to aging lead agencies as they work together to protect the well-being of older people in Wisconsin. GWAAR serves aging programs in all

of Wisconsin’s counties and tribes — with the exception of Dane and Milwaukee counties. For questions, comments or suggestions, contact GWAAR at (608) 243-5670 or email

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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Ministry Medical Group expands hours Ministry Medical Group (MMG) has announced expanded hours to accommodate patients at its Eagle River clinic, located at 930 East Wall Street. The Ministry clinic in Eagle River offers extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to serve those in need of health care. “We understand how tough it is to take time away from one’s commitments to visit a family provider, so with the extended hours, our providers will be available when it’s more convenient for our patients,” said Kelli Klessig, Ministry Medical Group clinic operations supervisor. “The extended hours showcase our commitment to the community and to Ministry’s Patient Centered Medical Home model.” The clinic has family practice physicians and nurse practitioners who provide comprehensive, compassionate health care for area individuals and families. Ministry Medical Group in Eagle River offers a full range of services, including pediatrics, adult and geriatric care. Medical specialties offered include orthopedics, cardiology, audiology, otolaryngology, urology, obstetrics/gynecology, behavioral health, women’s health and general surgery. Same-day appointments are available. Today, people want more from health care. They want the best high-tech treatments available, but they also want the personal attention and care of yesteryear . . . and at the same time they want a way to reduce health care costs. What’s the answer? Ministry’s approach to personalized care. This model helps patients achieve that level of care. But what does personalized care actually mean? It is modeled after the health care delivery model, Patient Centered Medical Home. But it’s not a physical “home.” Rather, it is a relationship developed with a primary care provider and his or her staff at one of Ministry’s outpatient facilities. “It is a place where people know you, know your needs and preferences, and know the best way to care for you,” said Klessig. Providers in Eagle River include Michael Byrne, MD; James Dunn, MD; Elmer Linboom, MD; Maria Gonzalez-Cerra, MD; Cathleen Zerbe, NP; and Mary

The Ministry Medical Group clinic in Eagle River, located at 930 E. Wall St., has expanded its hours. The clinic offers a full range of ser-

Kahl, NP. MMG is proud to welcome rotating providers James Frimpong, MD; Kent Jason Lowry, MD; Brian Schultz, DO; Gary Chizever, MD; Shishir Sheth, MD; Heidi Grosskopf, AuD; Indravadan Kansariwala, MD; Rebecca Fix, NP; Marshfield Clinic Cardiologist Michael McGill, MD; and Laura Sherrill, MD, from Urology Specialists of Wisconsin. To schedule an appointment with Ministry Medical Group in Eagle River, call (715) 477-3000. About Ministry Health Care Ministry Health Care is an integrated Catholic health care delivery system serving more than 1.1 million people across Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry operations generate nearly $2.2 billion in annual operating revenue

Mmmm. CULVER’S OF RHINELANDER 620 West Kemp Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 (715) 369-1800


vices, including pediatrics, adult and geriatric care. Same-day appointments are available. —NEWS-REVIEW PHOTO

with 15 hospitals, 46 clinics and nearly 12,000 employees including 650 physicians and advanced practice clinicians. Ministry Health Care is sponsored by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother who founded hospitals in the United States more than 120 years ago to further the healing ministry of Jesus by continually


According to Truven Health Analytics (formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters), Ministry is ranked among the top 20% of health care systems in the country.

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Page 24

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Organizations, programs ready to assist seniors AARP Wisconsin

Institute for Learning in Retirement

St. Germain PrimeTimers

222 W. Washington Ave., #600, Madison, WI 53703 Phone: (866) 448-3611 Fax: (608) 251-7612 Website:

P.O. Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 365-4491 or 1-(800) 544-3039, ext. 4491

Contact: Judie Berard at (715) 479-6659 or Fred Radtke at 479-6310

Alcoholics Anonymous Phone: (715) 367-7920 Website:

Alzheimer’s Association 203 Schiek Plaza, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 362-7779 Website:

Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3726 or 1-(800) 374-1123 Vilas County Commission on Aging

Alzheimer’s Support Group One Penny Place, Woodruff, WI 54568 Phone: (715) 356-6540 Contact: Joan Hauer

American Red Cross North Central Wisconsin

Kalmar Senior Center 1011 N. Railroad St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-2633

Koller Behavioral Health

Hotline: 1-(800) 657-2038 Website:

Lakeland Senior Center

Senior Eagle River Volunteer Enterprise

2nd & Balsam, Woodruff, WI 54568 Phone: (715) 356-9118

Phone: (715) 479-2633 Contact: Don Anderson

Lifeline-Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital

Social Security Administration

201 Hospital Road, Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-0211

Ministry Home Care/Hospice Services P.O. Box 716, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 361-2230 or 1-(800) 643-4663

Nicolet College P.O. Box 518, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 365-4410 or 1-(800) 544-3039 Website:

Northern Advantage Job Center

Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources

51A N. Brown St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 365-1500 Website:

Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups 2850 Dairy Drive, Ste. 100, Madison, WI 53718 Phone: (608) 224-0606 or 1-(800) 366-2990 Website: Elder Law Center: 1-(800) 488-2596 Guardianship Hotline: 1-(800) 488-2596, ext. 314

Community Mental Health Services 603B E. Wall St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-4479

DayBreak Adult Center 5030 Hwy. 70 W., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 617-0584 Contact: Debbie Hock, program coordinator Website:

Elderly Benefit Specialist Program 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: 1-(800) 374-1123 Contact: Connie Gengle, elderly benefit specialist Vilas County Commission on Aging


930 Wall St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 356-8540

Phone: (715) 362-5456 Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For emergency: 1-(800) 939-4052 Rhinelander office

1 W. Wilson St., Madison, WI 53702 Phone: (608) 266-2536 Website:

Salvation Army Services: Emergency lodging and food pantry Phone: (715) 365-5300 Contact: Diana Kirby

Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center Phone: (715) 361-4850 or 361-4880 Contact: Ila Turgeon Ministry Health Care

Oneida County Department on Aging

2030 Navajo St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 369-4545 or 1-(800) 772-1213 Website:

Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault P.O. Box 233, 3716 Country Drive, Ste. 1, Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 479-2912 or (715) 356-7600 24-Hour Crisis Line: 1-(800) 236-1222

Vilas County Commission on Aging 521 E. Wall St.., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3625 or 1-(800) 374-1123 Contact: Sue Richmond, director Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vilas County Department of Social Services 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3668 Contact: Donna Sulstrom-Rosner

Vilas County Public Health Department 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3656 or 1-(866) 845-2726

Vilas County UW-Extension 330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3648

100 W. Keenan St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 369-6170 or 1-(800) 379-7499 Contact: Dianne Jabobson, department director Website:

Vilas County Veterans Service

Phelps Senior Club

330 Court St., Eagle River, WI 54521 Phone: (715) 479-3629 Contact: Scott Jensen, county veterans service officer

Phone: (715) 545-2673 Contact: Donna Lepisto

Reiter Center 1858 S. Michigan St., Three Lakes, WI 54562 Phone: (715) 546-2552 Contact: Jackie Kuehn, center coordinator

Retired Senior Volunteer Program 1835 Stevens St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 Phone: (715) 369-1919

Wisconsin Legislative Hotline Phone: 1-(800) 362-9472

Wisconsin Prescription Drug Helpline Phone: 1-(866) 456-8211

YMCA of the Northwoods Eagle River Branch at Northland Pines High School Phone: (715) 479-9500

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Page 25

Local Outdoor Women’s Group geared for those who enjoy hiking, biking, paddling The Outdoor Women’s Group is not so much a group as just an informal opportunity for women who enjoy the outdoors to get together to do just that. There are no obligations, no dues, no membership requirements and no minimum attendance; everyone just attends when they can. The group usually meets on the first Sunday afternoon of the month to do an activity appropriate to the season. In the winter, the women snowshoe, cross-county ski and hike. In the summer they do canoe/kayak paddles on rivers and lakes and, in the spring and fall, they hike and bike the trails in Vilas, Oneida and Gogebic counties. Unless the weather is dangerous, the group doesn’t usually cancel an outing. Occasionally, event organizers invite a naturalist along to help the women better understand the North Woods resources and wildlife. “We work in a little exercise for a couple of hours, then enjoy each other’s treats while we get better acquainted, sharing tips and experiences,” said Norma Yeager, the current coordinator of the group. While the youngest participant in the group was 13, Yeager notes that the oldest was in her late 80s. The group tries to accommodate various skill levels. Both yearround and seasonal visitors are welcome to attend the outings. The Outdoor Women’s Group has added a few midweek outings such as a visit to the Kovak Planetarium in Monico, the Rapture Center in Antigo and the Birds in Art show in Wausau. “Our biggest outing of the year is a three-night overnight in the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” said Yeager. Notices of the outings are published in the local media, on the radio and via email

Biking FROM PAGE 8 tion and rental equipment. Guests stay at Trees For Tomorrow in lodge-style buildings that have comfortable bedrooms, central lounges with fireplaces and shared bath facilities. Meals are served in a historic dining hall overlooking the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. “Road Scholar programs are extraordinary learning adventures for adults in their 50s and beyond,” said Walters. Trees For Tomorrow currently offers eight active outdoor programs for those interested in exploring the North Woods of Wisconsin. To register or receive a Road

The Outdoor Women’s Group gathered for a group photograph during its June outing, a kayak trip on the Wisconsin River. The group, which

accepts women of all ages, gathers on the first Sunday afternoon of each month for an outdoor outing. —Contributed Photo

to anyone who wants to receive them. Each January, the group gathers over a chili potluck to plan the upcoming year and encourage participants to plan an outing of their choice for the outdoor women.

The founder of the group was Eagle River resident Patricia Strutz in 2000 and the current coordinator is Yaeger, who can be contacted at (715) 477-1984. All new and former participants are

welcome to attend the outings for the fun and exercise. Summer and fall hikes with the group are scheduled for Aug. 4, Sept. 8, Sept. 27, Nov. 3 and Dec. 8.

Scholar catalog, call 1-(800) 454-5768 or 1(877) 426-8056 or visit To learn more about this program (#9698) or any others, contact Troy Walters at Trees For Tomorrow at (715) 479-6456, ext. 228 or There is more information on the website at Trees For Tomorrow, the only accredited environmental education center in Wisconsin, is located on nearly 30-forested acres in Eagle River. Trees For Tomorrow’s campus includes National Forest property under permit from the USDA Forest Service. _____________ Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it. Michael Jordan


is happy living in the facility. “I needed a place of my own as I was living with a relative. This is ideal as I feel safe here. I feel satisfied and happy to live here,” he said. “And there is the occasional pot luck and a little fellowship.” The project remains a credit to the town and the vision of the first St. Germain Housing Authority chairman, Dick Mantei, who said, “We would start small and expand it if they are needed.”

FROM PAGE 5 cated to memory of Oscar L. Eliason and Robert M. McGregor. Unit two bears a plaque in memory of George Lorentz, former town board chairman. Current resident Michael Price said he

Rivers to the People™

Page 26

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Vilas County senior dining sites Vilas County Commission on Aging — 521 E. Wall St., Eagle River, WI, (715) 4793625 or 1-(800) 374-1123. Various lunch settings throughout the area provide delicious hot meals for those 60 or older and their spouses. There are no income requirements but donations are appreciated. Call the dining site one day in advance for reservations. Locations, service days and the number to call for reservations are as follows: — More Than A Meal Café, Eagle River: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, American Legion Building, 530 Hwy. 45 S., Jennie Johnson, (715) 891-1221; — Phelps Senior Dining at Holiday

Lodge, Phelps: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Sandy Mutter, (715) 545-2452, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; — Gateway Lodge, Land O’ Lakes: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Anna Moore, (715) 547-6076; — The Boulder Beer Bar, Boulder Junction: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Carol Young, (715) 479-8771; — Fibber’s, St. Germain: Mondays, Fridays and Saturday lunch, Verdelle Mauthe, (715) 542-2951; and — Lac du Flambeau Senior Center, Lac du Flambeau: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Sharon Bigjohn, (715) 5884385.

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715-365-1234 1000 Day St., Rhinelander, WI 54501

Jack and LaVerne Honrath moved in early last year after spending 63 years in their home on Clear Lake. “We knew we were in the right place when we met the friendly staff at Grace Lodge. They make it very comfortable for us and our family to visit and we enjoy all the wonderful amenities at Grace Lodge. Often our favorite part of the day is spending time on the dock.”

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Whether taking part in a class or getting involved in the fundraising effort, senior citizens are a big part of the YMCA of the Northwoods. —Contributed Photo

YMCA sees hike in senior activities The YMCA of the Northwoods in Eagle River has seen an increase in active older adult involvement in its programs and classes. One example of this increase is in the Total Body Senior class, which started in January 2012 with just six people. Now, the class has expanded to three classes of 18 people each. The class is not necessarily focused only on seniors. It is a nonimpact class that challenges people to gain strength, balance, endurance and coordination at any age and at any ability. The class is taught by 54-year-old former body builder and certified personal trainer Kevin Schweer. Schweer knows all about how to keep the body strong and balanced and how to work through age, injury and affliction because he himself had debilitating injuries throughout his life. His partner, Julia John, is also a certified personal trainer and has a degree in physical education. She ensures proper form and offers modifications for everyone’s various needs during the classes. Most of the time, the exercise is completed with laughter. The YMCA is a community because its more than classes or just a gym; the Y focuses on fun and socialization. “We should call the class Total Body Everyone,” said participant Gay Ketterer. who brings her daughter to class when

she’s home from college. Others occasionally bring visiting grandchildren. The class mends a family physically and many cherish sharing family visits through the class. There are many other classes that accommodate the senior population. Yoga Flow, Gentle Yoga Stretch, Zumba, Club Moves, Power Beats and even Power Hour are all attended by the young and those young at heart. “The seniors involved in the YMCA are invaluable. Their former experiences at their careers ranging from A to Z add to the interesting mix of members,” said John. “Their bond with each other is solidified in normal life-changing events, past and present. There are multi-generational friendships, mentoring, networking, donating and volunteering.” And that’s what the Y is all about — youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of the Northwoods in Eagle River is located at Northland Pines High School. The Eagle River YMCA is open weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, Fridays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Adult membership is $22 per month. For more information or to learn about classes for active older adults, call (715) 479-9500 or visit the YMCA website at

Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

Page 27


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Senior Focus — Summer/Fall 2013

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Senior Focus Summer/Fall 2013


Senior Focus Summer/Fall 2013