M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 2
YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
GOODlife Hard road
When is the time to hand over the keys?
Downsizing How to choose what stays and what goes
This edition of GoodLife has been in the idea phase for quite some time now. It was about a year ago, and conversations seemed to center on topics hard to discuss. How do you talk to a loved one who maybe shouldn’t be driving anymore? How, if you are downsizing, do you sort through memories and shrink your belongings? How do you bring up touchy topics such as incontinence with your doctor? How do you go about dating after losing a spouse? It seemed time to talk about these in a way that was frank and straightforward. And so in this issue of GoodLife, we deviate from the norm and head straight to the heart of the matters. The answers were interesting, and we hope you find them the same.
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2 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
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On the cover: Reliquishing the car keys and giving up driving is one of the hardest decisions a senior may have to make. Photo by G. Randall Goss
featurî‚˛ 5 Good Taste Fish on the grill
9 Nod to Nostalgia Year: 1971
16 Good Word Rick Fowler
6 Good Stuff Good to Go: Supine oscillations Good Humor: Katie MacInnis Grandparenting: Thorn Swift Nature Preserve
10 Challenging issues Discussing difficult health issues
18 Dating game Going steady after losing a spouse
12 Cover Story Safety first: Aging and driving
20 Downsizing What stays and what goes
15 Adult children When caregivers need help
22 Good Idea Furnishing that empty nest GOODlife 3
GOODlife MAY/JUNE 2012 - Volume 3, Issue 5
In the KNOW on the GO
PUBLISHER DOUG CALDWELL EDITOR MAGGIE PETERSON PHOTOGRAPHY G. RANDALL GOSS LAYOUT AND DESIGN WENDY WOLFSEN FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT ADVERTISING DIRECTOR CHRISTY LYONS (231) 439-9329 email@example.com ADVERTISING SALES BETH FLYNN JEFF GENSCHAW MATT HAUSLER JOY HOLMES CHARLIE STRATTON ANNE MCDEVITT ERICA NIESEN LISA SLADEK
ÂŠ GoodLife, all rights reserved, 2012. Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, without express written permission, is prohibited. The views expressed herein, whether expressed as fact, fiction, opinion, advice or otherwise, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of this magazine. The publication of any advertisement does not reflect any endorsement for any products or services by the ownership or management of this magazine unless it is specifically stated in such advertisement that there is approval for such endorsement. GoodLife is published bi-monthly by Northern Michigan Review, Inc. GoodLife Magazine 319 State St., Petoskey, Mich. 49770
4 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
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Sizzling surf Create delicious fish on the grill
By Metro Creative Services
ooking on a grill is not just conducive to making steaks or burgers. Seafood is something that also cooks easily and tastefully over an open fire. steak or filet from sticking to the Grillmasters too often shy away rungs of the grill. Many people like from cooking seafood on the grill. to flip grilled foods several times to They may feel it’s too complicated. check for doneness, but doing so Although cooking fish on the bar- with fish can cause it to flake apart. becue requires a little know-how, it Instead, leave the fish alone untends to be just as easy as cooking til the edges have become opaque traditional barbecue fare once you and are just starting to flake apart get the hang of it. before you turn it. Then do not Fileted fish tends to break apart handle the fish again until you are quite easily once it is cooked. If ready to take it off the grill. you have reservations about cookCooking directly over the flame ing fish on a grill, you may want to is fast, but you also can use nonstart with a thicker cut of fish, or stick foil and steam the fish within the entire fish itself. Fish steaks are a foil packet. With this method of thicker cuts and, though they take cooking you can better seal in juiclonger to cook on the grill, they’ll es and even top the fish with lemon also hold together better than thin slices or vegetables so the items filet slices. Many different types of cook together. Using a foil packet fish can be cut into steaks, includ- also helps keep the fish from breaking halibut, salmon, shark, tuna ing apart on the grill, and can be and more. a safe method to try if this is your Even if the fish you are cook- first foray into grilling fish. ing is thick, there is still a chance Finned fish are not the only of making a mess of it while grill- types of sea-dwelling creatures that ing unless you follow two impor- can be cooked on the barbecue. Evtant rules: Cook on a well-oiled erything from clams to shrimp can grill, and don’t touch the fish too be tossed on, too. much during cooking. A well-oiled Oysters and clams can be surface is essential to keeping the cleaned and placed directly on a
well-oiled grill. Simply cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the shells of the oysters and clams open up widely. Shrimp can be grilled using a seafood basket that keeps the food contained for easy flipping en masse. Otherwise, slide shrimp on kabob skewers or bamboo sticks (soak wood sticks in water before putting on the grill) to cook easily. Shrimp cooks quickly. Check for a pink color after a few minutes so the shrimp don’t overcook and become rubbery. You can also cook lobster or crayfish on the grill. Parboil the lobster inside the house for a few minutes. Then take the lobster out of the pot and dunk into ice water to stop the boiling process. Halve the lobster and brush each side with melted butter. Then place the lobster, meat-side-down, onto the grill. Cook for an additional 5 minutes per side, or until the meat looks opaque in color. Grilling seafood is nothing to fear. Once you master some of the techniques for success, delicious meals will follow. GOODlife 5
GOOD STUFF GOOD TO GO
Supine oscillations It’s almost a rite of passage: more than 80 percent of people will have a lower back injury at some point in their lives, said certified athletic trainer Kristi Morman, who works at First Choice Physical Therapy in Petoskey. Much of the time, she said, the lower back injury occurs because of a weak core. Strengthening the core can prevent future back problems, but if you’re already experiencing acute lower back pain, there are steps you can take to relieve the pain. Most importantly, take time to rest the back, said Morman. Ice your lower back for about 24 hours, lying in a position of comfort, until the worst of the pain settles down. Then, stretch and strengthen the lower back by performing the exercise called “supine oscillations.”
1. Lie in a position of comfort, ﬂat on your back with your knees ﬂexed and your feet ﬂat on the ﬂoor, so your knees form an angle to the ﬂoor. Place a small to medium folded towel under the arch of your lower back to support it.
2. Tighten your stomach muscles so that your lower back ﬂattens against the table. Let your muscles do the work, not your legs. Repeat two to three times, or until comfortable. Raise your arms, pointing toward the ceiling, and perform short, choppy movements. Repeat three sets, 20 seconds each, resting between each set for about 30-45 seconds.
3. Return to start position. RIGHT: Dean Tahtinen, physical therapist with First Choice Physical Therapy in Petoskey, returns to the resting position after performing the “supine oscillations” exercise.
Just one more A month ago, we took our little dog to the vet for a check-up. Several visits later, we heard a terminal diagnosis. When she gets bad we will have her put down. It will be a blessing if we can stop the cancer from growing, but we will be at a loss without our four-legged friend. And I have been wondering: How many dogs do I have left in me? I’m getting old, even Biblical in dog years. Do I have time for just one more? Maybe not a puppy: will I want to be outside in February walking my friend before bed? Will it seem amusing when the car smells of wet dog in the July heat after an afternoon at the beach? What about the checkbook hemorrhage we experienced every so often, like the one time after she ate half a bag of sunflower seeds and was in Doggie ICU for three days ... And wouldn’t it be nice not to have her fur everywhere, especially after she blows her coat twice a year, lasting six months each time! Sometimes the pain of missing my relatives who have died feels like a toothache. But not one of them had soft fur-covered ears or asked to have their tummies scratched and when I could no longer see them, my hands didn’t tingle with the loss. I never called them “sweet-pea, funnybunny or fur-ball” ... I wish I could thank the first caveman who threw a bone over his shoulder at his campfire that was circled by glowing pairs of wolf eyes in the dark. A friendship slowly formed from common hunger; I guess they both liked mastodon. But do I miss the point of this ancient relationship when I make a dog my surrogate child, paying for grooming, training, designer food, only to make her overweight. And then when she is sick on my rug I fuss and even before she is gone, I wonder about her replacement. Which breed would be the least trouble, the least dog-like? Maybe it’s not my growing too old at all. Continued on page 7
6 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
GOOD STUFF Continued from page 6
Visit the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
s ferns begin to unfurl and maples leaves continue to push out, take your grandkids on a woodland stroll. The Thorne Swift Nature Preserve will be open for learning, with the Elizabeth Kennedy Nature Center, boardwalked trails through swamp, beach frontage and a dune observation platform. In the nature center, visit a touch table filled with items such as a turtle carapace and different types of fossils. Reach into display boxes to see if you can tell, by GOOD THOUGHT touch, the difference between feathers, shells or fur. The displays vary year by year, said Alison BerGOOD TO KNOW Courtesy photo/Todd Peterson. ry, education coordinator with Little Traverse Conservancy, but in years past, children could simulate animal tracks in a sand box, and John Riggs, caretaker of the facility, set up a night camera to capture images of animals that visited the beach at night. “There are all kinds of neat displays that John puts together,” said Berry. The Thorne Swift Nature Preserve is located just off Lower Shore Drive off M-119 north of Harbor Springs, and includes 300 feet of Lake Michigan beach. Hours for the preserve are from 10 a.m.-dusk, and the season runs through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. To ensure the preserve is open and for more information, call (231) 526-6401. GL
Because she never once forgot to be a dog and my complaints even in my grief are focused more on the least inconvenience. When the caveman and the wolf became friends, did either guess the evolutionary path would lead to this? If relentless mutations have helped us evolve, supposedly to improve the species, which of us is the higher life form? — Katie MacInnis
Katie MacInnis is a retired nurse and lives with her husband in Harbor Springs. Like so many old people, she likes to write about the past, because most days, that’s all she can remember. But the serendipity of this is that all she has to do is mention Tangee lipstick, 35 cent gasoline and Saunder’s bakery, and all her friends smile. GL
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NOD TO TO NOSTALGIA -- 19XX 1957 In the news Music — The first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched in Russia. — Elvis buys and xxxxxx opens a house in Memphis, known forever after as “Graceland.” He is 22 years old. — Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” is released. xxxxxxxxxx — John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time. Three years from that time, they would form the Beatles. — John Glenn flies an F8U supersonic jet across the country, from California to New York, in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record. — The Mackinac Bridge is completed and opened. It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world, and opened to traffic on Nov. 1, 1957.
Music In the news
“A Farewell to Arms”
Ernest Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical xxxxxx novel “A Farewell to Arms” was re-imagined for the silver screen in the 1957 film of the same name. Frederick Henry (Rock Hudson) is an American amxxxxxxxxxx bulance driver in the Italian army during World War I — like Hemingway himself. After being wounded, Frederick coalesces at a British base hospital in northern Italy, and is cared for by Catherine Barkley (Jennifer Jones), a Red Cross nurse. The two begin an affair, and are separated by the hospital’s head nurse after finding Catherine sneaking alcohol in for Frederick. After their separation, Catherine finds she’s pregnant, and the head nurse reports Frederick is ready for active duty. Catherine believes Frederick has abandoned her, while Frederick must rejoin the war.
The way it was The way it was
Simon & Garfunkel
Folk musicians Paul SiThe “hoop” part of the mon and Art Garfunkel met Hula-Hoop goes back to in 1957, forming the group antiquity, according to xxxxxx xxxxxx the company Tom & Jerry. Wham-O, That same year, when they that eventually would market the Hula-Hoop as a toy. were only 15 years old, they broke into the Top 50 The Greeks, said the website, used a hoop as a way with the Everly Brothers cover “Hey, Schoolgirl.” to xxxxxxxxxx exercise. Egyptian children made the circles from xxxxxxxxxx After a live audition, the renamed Simon & Gargrape vines and hooped them about their waists. In the funkel scored a record deal at Columbia Records, and 1400s, the English began hooping — until the hoops put out their debut album, “Wednesday Morning, 3 became blamed for heart attacks and back problems. A.M.” in 1964. One of the singles, “The Sound of SiThen, in 1957, an Australian company began maklence,” became the anthem of the 1960s generation. ing them for commercial use. They caught the eye of The record “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, founders of established the duo as a folk staple. Wham-O, who patented the hoops as Hula-Hoops. After their success, the two recorded music for the The name was based on the Hawaiian hula dance, and film “The Graduate.” Their most successful record, 20 million hoops were sold in the first six months of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” also was their last. The production. two separated finally in 1970, but have come together By the Hula-Hoop’s first two years of production, to perform and tour together over the years. more than 100 million hoops had been sold. In 2004, the were nostalgic listed as 40th on you’d a list oflike RollThe Hula-Hoop inducted the National Toy If you have a two favorite item to share with GOODLifewas readers, letinto us know! ing Stone’s list of 100 greatest artists of all time. Hall of Fame in 1999.
E-mail Beth Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Challenging issues By Maggie Peterson
ome things are just hard are a number of things that can to talk about — and that easily be done to treat incontiis especially true when it nence — without invasive surcomes to medical issues. gery. Melanie Manary, M.D., is a For those whose incontiphysician who practices inter- nence is because of a young nal medicine and geriatrics at urinary infection, the answer Internal Medicine of Northern can be medicine taken for a Michigan in Petoskey. short period of time. She said the topics patients Medications can be used to find most sensitive vary be- treat incontinence caused by tween men and women, but al- other reasons, as can specific most all fall below the belt. exercises. Manary said it’s rare There’s a certain level of ta- that invasive surgery such as boo around most of these, and bladder suspension is required, because they are not widely but it is possible for more sediscussed, patients often have a vere cases. perception that they’re the only ones, Manary noted. People INCONTINENCE FOR MEN are far more willing to share inWhen it comes to male information about their gall blad- continence, the issue is more ders and hip replacements. about increased frequency in“I tell people, if you go to stead of leakage. your family reunion ... people Manary said the source is ofdon’t say ‘Gee, I was wetting my ten an enlarged prostate, which pants for a year,’” Manary said. “ pushes on the urethra. This ... People have a lot of problems triggers a need to empty the that they don’t share. It doesn’t mean they’re not common.”
INCONTINENCE FOR WOMEN
Incontinence and leakage is one of the most common issues for women, especially during the aging process. It often starts back during a pregnancy, Manary said. The pelvis stretches during delivery, altering the anatomy. It also happens with loss of estrogen. “The lining of the vagina is a lot of thinner ... and so the bladder can lean back a little more and you can have incontinence or leakage,” Manary said. The good news is that there 10 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
When it comes to patientdoctor communication, there are four main categories that can be challenging, said Margaret Orr, M.D., who is board certified in internal medicine. Orr currently practices in nursing homes, is the Vital Care Hospice of Little Traverse Bay medical director and has a part-time administrative position in McLaren — Northern Michigan. Courtesy photo Margaret Orr, M.D.
She shared in an email a medical perspective on sensitive doctor-patient issues. — Bad news: Delivering bad news to a patient can be uncomfortable, especially for new medical staff. Orr said she thinks experience is the best teacher in how to approach this. Patient questions often include: “What is the typical course for the disease? Should I expect to get better or will this condition continue to worsen? What is the long-term prognosis for most people with this disease?” — Money: “There is actually a valid reason for medical care providers to remove themselves from the day to day concerns about reimbursement and costs. Most providers would prefer to treat every patient in the same way regardless of their financial circumstances.” Additionally, managing insurance reimbursements is its own career, and most providers have a staff who answers these questions. Insurance or billing questions should go to the billing office. — Sexual issues: Societal taboos on talking about sex affect both patients and medical providers. “If a patient has a concern, (the patient should) open the discussion in whatever way is most comfortable for the patient.” — Spiritual issues: Orr said overall, medical providers have very little training when it comes to this. “Patients wanting assistance in this area should ask their medical provider if that is something that is OK for that medical practice or if the conversation needs to take place with a pastoral counselor, minister, chaplain, etc.” It’s also important for a patient to share how faith interacts with medical treatment; for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood or blood products, which can be an issues for certain treatments.
bladder before it completely fills. Medication can shrink the prostate, which can solve the issue without surgery, Manary noted. While certain medications are made for this purpose, others shrink the prostate as a side effect.
SEXUAL ISSUES FOR MEN
Sexual issues can be uncomfortable for patients to mention, but Manary said the stigma is decreasing because of direct marketing of erectile dysfunction medications. “A lot of men will have a less strong erection, less frequent, and those are things that are sometimes hard to bring up, but I usually ask people,” Manary noted. And sometimes, she added, a wife will ask about it if her husband doesn’t. When it comes to treatment, the solution can often be found in medicines. “(There are) many medicines that can help at least sustain your erection, (even) if it’s not as firm was it was when you’re 25,” she added.
Melanie Manary, M.D.
But others are concerned to go an appointment, she asks “review of out to the store or church. systems” questions. This is a series “When something changes your of health- and body-related quesSEXUAL ISSUES FOR WOMEN behavior and you’re not doing tions asked each patient during the Decreased lubrication is one of something you would normally do, annual physical. The realm and varithe biggest sexual issues women it’s time to get that checked out,” ety of questions asked by an internal face, and Manary said there are sev- Manary said. medicine doctor covers a wide varieral over-the-counter solutions. ety of topics. Manary said it’s often “They don’t want to talk about HOW TO BRING IT UP through asking these pointed quesit with their doctor and they don’t There are two other important tions that patients find a window for want to walk down that aisle in the things to remember, Manary said. talking about their concerns. drug store,” Manary noted. “I tell The first is that whether nurse or “It helps when I ask because peothem to walk down there, there’s a doctor, health information is kept ple can at least say, ‘Gee, she’s talklot of stuff down there.” confidential. The other is that the ing about it,’” Manary noted. body and its happenings are not Another opportunity comes WHEN TO BRING IT UP gross or weird to doctors. when talking with the nurse who Manary noted that the time to “This is normal. We’re not grossed is taking down information at the bring up an issue is when it is affect- out by anything. We’re pretty un- beginning of an appointment. Siming your life. flappable. We’re seeing a lot of ply saying “Oh, I have some other For example, with incontinence, things, and we’re happy to share our things I want to talk to the doctor some people have occasional leak- experience with people,” she said. about” is enough to start a converage. Manary said at the beginning of sation. GL GOODlife 11
Safety first By Maggie Peterson
Photos by G. Randall Goss
hen Ed Marin teaches a driver safety course, he wants those in the class to walk away with a couple points, if nothing else. The first: “Anything you do other than drive is a distraction, and distractions cause a lot of accidents. You need to concentrate.” The second: “Drive only when and where you’re comfortable.” Marin is a volunteer instructor for AARP Driver Safety Program, and works seasonally in the Petoskey area. He’s also the same age as the average participant in the classes, 72. A lot has changed in driving since he first started; for example, there was no such thing as interstate driving. Roads and cars were different. Aging has had its effects. Driving is no longer part of A senior starts his car for the drive home. Knowing when to give up driving for safety the high school curriculum. And reasons is a delicate subject for many older drivers. in his opinion, other drivers are ers age 50 and up. Its mission is to AARP DRIVER SAFETY PROGRAM: getting worse. keep drivers in that demographic www.aarp.org/drivesafe “The reasons I teach, obviously, on the road as long as possible, is a concern for senior driving safely. DRIVING SAFELY GUIDEBOOKS: hartfordauto.thehartford.com, click safety and that driving is changed,” Part of this is a discussion on “Life Ahead” he noted. “(But) I’m not really as aging. concerned with the senior driving “Our hearing, our vision, our reas I am with their not fully under- action time are not as good. Our strategies. standing how bad the other driv- physical fitness and flexibility are “It really boils down to being ers are on the road.” not as good,” Marin noted. more alert and paying attention, It also takes into account medi- leaving space,” Marin said. THE CHANGE OF AGE cations drivers may be taking, and There are portions of the class The AARP Driver Safety Pro- how that can impact driving. on intersections and others on gram is primarily aimed at drivFrom there, it’s time to talk the road, such as trucks, buses, 12 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
aggressive and impaired drivers, and distracted drivers, as well as how to reduce the chance of having a crash.
Marin doesn’t like to use the word accident. He uses crash. He said it’s hard to claim a crash was an accident; if you’re doing everything right behind the wheel, but are driving in a spot or conditions you shouldn’t be, it’s hard to claim you’re not at fault to a degree. The most common causes of crashes for senior drivers are failure to yield the right of way and making an improper left turn. When it comes to failure to yield the right of way, this references merging on expressways as well as protocol at intersections. Marin said left turns have to do with reaction time, peripheral vision and depth perception. He noted that in his own driving, he now comes to a complete stop before making a left turn. This allows him to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles and decide when it’s safe to turn.
THE FINAL SECTION
Reading the signs There are certain signs that could mean it’s time to retire from driving:
— Not using signals correctly — Hesitating while making turns — Difficulty moving into the correct lane of traffic — Trouble judging gaps in traffic on highways entrance/exit ramps — Parking inappropriately — Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up — Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions — Delayed response to unexpected situations — Failing to recognize dangerous situations — Becoming more agitated or irritated when driving — Scrapes, dings or dents on the car, garage or mailbox — Getting lost more often — More frequent close calls — Being warned or ticketed for moving violations — Vehicle crashes (several “fender benders”) — Trouble moving from gas pedal to brake pedal — Unpredictable stopping in traffic
The last portion of the driver safety program is “Judging Our Driving Fitness: Knowing When to Choose to Retire from Driving.” “It’s a self evaluation by the person taking the class,” Marin said. Part of the evaluation is a quiz, one of several throughout the program. Example questions include: Do you often feel nervous when driving? Are you having trouble Source: “We Need to Talk” seminar by with left turns? Do you hear a lot AARP Driver Safety Program of horns when driving? Marin said answer options are never, occasionally, often and al- ing evaluation. ways. He noted that based on the There are a couple methods for answers — and how high a score this. The first is to take another they total — it might be time to driver’s test through the state. think about having a formal driv- Another is to call a driving school
approved by the Secretary of State; Marin said this option has worked well for several people. “What they have done is they have made a deal with one of the instructors to go out with them for an hour in their own car and drive around, and the instructor would make suggestions,” he noted. Marin added that for some, the list of questions in the class is enough for them to decide it’s time to stop driving. And arriving at the decision on their own is the whole point. “The whole idea in my mind of the class that I teach is that the person will make up their own mind,” Marin said.
MAKING THE DECISION
Giving up the keys can be a difficult decision and conversation for both the driver and those concerned about the driver. Marin said he encourages the driver to bring this up. He said for those who take the safety class, that can be the start of the conversation, listing what was learned and how habits have changed. He noted one example, of an older driver who had talked to his son. The driver had decided at what point of ability he would hand over the keys, and shared this. “That’s what we’re kind of aiming at,” Marin said. “You’ve got to realize, regardless of how good a driver you are at this minute, you’re not always going to be.”
HAVING THE CONVERSATION
There is another way this conversation can go, however, and the roles are reversed — the concerned one talks to the older driver. Marin shared information from the AARP seminar called “We ➤ GOODlife 13
Safety first: continued from page 15
Need to Talk,” which deals with this issue specifically. There are three main points to the program. The first is to understand, as the younger driver, the importance of driving to seniors. Marin said in Emmet and Charlevoix counties, seniors are lucky to have dial-aride transportation options. However, many areas don’t, and driving is the means by which seniors stay in touch with the community. The second point is to start the conversation early on. Marin said this could be a years-long process, so the earlier you start, the better. Asking about a wrinkle in the car, or being frank by saying you’re concerned and want to talk, are ways to start this conversation. “You don’t want to start that conversation with ‘Dad, I need your car keys. It’s not safe for you to drive,’” Marin noted. The third part of the program is to help the driver find alternative methods of transportation, and trying those methods out. Dial-a-ride or taxi programs might not be as bad as the driver thinks. Marin stressed that it’s important to give ample time for the conversation. “It’s a process over time,” he said. For more information on AARP’s Driver Safety Program, call (866) 237-6188 or visit www. aarp.org/drivesafe. GL
In the AARP Driver Safety Program, there is a section on understanding your vehicle. It talks about safety belts, anti-lock brakes and other features. Volunteer instructor Ed Marin said with advances in technology, new features such as a blinking lights and sounds could make driving a car more distracting. For those with new cars, or even ones they’ve had for years, AARP offers a free program called CarFit, which expands on the information given in the driver safety program. Registered participants drive to a parking lot, where CarFit program volunteers talk to them about their vehicle and how it operates. They also make adjustments as needed, often to the seats and mirrors.
AARP Driver Safety Program is offering three promotions in 2012 on its eight-hour course. — In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, the classroom and online course are free for Michigan drivers. For information on classroom courses, call (877) 390-8784 or visit www.aarp.org/driving33. For online course information, visit www.aarp.org/drivesafe6 and enter promo code MICHIGAN. — In July and August, teachers and school personnel will be able to take part in the course for $5 (normal fee is $14). Information on classes can be found by calling (866) 238-2954 or visiting www.aarp.org/educators. — In November, any veteran — or spouses, dependents and widows of veterans — will be able to take the course for free.
If you are interested in scheduling and hosting a course with your group or organization, or to find a schedule of classes, call (866) 237-6188, (888) 227-7669 or visit www. aarp.org/driversafetyhost.
Upcoming AARP Driver Safety Program classes: — 12:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 3-4, at the Friendship Center, 1322 Anderson Road, Petoskey. — 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 8-9, at HearUSA, 500 Madison St., Petoskey AARP Driver Safety Program classes are free in May; each class is two sessions. Registration is preferred by calling Bob Fournier, (989) 255-4399. 14 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
When caregivers need help By Morgan Sherburne
t’s a trend increasing in numbers: new college graduates moving back home with their parents because they find themselves underemployed. Or older, established workers find themselves suddenly without a job and have to move back in with aging parents. “There’s a big increase of people moving back in with their parents, either due to loss of job or foreclosure or all of the above,” said Linda Sydow, AmeriCorps community resource navigator volunteer with Char-Em United Way. Sydow works with under- or unemployed people across Emmet and Charlevoix counties, and says the number of families living together is on the rise. But there are resources not many people are aware of that might ease the burden. “Some older people qualify for food assistance, and they don’t realize it,” she said. For example, she says, retired people on a fixed income such as Social Security may qualify for food benefits. There is also a child care provision for families who move back home. “Say the family moves back in with grandma and grandpa and need help paying for day care while looking for work. There’s child care assistance for that,” said Sydow. Medicaid is available for low-income retirees, and MIChild is available for uninsured children of Michigan’s families. In fact, the bulk of Sydow’s job is to train people to access and explore these benefits online, through a program called the Michigan Benefits Access Initiative. The initiative will roll programs that assist with food, family independence, day care and medical assistance into a single pro-
Parkinson’s disease. She also runs a support group for people who are caregivers to ill family, while her coworker, Sue Ann Bouwense, facilitates a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren. “Sometimes we have seniors 60 and older caring for a 90-year-old mother,” said Holguin. “Sometimes, the most helpful thing is knowing what resources are available. We’re the one-stop resource place.” Often, said Holguin, caretakers don’t realize the stress they’re under, while grandparents stumble over the generational gaps between themSuzanne Hoguin selves and the grandchildren they gram called MI Bridges. find themselves raising. “This program brings Department The resources and services availof Human Services services — food able to care providers and grandparassistance, medical assistance, child ents raising grandchildren is so myrcare — out into our community by iad and specific situations vary so utilizing the MI Bridges online portal widely, Holguin recommends those to let people file for new services and seeking help a one-on-one consult to check or change the status of an in addition to attending a support existing claim,” she said. group. Being able to access services on“We can give them books and pamline eliminates the need for people phlet information, but everybody’s to travel to a county’s Department story is specific to them, and requires of Human Services. Sydow points to different services,” she said. libraries for people who may want to For more information or to see if access benefits online, but may not you qualify for services, visit www. have a computer. michigan.gov/mibridges. “We’re working with (the Petoskey For help navigating the MI Bridges and Charlevoix libraries) to be a pub- website, contact Sydow at (517) 449lic space where once people are on- 2247 or at benefits@charemunitedline and logged in, they can go check way.org. benefits so they won’t have to worry The Petoskey Friendship Center’s about getting transportation to caregiver support group meets from Petoskey to go to the Department of 1:30-3 p.m. every fourth Thursday exHuman Services office,” said Sydow. cept for November at the center. While Sydow takes care of the Grandparents raising grandchilbusiness end of tough economic dren support group meets 6-7:30 times, Suzanne Holguin helps with p.m. every fourth Monday January emotional support that is sometimes through November at the Petoskey needed. Friendship Center. An assessment nurse at the For more information about the Petoskey Friendship Center, Holguin support groups or resource consultaruns support groups for people with tion, contact the center at (231) 347Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and 3211 or (888) 347-0369. GL GOODlife 15
The ‘Greatest Generation’ and their legacy to the outdoors
he State of Michigan, indeed the nation, is losing hundreds of outdoor resources daily, and neither the EPA nor the DNR can do anything to rectify the situation. These are the men, who Tom Brokaw refers to, as those who fought for country and freedom in World War II and the “greatest generation.” He writes, “No block of marble or elaborate edifice can equal their lives of sacrifice and achievement, duty and honor as monuments to their time.” What a powerful tribute to millions of Americans who fearlessly defended their country during the Second World War. He further states, “They answered the call … They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest …” Maybe because they were a generation used to sharing and working together, many remained friends after the conflict. Some would begin fishing and hunting traditions that would continue for decades. A lot of them became avid outdoorsmen who plied the woods and waters for game and game fish, learning through trial and error what worked, what worked better, and what didn’t work. As they aged their knowledge became finely tuned. Though 16 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
by Rick Fowler
this distinctive club. Thus it was, packed with provisions and gear, I headed to Drummond Island in 1985 with a new boat in tow, my dad, two friends of mine, and three of my dad’s local buddies, all World War II navy men, to fish for pike and bass. At the evening campfires I learned a lot of history and heard many stories of guts under fire. Though each had been on separate ships, the camaraderie they shared was evident as the conversation eventually shifted from fishing to who had the best crew, whose ship had come under fire, and how useless the survival fishing rigs were if they had been cast adrift on a life raft for an extended period of time. Though not explicit in their storytelling about life in the war at least in my presence, the emotions they felt were shown in the body language used in their descriptions. That first trip to Drummond was followed by two more island vacations in the following years. With each trip I learned more and many would not discuss their bat- more about my father’s experitles in the fields, on the sea or in ences and those of his friends. For the air, they were more than will- instance, two of them, after being ing to offer stories and tips from discharged, arrived home and dethe local waters and forests where cided to fish for specs just outside they spent much of their time. of Soo, Canada, in 1946. Forty My father was a member of years later they were still making
the trek across the border. My father’s first job after coming home from the South Pacific was at Mackinaw City, loading vehicles on to the ferry boats that ran to St. Ignace. Often, he and other crew members would stay on the Upper Peninsula side for the weekend and dip smelt from Nunn’s Creek. Eventually, my wife and I purchased a lakefront cottage in the U.P. Now, rather than head to Drummond, we headed to the lake with dad, his buddies, my pals and now my father-in-law — another sailor — also joined the mix. As the annual “to the lake” trips went midship guns. One of them readon, fishing became more of an af- ied it, another loaded it, and one terthought for me. Sure I wanted of them fired it! Then they went to catch fish, but I wanted even back to cooking. When he and more to hear stories, learn more his brothers returned from the secrets and relish in the tales war they headed north to the Higthese seamen could tell. I learned gins Lake area, hunted and fished that my dad’s first deer was taken for a few years and then bought with a .22 long rifle, lever action, lots just up from the lake. Joe has that he had traded a shipmate hunted and fished in this area for for who in turn received a Japa- more than 50 years. He is a verinese soldier’s rifle from my dad. I table walking history book full of found out that my father-in-law, a tales and is not averse to sharing cook on a carrier, suffered a com- his knowledge with those who pound break in his fingers after will listen. Ah, there’s the rub! some cargo shifted in the galley Are there enough listeners? and his hand received the brunt of Every June from 1985 to 1997 I the force. Yet, he was still expect- listened as members of the “greated to do his share of watch time, est generation” told their tales of explaining that he and his crew successes and failures in the forwere responsible for one of the ests and on the waters. I had invit-
ed them to the lake to fish. Little did I realize how much they would bring to the table. In 1998 the summer lake trips came to an end with my father’s illness. The group of friends has now dwindled with his passing and the passing of others. It is disappointing to me that these mixtures of generations can no longer share what had been learned over decades of outdoor experiences. Those who remain show sadness too; that years, illness and death are starting to take their toll on this exclusive society, this “band of brothers,” if you will. With hunting and fishing interest declining, those soldiers and sailors who remain are a direct link to what’s right, wholesome and humane about pursuing a love for the outdoors. As another generation, we need to realize that thousands of libraries are closing every day. We need to tap into them, and have them teach us while we listen, before it’s too late. GL Rick Fowler has been teaching high school English in Boyne City for the past 34 years. He has also been a freelance writer for more than 20 years. Rick and his wife, Sue, live in Harbor Springs, and have two children, Alexandra and Eric.
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Dating game By Stephanie Stelk
Photos by G. Randall Goss
ating can be difficult and it certainly doesn’t get any easier with age. It can also be especially difficult after the loss of a spouse. There are many things to consider when getting back out into the dating world. Where do you meet someone? How long do you wait? Will the rest of the family approve? Although locally there are no specific dating programs for seniors, the Friendship Center in Petoskey is a place where many local seniors gather to socialize, and sometimes relationships form. “We don’t have a formal dating program … Most of the connections just happen organically,” said Sue Ann Bouwense, project director for the Friendship Centers of Gene Hutchings, 89, (left) of Petoskey, and Joahn Clow, 85, of Charlevoix, have been dating for more than four Emmet County. years. Both had been married for more than 50 years before becoming single again and finding each other. Support groups often form for those who have lost spouses, and joys talking with men and enjoys needed,” said Thalia M. Ferenc, dipthis can be a popular place to meet their company. lomate of clinical forensic counselsomeone new. “I would date seriously as long ing based in Charlevoix. “Now and then you’ll hear of as it doesn’t involve too much. ... I Froysaa was married to her hussomeone who may be very interest- don’t want to be taking care of an band, Tom, for 54 and a half years ed in a relationship with that per- old man, and I don’t want someone and wears their original wedding son,” Bouwense said. taking care of me,” said Froysaa. bands around her neck; she still Arlayne Froysaa of Petoskey It depends on each individual as considers herself to be married. comes to the Friendship Center far as how long they will wait beWaiting well over a year after the every day and has met a few male fore dating again. loss of her husband, Froysaa began companions in support groups “People are ready to date after the speaking with other men and occathere. loss of a spouse at different times. sionally will have dinner or go out Although Froysaa isn’t looking In general, the longer the marriage, to a movie with them. for a relationship, she said she en- the longer the grieving time that is It also depends on the person as 18 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
to whether or not they will even consider a new relationship at all. Some may never consider a new relationship, while others may be open to the idea. “Some seem very lost without a partner in their life. ... Some are so loyal to their past spouse. Many talk lovingly of the deceased spouse and show no interest in starting a new relationship,” Bouwense said. The idea of dating someone new can be a sensitive subject not only for those involved; it can also be difficult for family members to accept. Froysaa describes the subject as “touchy” for some, but her family has been supportive and is OK with her dating. “They want me to make a life for myself,” said Froysaa, adding that her late husband would want her to enjoy life. Ferenc said, “If family members object, this decision is the business of the person, and he or she must proactively set the boundary by talking about the intention. This allows an opportunity for the person to ask others to respect his decision and to close discussion on the topic.” Generally, it is up to the individual involved to make up their own minds about what they want. He or she must decide when and if they will begin to date again, and family should try to be accepting and supportive no matter what is decided. Bouwense said, “There is some amount of shyness about dating on the part of some. ... Often the overall attitude is one of being happy for a couple that has found one another.” GL
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Downsizing for life’s changes:
Making the hard choices By Mark Lindsay • Photos by G. Randall Goss
hroughout life a family may occupy several different homes. For many different reasons, moving later in life may mean downsizing, which can be difficult. Changes in life and family needs as we get older often bring up the question of moving into a smaller, more manageable home. There is also the possibility of eventually needing some assistance in maintaining an independent lifestyle, which may mean relocating to an assisted living residence. Whatever the reason may be, facing the question of what to do with a lifetime of accumulation can be daunting. Connie Huizenga, a professional organizer, with Petoskey-based Details, et.al., recommends the “SPACE” method, which breaks the challenge down into parts — Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize and Equalize. Start with sorting your possessions into categories of what will go with you and fit the new space, and what must be disposed of. “Ask yourself questions like ‘Do I love this?’ and ‘Will I have room for this?’ as well as if the item will be Professional organizer Connie Huizenga, of Petoskey, clears a shelf in a client’s home to determine what to keep what to give up. Huizenga offers her services through her company Details, et.al. and suggests creating three of benefit in your new home,” Hui- and piles of your stuff: one for keeping, one for recycling or donating, and one to toss out. zenga said. Prior to moving there are many will go together. ing family members to decide what other methods of sorting things that Many people faced with such a they would value having passed on can give a better view of the big pic- task will first turn to their family to to them. ture. If there are currently 10 kitch- distribute their belongings, espeInvolving family members may en cabinets and the new home only cially where family heirlooms are also have the added benefit of rehas five, tape off five in the current involved. It is often recommended lieving some of the physical stress home and select enough items to fill that a list be made containing each of moving. Living with a lifetime of just those five to take along. Profes- item of importance, which can then accumulated possessions may make sional movers also suggest making be sent to family members for con- it difficult to imagine the work incutouts of furnishings to place in sideration. Huizenga suggests, in the volved in sorting, packing and disthe new home and arrange, to give “Assign” step, adding a story to each tributing all of it. Professional movan idea of what will fit and how it item of special importance, allow- ers will offer every level of assistance, 20 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
from simple trucking to full service packing at a cost. Involving family who are willing to assist may help in many ways, including financially. Often the need to downsize can be a good opportunity to sell or donate items that have no sentimental value. Auctions and estate sales can bring a substantial amount of income, helping to offset the cost of a move or give an additional financial cushion. “Donating items can allow someone in need to obtain an item they may never otherwise afford to own,” Huizenga noted. There are businesses that specialize in helping people downsize, and relocate for retirement. Such companies will often have good sugges-
tions and methods for determining away or discard, as recommended what will fit in the new space. Of in Huizenga’s “Equalize” step. course, taking a lot of simple mea“Seeing your valuables being put surements and making up a floor to good use in loved ones’ homes, or plan can go a long way when plan- thinking of how happy you very may ning the move. Many things can well have made someone less foralso be compacted down for stor- tunate than yourself, equalizes the age at the new home, as suggested emotional and physical labor you’ve in Huizenga’s “Containerize” step, put into creating proper space for which can allow things to be pre- your new life, your current life and served. living well within that space,” HuizThe experience of downsizing a enga said. family home and having to move at Taking the time to plan and orthe same time can be overwhelming, ganize a move that requires downstressful and full of emotional tur- sizing can afford the opportunity to moil. So many decisions have to be enjoy the process. Doing things the made, some of them very difficult. right way, with the proper amount Taking your time and planning care- of help, can make moving a relativefully can result in good decisions ly easy and definitely less stressful about what to keep, donate, give task. GL
Professional organizer Connie Huizenga (right) helps her mother, Dee Medema, go through personal items, deciding what to keep and what to give up. The Medemas are in the process of downsizing from a house they have lived in for years to a smaller living space. GOODlife 21
Furnishing the empty nest By Metro Creative Services
For parents, experiencing their kids leaving the nest can not only be a momentous event, but it can also be one sometimes tinged with a bit of sadness. After all, your little boy or little girl is all grown up now. However, looking at the bright side, this means you now have one or more rooms that can be turned from a kid’s bedroom into a space you can now enjoy. You may have been making due with storing your personal effects in rooms in the house simply because of necessity. But now that the kids have flown the coop, it’s possible to take over their rooms and turn them into something tailored to you and your spouse. The following are a few transformations that can take place.
Perhaps an unused bedroom can be transformed into a library.
the game undisturbed.
Many times guests are forced to For those who have been doing sleep on a pull-out bed or sleeper bills at the kitchen table or trying to sofa when staying over at a loved CRAFT CENTER work from home amid the noise of one’s. Having an extra bedroom Many people enjoy making things the kitchen or the television in the available can enable friends and famwith their hands, be it painting ce- family room, a home office can be ily members to stay overnight with ramics or knitting sweaters. A room just the solution. If the room is large comfort and ease now. Decorate the that is set aside for different types of enough, place two desks face-to-face room in neutral colors and invest in craft projects can keep work undis- so it can be a his-and-her work center. comfortable, hotel-quality linens for turbed and organized. Walls filled Use neutral paint colors so that it will the utmost in luxury. with shelves and storage containers be more of a gender-neutral space. alongside bulletin boards will create LIBRARY a utilitarian feel to the room. Have a PRIVATE BEDROOM Some people simply enjoy the large task table so you can spread out Although topics of the bedroom ability to curl up with a good book work and comfortable sitting chairs. are often kept hush-hush among in a quiet space. Turn a vacated bedStick with a flooring material that can friends and family, many men and room into a cozy nook complete with be cleaned quickly, like tile or wood women aspire to one day having their bookshelves, a plush chair and decoin the event of spills. own bedrooms. After time retreating rative reading lamp. Fill the nook from the master bedroom because of with favorite books, decorations and SPORTS ROOM a spouse snoring or simply because a side table to house a cup of tea or Sports enthusiasts may want to set of being on opposite schedules, sepa- coffee. up a room devoted to collections of rate bedrooms enable you to create trophies, collector cards, memorabil- rooms that cater to you. Put in the Regardless of how you feel when ia and any other sports-related items. amenities you desire and encour- your children leave home, redecoratAdd a sofa or recliners in the room as age your spouse to revamp the other ing empty rooms into new, functionwell as a big-screen TV, and this spot bedroom according to his or her de- al spaces can help add a positive spin can be the perfect place for watching sires as well. to your suddenly empty nest. 22 YOUR LIFE UP NORTH
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