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AUGUST 2017 | VOL. 8, ISSUE 8

Feeling Peachy



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ow will you celebrate your next birthday? Dinner at your favorite restaurant? A party? OutreachNC magazine’s contributing writer Kathy Grant Westbrook is celebrating her 55th birthday by visiting all 55 state and national parks in North Carolina. Join her as she presents stories and photos from her adventures. Kathy’s “State Park Adventures” feature article appeared in the June issue of OutreachNC magazine. Read it online at: | Event is free and open to the public. | 910.295.6022 AUGUST 2017 |


features Living Social Issue



Memory Cafés Brew Coffee, Conversation & Compassion by Carrie Frye

53 Carolina Conversations with On the Beach Radio Host Charlie Brown by Carrie Frye

58 Honoring World War II Veteran Series: Margaret Covington by Jonathan Scott

24 Living Social: On the Court, In the Gym and Everywhere! by Jennifer Webster

32 In This Corner, Hope: ‘Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s’ by Michelle Goetzl

37 8 Ways to Stay Social by Rachel Stewart

42 4

The Power of Paws by David Hibbard | AUGUST 2017

AUGUST 2017 | 5

departments August 2017

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.” —JENNY HAN


12 14 advice & health



Ask the Expert by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA


Cooking Simple by Rhett Morris


Brain Health by Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP


Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark


Law Review by Jackie Bedard


Regional Culture by Ray Linville


Resource Marketplace Find the resources you need.


The Reader’s Nook by Michelle Goetzl


Caregiving by Mike Collins


Grey Matter Games Sudoku, Word Search & Crossword Puzzles

6 | AUGUST 2017


Generations by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl


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magazine extras 2017 | NC 7 500 Lauchwood Drive |AUGUST Laurinburg, 28352

from the editor


ugust arrives, and summer moves closer to its close, so it’s time to soak up each moment. With that idea in mind, our theme is “Living Social,” and exploring how remaining socially active benefits many aspects of our well-being. From brain health to ways to lend a hand to a friend in a caregiving role, we’ve packed these pages with information you can employ to age with success. We venture out to the croquet and pickleball courts, gym and equestrian trail to see how some of our neighbors are making the most of their sports for both their physical and social health. For those coping with Parkinson’s disease, we head inside Rock Steady Boxing sessions to see the impact the program is making on its participants. Our salute to World War II veterans continues this month with Laurinburg’s Margaret Covington who served as a nurse in Hawaii and shares a story of love lost. Those coping with dementia and their family members are finding new ways to connect through memory cafés, and we look at the various programs available in our area. Special thanks to the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham for allowing us to be part of their memory café. Helping with the new Southern Pines memory café over the past few months has been an honor, and I look forward to seeing it grow and bring more smiles to attendees. Knowing firsthand the joy pets can bring, we meet Scout, a senior therapy dog, and Cricket, a service dog in training, who both have their paws poised to make a connection with those they serve. Spending quality time petting both dogs for their photo shoots is one of those sweet days to be an editor. And for beach music fans, we go in the studio this month with “On the Beach” radio host Charlie Brown, who shares some of his favorite songs and how he’s keeping the music alive with “appointment radio.” Special thanks goes to Kalawi Farms and Ben’s Ice Cream owner Jan Williams and her beautiful grandchildren for bringing our Regional Culture column to life and making a gorgeous cover of peach ice cream! Since making time for friends enhances quality of life, co-editor Jeeves is ready, set, go for another round of the in-and-out game. Thank you so much for turning these pages with us. Until next month... 8 | AUGUST 2017

—Carrie Frye

Editor in Chief Carrie Frye | Contributing Graphic Designers Stephanie Budd, Nikki Lienhard, Jonathan Scott Contributing Proofreaders Ashley Eder, Michelle Goetzl, Kate Pomplun, Rachel Stewart, Jennifer Webster Contributing Photographers Katherine Clark, Diana Matthews, Mollie Tobias Contributing Writers Mike Collins, Michelle Goetzl, David Hibbard Ray Linville, Rhett Morris, Celia Rivenbark, Jonathan Scott, Rachel Stewart, Karen D. Sullivan, Jennifer Webster

Y Publisher Amy Natt | Marketing & Public Relations Director Susan McKenzie | Advertising Sales Executive Ashley Haddock | 910-690-9102 Advertising Sales Executive Butch Peiker | 904-477-8440 OutreachNC PO Box 2478 | 676 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28388 910-692-9609 Office | 910-695-0766 Fax

OutreachNC is a publication of The entire contents of OutreachNC are copyrighted by Aging Outreach Services. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial, photographic or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. OutreachNC is published monthly on the first of each month.

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Friendship Even More Crucial When Life Brings a Dementia Diagnosis by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA One of my friends is caring for her husband who has dementia. It is very difficult watching them go through this experience. I can tell that she is really stressed some days, but I am not sure what to do or say that might help. Can you offer some advice on how to best help her?

When we see friends and family go through challenging times, it can be difficult to find the right words or know how to best support that person. Now that your friend has taken on the role of caregiver, she is “giving” both physically and emotionally. She may not realize the impact these increased demands can have on her along this journey. Others see the stress; however, the caregiver is often too busy living in the moment to stop and think about it, or too exhausted to do anything about it. Routine becomes increasingly important and getting through each day can present new challenges. Social activities and friendships can become harder to maintain. There are changes and adjustments happening in their spousal relationship that are important to understand. The National Alzheimer’s Association outlines some key reasons for these changes: • The spouse in the role of caregiver is taking on more tasks in the relationship, like balancing the checkbook, doing the taxes, managing legal and financial matters and making important decisions. This can feel overwhelming. • When relationship dynamics change, there is grief involved in that loss. The connection can still be very rich and fulfilling, but it may not be the same relationship as the dementia progresses. 10 | AUGUST 2017

• As the dementia progresses, family and friends may step back, because they worry about not knowing what to say or do. This can feel isolating and create a sense of loss. As a friend or family member, it is important to recognize the signs of stress and caregiver burnout. Then, we can discuss what you can do to help. Some of the more common signs include: • Withdrawal from family, friends or activities • Feeling blue or irritable • Changes in appetite • Changes in sleeping patterns • Increased use of alcohol or sleep medications • Lack of energy, fatigue • Increased anxiety or worry about the future • Lowered resistance to illness, increased headaches, stomach aches and physical problems • Neglecting their own needs and personal care So how can you help? As a friend, there are many things you can do. The most important is that you keep showing up in different ways, and let your friend know that you are still there for her. Even the little things can make a big difference. Here are a few things you might consider trying: • Educate yourself on dementia, so you are comfortable being with them both and understand some of the challenges they may be facing.

Friendship is the shadow of the evening, which increases with the setting sun of life.


• Offer to attend a local support group with her, or stay with her husband so that she can attend a meeting. • Just listen. She needs opportunities to talk and to share her challenges without feeling judged. Caregiving can be trial and error with good days and bad days, so being a good listener is a wonderful gift you can give. • Help identify resources for respite care. It is so important that caregivers get a break. She may be hesitant to take one, because she feels guilty or is worried about how her husband might respond. Maybe another male friend or family member can offer to do an activity with him, so you can take her out for some girl time. • Offer to go on a walk or out for an activity you know she enjoys. • Offer to help with a specific task around the house. • Send notes and encouraging words. A nice card in the mail or funny joke may be just what she needs. • Help create opportunities for group socialization, perhaps a smaller setting that feels safe to them both, where it is OK if he repeats the same thing five times or says something out of character. They still need to feel like a couple, so host a small dinner of friends or a movie night. • Check out some online tips and suggestions. There are some great resources available, and perhaps you can help link her to them, such as:,,, or • Buy her a journal, and encourage her to express herself in writing when time allows. • Offer to drop off a meal or special treat. Your friend probably does not need you to fix the situation, feel sorry for her or pretend it will get better. Depending on the type of dementia her husband has, it is likely progressive, which will make her life increasingly difficult over time. Your friend simply needs you to be her friend, and be persistent. She may push you away at times, but gently push back and let her know you are along this journey with her. Small gestures go a long way, and careful listening will help provide you with the cues you need. Readers may send questions to Natt, an Aging Life Care ProfessionalTM, certified senior advisor and CEO of Aging Outreach Services. She can be reached at .

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Social Life Vital to Brain Health by Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP


he value of remaining physically Researchers have reported that the and mentally active as we age “sweet spot” of socializing is different seems to get all the attention; however, for everyone, but having three or more maintaining a satisfying social life personal relationships in which older Is Quality Social Time is just as important to successful adults felt they could rely on for help On Your Menu? aging. As social beings, we have a if needed and confide in about private • Think of it as you would any fundamental need to belong and matters seems to be the minimum other part of a healthy diet contribute in meaningful ways with for receiving the brain benefits of • Value social time as more than other people. socialization. There are three main just enjoyment. it makes you healthier in all ways Having a diverse social network ways being social helps our brain: • Remember, it contributes to with frequent contact as we age is • Cognitive engagement: brain health! associated with better physical, mental It stimulates brain cells to grow new and cognitive health. Some researchers Factors that contribute to our connections called dendrites, which have even suggested that the number sense of social connectedness: enhances brain communication, of strong social relationships we • How long have we known the enhances blood flow and limits the maintain after retirement has more of person? amount of time that the aging brain • How often do we see them? an influence on life expectancy than is unfocused (considered to be a risk • How much do we know about physical exercise, smoking or drinking. factor for cognitive impairment). their goals and dreams? Physically, older adults who report • How much do we tell about our • Makes a deposit in our brain higher social satisfaction have greater private thoughts and feelings? bank, our cognitive reserve: immunity to infectious disease, better • How familiar is the other person People are complicated. We need to be with the rest of our social circle? cardiovascular and pulmonary health, “on our toes” mentally to listen well and • Can we trust them to help us? less whole body inflammation and respond thoughtfully in conversations. more longevity. Mental stimulation that is novel and Mentally, older adults who get unexpected is the best type of brain exercise. together regularly with family and friends are 50 percent • Reduces stress hormones: According to less likely to report symptoms of depression, as compared neuroscientists, elevated stress hormones seem to to those who have little face-to-face contact. Conversely, speed the aging of the brain. Laughing and enjoying older adults who met with family and friends at least three social time with people is a great stress reliever. times a week had the lowest level of depression. Cognitively, there are big benefits. In one study, the rate of cognitive decline was 70 percent slower in older Dr. Sullivan, a board-certified clinical adults with frequent social contact than those with low neuropsychologist at Pinehurst Neuropsychology, can be reached at social activity. In another study, women with larger social 910-420-8041 or by visiting networks were 26 percent less likely to develop dementia . than those with smaller social networks.

12 | AUGUST 2017


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Grilled Peach Salad with Quick Pickled Corn and Onion by Rhett Morris Photography by Mollie Tobias

Ingredients • 1 peach, halved and pitted • 1 head bibb lettuce • 1 ear corn cut off from cob • ½ red onion sliced thin • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar • ¼ cup water • ¼ teaspoon pickling spice • ¼ teaspoon red pepper chili flakes • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed • 2 tablespoons sugar • pinch of salt • 1 tablespoon olive oil • ¼ teaspoon salt • ¼ teaspoon pepper • 1 lime zested and juiced • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard • 2 tablespoons honey • ½ cup olive oil


Mix corn and onion together in small bowl. In saucepan, add vinegar, water, pickling spice, chili flakes, mustard seed, sugar and salt, and bring to boil. Then pour mixture over corn and onions, and set aside. Rub peach with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put on very hot grill for 2 minutes each side, and set aside. In a small bowl, add lime zest and juice, mustard and honey, and whisk together. Slowly add olive oil, and whisk until emulsified. Place bibb lettuce on plate, top with grilled peach, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Using Morris, owner of Rhett’s Restaurant, a slotted spoon, add pickled Personal Chef & Catering, is an awardcorn and onions to the winning chef, He can be reached at 910peach and lettuce. Drizzle 695-3663 or . with dressing and enjoy. 14 | AUGUST 2017

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How I Met Your Father... by Celia Rivenbark


he Princess is spending the summer working as a news intern at the same newspaper where I met her father. “He was a long drink of water ...” I begin, preparing to launch a loving remembrance of how a sports guy and a features girl met in a midmarket daily and one thing led to another ... “I’m sorry; I don’t know what that means,” says the Princess. “What? Long drink of water? It means he was tall, lanky, and he was really tan because he spent all day at the beach before he had to come to work at 4.” “Is this fake news?” “What? No, of course not.” “It just sounds a little contrived. I mean, he worked nights and you worked days. How was that ever supposed to work?” “Well, there was some overlap, maybe an hour or two. Anyway, as I was saying, he was at the beach every day before work...” “Every day? When did he run errands, clean his apartment? It seems odd that he was out there every day. Didn’t it ever rain?” “Well, OK, not every day. More like three or four days a week, I guess. I mean, every day might have been an exaggeration. Anyway, the point is, he took one look at me across a crowded newsroom and it was like the thunderbolt in ‘The Godfather...’” “Are you sure? Because I remember one time you said he thought you didn’t like how he always kicked off his shoes as soon as he got to work and walked

around the newsroom in socks, and you complained to his boss about it.” “What? Well, yes, OK, maybe it was more of a subdued thunderbolt.” “I see,” she said, unconvincingly. Maybe I had added a little Nicholas Sparks spin to our narrative, but so what? Well, if we’re going to get all self-righteous about the truth, we might want to make sure we have a decent commitment to it our own self. Fake news is a slippery slope. One day you’re juicing up “How I Met Your Father” with some ridiculous piffle about a “subdued thunderbolt” and the next day, you’re lying about who ate the very last slice of blueberry cream cheese pie in the fridge. Which was, of course, aliens. As the nation spends a scorching summer watching assorted Capitol Hill hearings riddled with half-truths, it seems a good time to highlight a new study that found 60 percent of adults can’t have a 10-minute conversation without telling at least one lie. Some are innocent—“You look amazing in those LuLaRoe leggings, girl!”—but some of them are told specifically to make ourselves look better, smarter, cooler than we really are. Not me, of course, the rest of y’all. Except for the study also reported that 30 percent of people who say they watched “The Godfather” never saw it but hate to admit it. Including me. That whole thunderbolt reference? Somebody told me about that scene. I think it was Francis Ford Coppola...

Rivenbark is the NYT-bestselling author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at . ©2017 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

16 | AUGUST 2017

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Peach for

Ice Cream


by Ray Linville | Photography by Mollie Tobias


ce cream cravings are not to be taken lightly,” says artist Betsy Cañas Garmon. When the temperature is hitting 90 degrees or higher, nothing satisfies like ice cream melting in your mouth. Ice cream made with freshly picked peaches is the perfect way to cool off on a hot August day. Although fans of homemade strawberry ice cream may argue otherwise, that flavor is best in the spring when the berries are harvested. Nothing compares to fruit in its season, particularly in ice cream. Finding the best peach ice cream always involves hopping in a car and going for a ride. Rides to and from the beaches and coastal areas for many Tar Heels typically call for stops in the Piedmont for peach ice cream. The longer the drive, the more appreciated the ice cream. As you drive by small communities such as Candor, Eagle Springs and Ellerbe, just count the peach ice cream possibilities. When you see rows of lush, groomed peach trees on the side of the road—and particularly both sides—slow down and look for ice cream signs. For Ben’s Ice Cream in Eagle Springs, the row of cars lined up in front is also a good clue that you should brake. Some drivers stop for fresh produce at the adjacent Kalawi Farms roadside stand, but many are determined to enjoy homemade peach ice cream before leaving.


18 | AUGUST 2017

Kalawi Farms and Benâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ice Cream owner Jan Williams is sharing the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s orchard and love of peaches and ice cream with her grandchildren. The farm stand is located at 1515 N.C. Highway 211 in Eagle Springs. For information, call 910-673-5996 or visit . AUGUST 2017 | 19


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The new ice cream shop, which opened last year, includes an inside area with seating that is a welcome expansion for long-time customers. This is where Kieria Stubbs, a 2014 graduate of East Montgomery High School, greets customers on a summer day and dispenses cones and cups, and then more cones and cups of ice cream, without ever losing her smile. Because ice cream is so popular, “We make it every day— from 9 to 4, it’s being made throughout the day,” she says. How hard is it to make peach ice cream? Stubbs grins as she answers, “It’s not hard. You just take fresh peaches and chop them up.” It’s the first step in the daily activity that she knows well, because she’s worked at Ben’s for six years as she finished high school, took courses at Sandhills Community College and now is enrolled in the dental assisting program at Montgomery Community College. Jan Benton, a retired high school math teacher, enjoys her part-time work at Ben’s because it brings her into contact with former students. “About a dozen—maybe a little more—work here,” she says. Everyone knows that there’s no better combination than peaches and cream. Although the original Creamsicle flavors—orange and cream—are great, don’t you think in the midst of its growing season that peach (rather than orange) is needed in August for a creamy treat? Because there’s a national day for literally everything, it’s not surprising that this month has a day just for the Creamsicle: Aug. 14. Although the origin of National Creamsicle Day is unknown, we do know that without the inspiration of Frank Epperson in 1905 when he was only 11 years old, we might not be celebrating. Who is Epperson? He’s the first person to enclose vanilla ice cream with a layer of frozen fruit juice and gets the credit for creating what evolved into the creamsicle. Later, when he was 29, he was smart enough to patent his invention. Epperson’s patent tells us that his invention for “a frozen confection” is “well suited to meet the requirements of practical use”—an assertion that no one would argue with. What could be more practical than a frozen, creamy, fruity treat, particularly in August? However, the perfect creamy “confection” is not made with frozen fruit juice but with fresh, local peaches instead. Imagine the delicious result created by peeling fresh peaches, adding them chopped into a chilling mixture of cream and milk with a little vanilla extract for flavor, and churning it all slowly until ready to serve. Be creative in how you endure the dog days of August, but if you want a great recommendation: Take a drive and find homemade ice cream not too far from a peach orchard.

Linville writes about local connections to Southern food, history and culture. He can be reached at .

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“Eden” Book Review by Michelle Goetzl


hen Becca Fitzgerald’s husband dies suddenly, he leaves her with the shock that he had mismanaged their finances. Faced with this, Becca fears that she is going to have to give up “Eden,” her beloved summer home that her father built more than 70 years earlier. As she gathers her family at “Eden” one last time, her financial situation is not the only secret that is revealed, for it turns out that Becca had a secret of her own. “Eden” is a character-driven family drama with well fleshed-out characters. At the center of the story is Becca Meister Fitzpatrick—wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community. The story is told by interweaving the events leading up to the Fourth of July weekend in 2000 when Becca prepares to disclose her secret with the story of Becca’s parents, the creation of “Eden”, and Becca’s youth. However, “Eden” is also the story of Becca’s father, Bunny Meister, who came from nothing but managed to build up an empire that enabled him to build his own “Eden.” While we learn of how “Eden” came to be, we are also given a glimpse of the struggles that four generations of women faced. As author Jeanne Blasberg explains, her novel “creates a collage of female experience,” as each of these women approach motherhood in very different ways. From unexpected, later-in-life pregnancies to those out of wedlock, “Eden” shows how societal norms

22 | AUGUST 2017

have changed over the years. “Eden” doesn’t only deal with how the standards of the times impacted women but also how they touched everyone. In the same way that unwed mothers were often “sent away” to have their babies in secret, other illnesses were often kept quiet for fear of public scorn. Epilepsy, for one, held great stigmas, as did depression. “Eden” touches on both of these difficult subjects with grace. Blasberg’s novel is at once readable and yet also thought provoking. There are many layers to this story that are likely to grab your attention. It is a story about families and their relationships. It is the story of the evolution of women’s roles.“Eden” shows how one family dealt with traditions, secrets and hope. For anyone who enjoys historical social fiction, this book is a wonderful journey through time. Goetzl writes an online blog—“Books My Kids Read.” She loves books and sharing that love of reading with children. She can be reached at .



Where Will You Live If You Cannot Take Care of Yourself? by Jackie Bedard


t’s not a question we like to think about, but where would you live if you could not take care of yourself at some point in the future? Or if you’re younger, consider the same question for your parents. The answer we often hear to this question is, “I’m going to stay at home until I die.” If you are going to live at home, how will you be cared for at home? Who will do the caregiving? How will you pay for the care? Your best chance of staying at home for as long as possible is directly tied to the planning you do now. Other tough questions to plan for living at home are: • Is your home set up for a wheelchair or someone who cannot climb stairs? How much will it cost to renovate? • If you cannot live alone, who will care for you? Will one of your children move in? Have you discussed this with all of your children? A family can be torn apart because one child moves in to take care of a parent but another child does not agree. Your wish to stay at home should be documented in your estate planning. • Will you hire caregivers? Should you pay family members to care for you (especially if it impacts their ability to work outside of the home)? How do you expect to pay for this care? Long-term care insurance or financial products, Medicaid, veterans benefits, using your personal savings, and a reverse mortgage are all possible options.


You need to let your family know you have a plan by writing it down. It is perfectly OK to decide that you want to spend every penny you own, so you can stay at home—even if you deplete your entire estate. However, if the person managing your healthcare decisions and your finances does not know your wishes, he or she may decide that some other living arrangement is better for either health or financial reasons. The other answer to this question involves older adults who cannot live at home. If that is the right choice, then some options to consider include an independent apartment in a complex that supplies extra support when needed, senior housing, an assisted living facility, a child or friend’s home, or a life plan community. Just as with living at home, ask yourself: How will you be cared for, how will the care be paid for, and who will do the caregiving? Your plan should include when it is appropriate to be moved out of your home, if you are not capable of communicating your wishes, and your preference where you would like to live if you cannot live at home. Bedard, an elder law attorney with Carolina Family Estate Planning, can be reached at 919-443-3035 or by visiting .



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ports aren’t just about fitness. For people who like to move, laugh and enjoy each other’s company, picking up a sport can lead to new friendships and rollicking good times.

Slow and steady wins the race … if you’re playing croquet, that is. The gentle sport is highly technical, or can be, for those who follow it intensely. And there’s an old-fashioned grace to croquet that’s sure to charm. Husband and wife players Mike Taylor and Elaine Moody of Pinehurst transitioned from backyard games to tournament play when they joined their country club. Though players need not be in tip-top shape physically, Taylor says, the game can be quite challenging, offering something for everyone. “Some people want to play nationally, while some just want to have a good time,” he says. “For me, I find it very competitive. Players are handicapped like golfers, with the best players in the country having negative handicaps. … It’s a game of strategy, a little like chess in that there are a lot of traps and a lot of defense. You make sure the opponent can’t beat you while playing as much offense as you can to score points. The play is like billiards in that the focus is on cut shots, angle shots and distances.” However, less technical players can have just as much fun. CONTINUED PAGE 26

Living Social...

On the Court,

In the Gym, Everywhere! by Jennifer Webster

24 | AUGUST 2017

Photography by Diana Matthews Mollie Tobias

We made most of our friends through croquet. —ELAINE MOODY

AUGUST 2017 | 25


“We didn’t know anyone when we moved here,” Moody says. “We made most of our friends through croquet.” From what she terms the “after-church game” to more serious play, Elaine says croquet has a deep history in Pinehurst and has helped introduce her to the people and culture of the area. “Croquet was one of the first sports played in Pinehurst when it was developed,” she says. “It was played on the lawns of the Carolina Hotel before they put the golf course in.” The game faded in the mid-20th century as other sports took center stage, she says, but has been enjoying a resurgence since the 1980s. The couple encourages anyone who’s interested to give the game a try. A new player with good handeye coordination will stand out, but anyone can have an excellent time. “We have lots of people who are in croquet who enjoy that it’s not a game where you are forced to try to beat people,” Taylor says. “It’s a game where you can come out to have fun.” Play now! To play croquet, according to the United States Croquet Association, you need about 100 by 50 feet of even ground covered with short grass. Equipment, easily found online or in a sporting goods store, includes nine wickets, two stakes and four balls and a mallet per player. Visit to read rules and see videos of the game.

A Game for a Rainy Day You may have first played ping pong, or table tennis, after a youth group meeting at church or in your college dormitory. If you’re a newbie, give this brisk game a try. Like croquet, table tennis can be played at a competitive level. But as a social sport, it can be played just for fun, too, uniting communities and family members of all ages. Mary Crusius, a retired dental hygienist, played table tennis as a teenager and took it up seriously in retirement. She and her friends are avid table tennis players. “We play at Douglass Community Center, in Southern Pines,” she says. 26 | AUGUST 2017

“We use the air conditioning in the summer and the heat in winter, but one winter, they were changing the furnace, and there was no heat. I called everyone, and they were all agreeable, so we put on our woolies and came out to play!” Table tennis is initially challenging, Crusius says, but it lures you in. It’s all right if you have some mobility challenges—Crusius has had a knee replacement, she says — but you do need good hand-eye coordination. “A lot of our players hadn’t played in many years, but remembered how much fun it was,” she says. “They were discouraged at first—you can’t expect to pick up where you left off. But if you come for a month or two, you’ll be amazed at your progress, and after six months, you’ll be surprised how good you are.” Play now! Colleges, community centers and senior centers throughout the area boast ping pong tables. If you already know what you’re doing, step up your game by volunteering to teach youth or seniors. Start by visiting or

Laugh, Sweat, Laugh If you want to pick up the pace a bit, try pickleball. Played indoors or out, this game resembles tennis played with a paddle and perforated ball on a slightly smaller court. John Barrett of Pinehurst has been athletic all his life. Now involved with programs for people with dementia and their caregivers, Barrett keeps busy but has plenty of energy to spare—exactly the right fit for this exciting new sport (pickleball is barely more than 50 years old). “I was only playing golf and walking my dog, but I wasn’t doing anything aerobic,” Barrett says. “I was looking for something else to do. Since I had played tennis and was a decent athlete, I took to it. It was so much fun!” Barrett and some friends worked to bring pickleball to Pinehurst. There are now six courts at the Pinehurst Country Club, as well as courts at Rassie Wicker Park and the Boys and Girls Club. “Pickle ball is an extremely social sport,” Barrett says. “Games last to 11 points, taking about 10 minutes, and then you rotate players or change partners. CONTINUED PAGE 28 AUGUST 2017 | 27

28 | AUGUST 2017


There are always people sitting on the sidelines, cheering or goading you, depending on what’s taking place.” Pickleball courts may have reserved league play times and open play times; newcomers are welcome to show up to open play. The game is gender neutral, Barrett says, though some women do schedule their own early games. In another social aspect, players try to find new partners each game, encouraging participants to meet people. “I’ve lost 9 or 10 pounds since I started playing,” Barrett says. “If you’re looking for something fun to do aerobically, as opposed to a stationary bike or treadmill, pickleball is a great way to do that.” Play now! To find a pickleball game or lesson, email Pinehurst Resort’s pickleball coordinator, Don Woodfield, at


LIFE COACHING for Navigating Your Second 50

Socialize … with Animal Companions Sometimes, you may prefer a loving, four-legged sports partner. Social sports can bring humans together with animals as well as with one another. Horseback riding, for instance, can build bonds across species and deepen human friendships. Suzie Jacobson, owner of Barn Door Consignments in Aberdeen, sells horse-related supplies and enjoys riding, too. “I primarily ride for fun, doing some dressage and jumping,” she says. “I don’t have huge aspirations any more, but I still enjoy my farm in Cameron and my horses. I ride most days before work.” Suzie didn’t ride as a child, but she still felt a dormant passion for horses. “As I got older … I was able to tap into it,” she says. “It’s just wonderful therapy. I get to have a goal to work toward. The bond with an animal makes you want to get up in the morning and do it all over again.” Horses have their own personalities, Suzie says, and the connection between horse and rider deepens as you work with the animal. She rides and competes with friends, too, and their bond also makes up a special part of her life. “When we compete, it’s a big family and people encourage each other,” she says. “There’s a great feeling of support and camaraderie.” Ride now! Horseback riding isn’t as simple to pick up as croquet or table tennis, but beginners can find themselves in the saddle if they reach out. For referrals for riding lessons, visit

What’s Your Pleasure? Of course, these aren’t the only sports where you can laugh, gossip or indulge in a little friendly competition. There’s the perennial favorite, golf. Then there’s dance. Try ballroom, square or line dancing if you want to step out for a social evening, or improvisational or modern dance to explore the artistry of movement. If your sport needs to fit your backyard, you don’t need to stop at croquet, either. How about bocce, horseshoes or cornhole, or even a game of badminton (across the clothesline can work if you don’t have a net)? Whether you’re lithe as a willow or blessed with two left feet, there’s a sport for your body. Visit your local senior center or county department of parks and recreation if you don’t have someone to play with. You’ll find a warm welcome.

Gregg Parr


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In this Corner,


‘Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s’ by Michelle Goetzl Photography by Diana Matthews


group of men stand in front of punching bags, acutely focused on hitting their targets. Their coaches cheer them on, calling out their boxing names—Boom Boom, Sweets, Reb, Billy Pep, Rocky and Bud. These men are doing more than just exercising though. They are taking control and fighting back against Parkinson’s disease with every punch of the FirstHealth Rock Steady Boxing program.

32 | AUGUST 2017

Parkinson’s disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Common symptoms include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking. Depression and anxiety are also common in more than one third of the those diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Doctors have always known that exercise, especially those that emphasize gross motor movement, balance and flexibility are important for Parkinson’s patients. Now, new research is showing the value in intense, “forced exercise” programs that encourage patients to exercise at slightly higher levels than their regular comfortable level and pace. “Structured aerobic exercise in those with Parkinson’s disease triggers special proteins that protect the brain (neurotrophic factors),” says Taeh A. Ward, PhD., a clinical neuropsychologist with Pinehurst Neuropsychology. “Research suggests that Rock Steady Boxing and other formal exercise programs designed for Parkinson’s push patients to exercise at the level needed to protect brain cells and stimulate new connections in the brain.” The program itself was created in 2006 by Scott C. Newman who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s at the age of 40. He began intense, one-on-one boxing training and witnessed the dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility and daily functioning. Others heard of his success and a movement was born. Rock Steady Boxing debuted at FirstHealth Fitness-Pinehurst in May and is quickly gaining popularity. There are already 13 regulars, and new participants are always welcome to join. Bringing the FirstHealth program to fruition was Daniel Barnes, DO, president of the FirstHealth Physician Group. “I became aware of Rock Steady through my father-in-law, Billy Hamilton,” Dr. Barnes explains. “He was driving to Raleigh to attend classes and felt it was really helping him. We discussed that there was likely enough interest in the Pinehurst area and introduced the concept to John Caliri (director of FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness) who was very supportive of adding this service.” After Caliri researched the program, he brought Randy Ballard, coordinator of the Lifestyle Enhancement Center at FirstHealth Fitness-Pinehurst, on board. Ballard, a personal trainer for more than 30 years, is also a martial arts participant and instructor. Ballard and his colleague, Brittany Sayers, went to Indianapolis for training to become certified Rock Steady instructors. CONTINUED PAGE 34

AUGUST 2017 | 33


“Rock Steady Boxing is a high-intensity exercise for an exercise population more likely to be steered toward low-intensity activities,” Ballard says. “Unlike traditional boxing, there is no contact, no sparring and no hitting. However, like with traditional boxing rounds, there are intensive periods of work and then rest as the participant engages in traditional boxing moves aimed at boxing equipment instead of a human opponent.” Rock Steady is a change from how personal trainers were initially taught to utilize low-intensity programs to handle patients with Parkinson’s for fear that they might fall. That kind of workout, like using a recumbent bicycle, would indeed raise a person’s heart rate but did not do much to counter Parkinson’s because it lacked a challenge with balance to the brain. “When you think about what your brain has to do when hitting mitts or a bag,” Ballard says, “there is a lot of thought process in there.” While there is scientific backing as to why a program like Rock Steady Boxing works, the proof also lies in the measurable progress of its participants. “For instance, Sweets,” says Ballard, pointing out one the boxing students, “often gets stuck or freezes when he is trying to walk. When he started the program in May, he used to freeze about 25 times per session, but now, he is down to only eight times, and I can use some of the tricks to get him unstuck.” Rock Steady Boxing employs a variety of exercises important for Parkinson’s patients. Each hour-long class follows a standard format of warm-up, flexibility and balance work in the form of exercises with TRX bands, boxing and a cool down with stretching. When new students begin the program, they tend to have short movements, typical of Parkinson’s. But a common refrain from Ballard and Sayers is, “Reach out.” “Boxing forces you to be long in your reach,” Ballard says, “which forces you to have better balance.” The Rock Steady Boxing program has grown from one class in one state to classes nationwide and even some international locations. To find a class, visit . If traveling, call ahead, and join a class to keep your workout regimen intact.



SPARTC 318 Fields Drive | Aberdeen, NC 28315 910-420-0772

Rock Steady Boxing Durham 1725 Carpenter Fletcher Road, Ste. 302 Durham, NC 27713 919-864-2096



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FirstHealth Rock Steady Boxing 170 Memorial Drive | Pinehurst, NC 28374 910-715-1839

Dr. Ward seconds this concept, agreeing that programs, like Rock Steady or LSVT-BIG, force patients to fully extend their movements. “By doing this, the person begins to learn what normal movements feel like and pay attention to these actions in the future outside of the exercise program,” Dr. Ward explains. “Practicing new motor skills over time strengthens connections in the brain and creates new connections and pathways in the brain that help the patient compensate for areas of impairment, almost like rewiring your brain, which researchers define as ‘activity-dependent neuroplasticity.”’ Rock Steady not only helps participants rewire their brains but also makes them use their brains while exercising. They have to time their hits, or bob and weave when using various punching bags. They listen to instructions and then coordinate the right punches with their foot movements as well. “Learning and practicing complex movements that are new to the patient trigger new communication between brain cells,” Dr. Ward, says. “This is different than doing the same exercise every week for years or simple weightlifting. The complexity of the movements is what creates the connections and pathways in the brain.” As Ballard and Sayers see the positive effects of the Rock Steady program, its participants feel them. Jim Collins, aka Sweets, feels much less fatigue since

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beginning the program. “I don’t get as tired,” Collins says. “I’m walking better, seeing better and hitting better.” Watts Auman of West End, aka Boom Boom, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago at the age of 72. Auman was attending another Rock Steady program in Cary twice per week before joining the FirstHealth program, making it a closer drive for him and his friend, Ruth Bondurant. “Watts has so much more energy now,” Bondurant says. “Emotionally, he feels better, and he loves the program. It has definitely made him more agile and improved his balance.” “Reb used to always walk with a cane,” adds Ballard, referencing another participant. “Now he carries his cane but doesn’t use it. It is there for reassurance.” Rock Steady Boxing is changing this group’s quality of life. Watch a group of Rock Steady boxers for a few minutes and the joy and camaraderie they are finding in the program is apparent and looms larger than the struggles of the Parkinson’s while they are together in the gym. Their eyes light up with each punch, letting out their stress and frustrations and fighting back for life. For those interested in what a boxing program can do for them, Ballard encourages, “Come try the class. It’s a lot of fun.” As the boxing sessions conclude, the group comes together and cheers in unison, “I am Rock Steady!”

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Ways to Stay

8Social by Rachel Stewart


hit chat. Dishing gossip. Catching up. Having a good cry. Writing a quick note. All of these are examples of communicating with loved ones—but did you know that socializing, whether face-to-face, on the phone or virtually could improve or protect your health? Recent studies show people who socialize more live longer—and may also have better cognitive ability and immunity than those who turn down social invites or keep to themselves. Need some ideas on how to expand your social circle?


Head to your local senior center.

Senior centers are a wonderful resource for those needing to add extra routine to their lives after retirement or wanting to meet and mingle with others their age. Many centers offer a variety of activities, such as exercise classes, arts and crafts, or planned vacations. To find a center near you, visit and scroll down to the “Aging and Adult Services” tab. CONTINUED PAGE 38

AUGUST 2017 | 37



Plan an ongoing coffee or breakfast date with others.

Having a standing date on the calendar not only gives you something to anticipate, it keeps you accountable. Whether you pick a favorite brunch spot or a coffee shop for a quick cup of joe and chat, try to schedule a bi-monthly or monthly time to catch up. If you prefer to mix things up, try picking a theme each time or reason to celebrate, be it someone’s birthday, retirement or other accomplishment near and dear to your heart.


Make your own dinner club, or take a cooking class with friends. Are you more of a hands-on type of person? Or maybe you’re wanting to expand your cooking skills? Hosting a dinner at your home or signing up for a monthly cooking class with friends are both great options. If you’re serving at your house, come up with the main entrée and ask that others bring sides, desserts or wine to accompany the meal. If attending the class, pick something that will stretch your current skill set, such as French techniques or sushi making. You can tailor the experience to your social circle, too—keeping it small and intimate or having a great time with a large group of friends.

38 | AUGUST 2017


Map out a day trip or short vacation with loved ones.

While retirement lends itself to long, extended trips, sometimes playing tourist in a nearby town is just right for you and your friends—and fits the budget. Plan a day out to a museum or park—and pack a picnic, or find a fun spot for a late lunch, so you’re back in time for a good night’s sleep in your own bed. Wanting to book an overnight excursion? Check out sites like Airbnb, which offer offthe-beaten path rentals, including a secure, private room or a whole home. Airbnb hosts typically offer an inside angle on the local places not to be missed or may provide other amenities, including home-cooked meals or experiences, such as teaching a craft or skill.


Master one type of social media.

Between calls, emails, texts, Facebook statuses, tweets or even Snapchats, you may feel overwhelmed by all the ways you can virtually connect with your friends and family online. Pick one social media platform, and use it for your main form of virtual communication. Once you’ve picked the best way, be sure to brush up on how to keep your information safe. Select a password that’s made up of a mixture of letters and numbers so you’re less likely to be hacked, and revisit your privacy settings on your profile so only your friends list or followers have access to your updates. CONTINUED PAGE 40 AUGUST 2017 | 39



Pick a pen pal.

Love getting cards or letters in the mail? Then finding a pen pal may be a great way to stay in the loop. It could be a relative, old friend with whom youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve lost touch, grandchild or a new friend you found through an organization like No matter who you pick to be your pen pal, the act of writing your feelings can help relieve feelings of sadness and loneliness. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to write your note, pick out pretty stationary or fun postcards, or buy a new pen for the occasion. If you want to make it extra special, pick out special stamps at your local post office or get a roll of address labels to save time when addressing the envelope. Include stickers, pictures, recipes or other mementos to make the letter more meaningful. Your pen pal will be sure to send you something wonderful back, too!

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Give your time.

Volunteering for a cause that means something to you not only helps you feel better about your community, it connects you to like minded individuals. Try extending your volunteer time by serving food at your local senior center or signing up for similar activities, such as participating in a community garden, building project, charity walk or food drive.


Explore—and build—your faith.

Worship can be a joyful time and a way to reconnect and share your heart with others and make new friends. Find a church or other house of worship near you and consider the ways it can enrich your life. If getting up early doesn’t appeal to you, attend an evening service or opt for a small Bible study group instead of the traditional Sunday morning celebrations. Or, if you prefer to watch your favorite church services from home, invite a few people over to reflect and pray with you.


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The POWER of PAWS by David Hibbard Photography by Mollie Tobias


ver since dogs were domesticated some 33,000 years ago, according to a study by Swedish scientist Peter Savolainen in 2015, there’s been a special relationship between humans and our four-legged friends. And in some cases, extradordinary dogs like Scout, a therapy dog, and Cricket, a service dog, help people facing life’s greatest challenges. Scout probably shouldn’t be alive today. The Sawyer family was setting up to enjoy an evening in their West End back yard in October 2011 when things went terribly wrong. Attracted by something in the fields across the road from the house, Scout, a chow-retriever mix who was 4 years old at the time, went running ... straight into the path of a passing car. The driver never stopped, even after hitting Scout at full speed and sending her flying. Amy Sawyer and the rest of her family, distraught and in shock at what had just happened, gathered up Scout’s mangled body and headed for the emergency veterinary hospital in Vass. Somehow, Scout had lived through the impact, although it didn’t seem possible she could survive the littany of injuries it had inflicted on her: a crushed pelvis, head trauma, catastrophic damage to her legs and lung wounds that required a breathing tube to keep the dog alive. As it turns out, those physical injuries were no match for Scout’s spirit. Defying the odds, Scout battled through numerous surgeries and grueling rehabilitation to not only survive, but thrive, through it all to now be considered a senior dog at 10. “It was a long year out of our life,” says Sawyer of Scout’s long road back to health. “But I always knew she was special, from the very first moment.”

Building Trust, Unlocking Doors Even before the accident that gravely injured Scout, Sawyer believed the dog had a special gift to connect with people. It was immediately apparent when she and her husband adopted Scout in 2007 that the puppy had a calm, gentle demeanor. By the time Scout was a year old, Sawyer had taken her for therapy dog certification, and soon, the pair was working with diverse groups of people, everyone from people with Alzheimer’s to children in schools. CONTINUED PAGE 44

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“Scout has a very calming, wonderful demeanor,” Sawyer says. “She has this face and aura that make people want to go to her and be with her. It makes it a lot easier to make a connection, so to speak.” The people Scout touches run the gamut from an autistic child to a senior adult whose memories of the past are fading and fleeting. Sawyer has seen Scout work her magic time and again with people of all ages. Her latest adventure had her greeting residents at Elmcroft of Southern Pines. At the Southern Pines memory café, a monthly program offered by AOS & Friends Care for people and families facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other brain disorders, Scout sometimes makes the past come to life. “Being able to visit with Scout brings back memories of their own dogs and pets,” Sawyer says. “We take the time to visit with each person one-on-one, let them pet Scout and then start to ask them questions about their own life. Scout sparks something in their memory, and it’s so gratifying to see them light up as they talk about their lives.” 44 | AUGUST 2017

Recently, Sawyer and Scout began visiting a school where one young girl on the autism spectrum was petrified of the dog. “At first, she was inconsolable around animals,” Sawyer says. “But Scout just has this way of putting people at ease, and now she lies all over Scout when we visit. Because of Scout, this child’s family is considering getting a pet. They are able to take her to parks now and do so many things they couldn’t consider doing before.” Since Scout’s accident, her harrowing story and heroic recovery have just added to her mystique, Sawyer notes. “The story is inspiring. People of all ages get it. I think it makes her connection with people even stronger when they learn what she went through.”

Service Dogs for Those Who Have Served Readjusting to civilian life can be a monumental challenge for our nation’s military veterans who have suffered the physical, mental and emotional scars that come with combat.

For Suzy Lutz of Aberdeen, helping veterans make that transition successfully was the primary driver of her decision to establish Continuing the Mission. The organization—whose board members and support staff are all volunteers—pairs veterans in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a specially-trained service dog, like Cricket, a one-year-old Labrador retriever in training to be a service dog. Lutz and her husband, Robert, who retired from the military earlier this year, both recognized the important benefits dogs can bring to veterans. “I think we saw the power of healing a dog can provide,” Lutz says. The organization just placed its first dog with a veteran in March, and has two other adult dogs it hopes to place soon. Before a dog can even be considered for training, it is screened for temperament and goes through genetic testing to ensure its health. Continuing the Mission partners with Rutherford Correctional Institution in Spindale to train dogs, as inmates lead the animals through an eight-week course that culminates with dogs earning American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Certification. The organization also works with Project 2 Heal, a Charlotte-based group that provides labrador retrievers for service dog work. After they complete training, dogs generally spend another year or two with a foster family to acclimate them to living in a home setting. Veterans who receive a service dog are taught how to care for them, which has an important goal beyond making sure the dogs are treated well. “By taking care of their service dog, veterans can focus their attention on something besides themselves,” Lutz says. CONTINUED PAGE 46

AUGUST 2017 | 45


A careful screening process ensures dogs go to veterans who want to use them to be active socially, making trips to the store, attending church and other activities that engage the veteran and their dog with day-to-day living. While the dogs are trained to do certain tasks, such as turning lights on or bringing things to the veteran, Lutz says it’s really more about the relationship that grows between the pair. “The dog can help the veteran interrupt a period of anxiety by doing little things,” Lutz says. “For instance, standing in a crowded line at the grocery store can cause stress for veterans dealing with PTSD. By creating a buffer, a little physical space to operate in, the dog helps the veteran feel more at ease in a crowded area. The veteran knows that his dog is there, and that alone can provide tremendous comfort.” For more information about Scout making a therapy dog visit, email Amy Sawyer at , or to learn about Continuing the Mission’s requirements to apply for a service dog, visit .

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While pets can bring great joy and satisfaction to their owners, they also require a level of care that isn’t realistic to expect of aging adults living with dementia. Thanks to a toy company and a story in the New York Times last fall, John Barrett, co-founder of AOS & Friends Care, a Moore County based nonprofit dedicated to helping families coping with dementia, had an idea. Barrett read about a program at two elder care facilities in New York that provided Hasbro’s Joy For All companion pets for use by their residents. The companion pets are life-like dogs and cats that look, sound and act like real animals. Powered by regular household batteries, the companion pets respond to voice commands and to other stimuli. For instance, petting the cat’s head will cause it to purr, while talking to the dog will make him turn to look and give a quick bark. The “animals” often bring back memories of pets to the residents, and many residents care for them as if they were real. Barrett presented a plan to the AOS&FC board to bring companion pets to the Moore County community. One part of the plan involves allowing individuals who might benefit from them to apply. The second part of the idea is a pilot program to provide a cat and dog companion pet to two area elder care facilities. So far, Fox Hollow Senior Living and Pinehurst Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center have received the companion pets, which are making a positive impact for their residents. For information or to apply for a robo companion pet, visit,

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round 2:30 in the afternoon on the fourth Wednesday of the month, Thyme & Place Café in Southern Pines provides its space for a different type of meeting. A glass case of delectable desserts, displaying everything from mini key lime parfaits to peanut butter pie, awaits guests arriving mostly two by two. On the surface, it looks like a gathering of patrons for a late lunch or sweet treat, as cups of coffee and glasses of iced tea are poured. However, these meetings were months in the making and a step toward creating a more dementia friendly community.

AOS & Friends Care, a Moore County-based nonprofit dedicated to providing community support to older adults coping with the challenges of aging and dementia, organized its first meeting of this memory café in March. Their goal is to offer an inviting place for those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment, and a family member or friend. “The memory café concept provides a valuable social opportunity for those with dementia and a loved one,” says Amy Natt, president of AOS & Friends Care and an Aging Life Care Professional™. “A husband and wife can come by the café and socialize with other couples who are sharing a similar journey.” Originating in the Netherlands, the memory café idea is the work of psychiatrist Dr. Bere Miesen, now 20 years in the making, to remove

the stigma that all too often creates isolation for those diagnosed with dementia and their family. “The memory café concept is a much needed one,” says Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP, a clinical neuropsychologist and owner of Pinehurst Neuropsychology Brain & Memory Clinic. “There is a body of research suggesting that individuals with dementia and their caregivers are at risk for social isolation and disabling feelings of loneliness.” A recent study showed that more than half of the participants living with dementia stated that others avoid spending time with them, and more than 40 percent also found invitations to social events decreased, notes Dr. Sullivan. Other findings indicate that one in four people hide their dementia diagnosis in the early stages due to stigma, which has the adverse effect of increasing anxiety.

Memory Cafés Brew Coffee, Conversation & Compassion

by Carrie Frye Photography by Mollie Tobias 48 | AUGUST 2017

“The objective of memory cafés is to counter this stigma,” Dr. Sullivan adds, “by providing a safe and welcoming meeting place that helps those living with dementia remain a part of the community.” Across North Carolina, memory café programs are on the rise to meet this community need. From the mountains to the Outer Banks, churches, civic groups and community centers are moving forward to provide further opportunities and support. The Orange County Department on Aging offers two memory cafés, holding sessions in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough at its Seymour and Passmore senior centers. Grant funding makes these programs possible for facilitator Kim LamonLoperfido, a licensed social worker and Alzheimer’s Foundation of America certified dementia care partner with Orange County, who helped launch the program in April 2016. “We typically offer two activities at our memory cafés, a passive activity, which is mostly in the form of musicians playing, and an active activity,” she says. “We have done note card conversation starters, yoga, meditation, and one of our most popular was a weaving demonstration. We also do a memory café on the move and meet at local, dementia friendly businesses, like the Nasher Museum of Art (Durham), Honeysuckle Tea House (Chapell Hill) and Maple View Farm (Hillsborough). Most attendees come and really enjoy the experience.” Musicians associated with the North Carolina Songwriters Co-op perform regularly at the Orange County cafés. “Danny Boy” is a crowd-pleasing favorite song, notes Lamon-Loperfido. “Music is one of my favorite programs,” she says. “Folks just light up and start singing along, and then the whole room is singing, and it’s just beautiful. The musicians say how much they appreciate being a part of the cafés, how positive it is for them, so it’s powerful and reciprocal.” In Durham, the Levin Jewish Community Center hosts its memory café on the first Thursday of each month from 10 a.m.-noon. CONTINUED PAGE 50

AUGUST 2017 | 49


Facilitators divide the two-hour session into three segments to add more structure to the meeting while still providing time for an open dialogue. Their memory café includes introductions, a few moments of chair exercise, open discussion of a specific topic, like summer reading, and a hands-on activity. “This program provides families with a unique opportunity for social interaction in a supportive environment,” says Shira Bar-On, a licensed clinical social worker with Jewish Family Services. “We see great significance in helping people connect with accessible, long-term memories that are often an important part of their identity, and having a space where they don’t have to be self-conscious is an added benefit.” Part of the July meeting in Durham included watching movie clips, which spurred conversations across the room among the participants. Monthly memory café programs are also available in the Triangle at Raleigh’s Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Cary Senior Center, where the monthly meetings include dinner and musical entertainment. In Southern Pines, guest speakers and visits with therapy dogs and their handlers have been a part of the initial programming as this Sandhills memory café location continues to grow. “When you look around the room and see so many smiles, so much fellowship, people are making new friendships and deepening others, it’s a great feeling,” Dr. Sullivan says. “Some people and families may not feel they are quite ready to attend a support group, so the idea of a casual, social gathering can be more appealing. “At the memory café, individuals with dementia feel welcomed and respected, which can improve their overall physical, mental and cognitive health. It also offers caregivers a break from their normal routine, a place to relax with an iced tea, spend some time with one of the therapy dogs and receive a bit of respite.” 50 | AUGUST 2017

Area Memory Cafés To locate more memory cafés throughout North Carolina or nationwide, visit .


Cary Senior Center 120 Maury Odell Place | Cary, NC 27513 4:30-6 p.m., Third Tuesday of each month 919-233-0075 |


OC Cares Memory Café | Seymour Center 2551 Homestead Rd | Chapel Hill, NC 27516 1:30 – 3:30 PM, Second Monday of each month 919-245-4253 |


Levin Jewish Community Center 1937 West Cornwallis Road | Durham, NC 27705 10:00 AM – Noon, First Thursday of each month 919-354-4923


OC Cares Memory Café | Passmore Center 103 Meadowlands Dr | Hillsborough, NC 27278 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Third Monday of each month 919-245-4253 |


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 7000 Creedmoor Rd. | Raleigh, NC 27613 4-6 p.m., Second Monday of each month 919-846-7650 | 919.848.1573 |


AOS & Friends Care Memory Café Thyme & Place Café | 155 Hall Ave | Southern Pines, NC 28387 2:30-4 p.m. , Fourth Wednesday of each month 910-585-6757 | For more information on becoming a part of Dementia Friendly America, visit

Susan Miller of Jackson Springs attended the AOS&FC memory café in Southern Pines for the first time with her mother in June. Coping with the progression of her mother’s mixed dementia (vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease), is a balancing act she maintains with working full-time and raising two teenage sons. “I wasn’t sure what to expect for the first visit,” Miller says. “My mom is a very social person, so I thought she would enjoy it. Taking her out can be difficult, because it’s hard to have a conversation with others, and I can get frustrated with her behavior. So the most valuable part of the memory café is that it provides a change of scenery with new people to interact with who understand her behavior and repeating things, and I don’t have to explain.” Miller is not alone in her feelings. Participants in Durham echoed their enjoyment of the memory café programs, the ability to reminisce, have conversations and find support in their peers encountering some of the same struggles. The ability to start a memory café in your local community can be a matter of organizing a meeting space. “One of our biggest successes in Orange County is working with dementia friendly businesses, allowing them to put what they what learned into action by

becoming part of a memory café,” Lamon-Loperfido says. “Creating this space for those with dementia and their families is so important and lets them know they are still a part of the community.” With an aging population, the need and number of memory cafés is on the rise. “I believe it our personal and social responsibility to improve the quality of life for those living with all forms of cognitive impairment, including dementia, in any way that we can,” Dr. Sullivan says. “People’s experience of dementia not only arises from biological symptoms but also from social factors, particularly stigma. While chemists and microbiologists are busy working on finding a cure, non-biological aspects of dementia, like stigma, can be alleviated through programs like memory cafés. There is no good reason for people in this day and age living with dementia to be lonely on top of everything else. “The launching of the memory café in Southern Pines is a significant step in Moore County becoming dementia friendly, which means that everyone in the community makes an effort to help those coping with dementia and those who care for them remain vitally involved in life. It is a genuine privilege to be a part of something so meaningful.”

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Carolina Conversations with


by Carrie Frye Photography by Diana Matthews


arolina Beach Music Hall of Famer disc jockey Charlie Brown is still playing those oldies but goodies on his weekly syndicated radio program, “On the Beach with Charlie Brown.” Airing on more than 40 stations mostly across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, the show has claimed the Carolina Beach Music Favorite Syndicated Show award every year since 2007. It is what Brown deems as “appointment radio,” since affiliated stations determine their own programming schedules. Ed Weiss, aka Charlie Brown, earned his on-air personality name back at one of his first radio gigs in 1961, aptly named after that famous Coasters’ song. The name stuck and has been his alter ego ever since. With a storied radio career, Brown is one of the WKIX Men of Music, working at the Raleigh-based station in its heyday from 1964-1970. From there, he went on to produce some of the first beach music albums with Atlantic Records. Although rumored that he’s retired, in addition to “On the Beach,” we caught up with Brown in the studio and on the air at WHUP 104.7 in Hillsborough, where he hosts a weekly show on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. CONTINUED PAGE 54 AUGUST 2017 | 53


ONC: Where did you grow up, and how did you grow to have a love for radio?

CB: (Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman” plays in the background.) Growing up in Norfolk, Virginia, I have no idea how I ended up in radio. I just loved listening to it. I couldn’t sing or play anything. I used to call in and win morning quiz prizes on the local radio station. When I was 13, for my bar mitzvah, I got one of those big tape recorders, and I worked part-time at a record store in downtown Norfolk. In my junior year, I got asked to be on a radio show called “Teen Time” on the big Top 40 radio station. Since I had worked at the record shop, I was able to get tickets to the shows for the front row and knew the guy running it, so I would take my tape recorder and interview all of these people backstage, and then I would play the interviews back on the radio. I still have those tapes. I have been in North Carolina since 1959, when I came to Chapel Hill for college. I managed to get out of school in Chapel Hill somehow with my degree in economics. I worked part-time at a radio station, and then my first job was at a R&B radio station in Charlotte. The radio station I grew up listening to in Norfolk was a R&B station, 850 AM, so 850 was already on the dial when we came into North Carolina, and, ironically, it was WKIX. Unfortunately, it was a directional station, so I couldn’t pick up the signal at night, but I could in the daytime. 54 | AUGUST 2017

What’s your affection for beach music, and how did it develop?

(Stick McGee’s “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” plays.) When I came to Chapel Hill, I had no idea what beach music was. There were guys in the dorm I would see dancing and holding the doorknob. Beach music is really rhythm and blues music, which is what I grew up listening to in Norfolk on WRAP 850, and I love that music. I got the chance to meet some of the artists like Jerry Butler and Dee Clark. And then when I got down here, I found out there was a dance called the shag and beach music. I wasn’t a cool guy in college, but I joined a fraternity, and we had a jukebox downstairs. I found out white socks weren’t cool in college; you didn’t wear socks. Someone asked me what the future of beach music is, and I very unprophetically said, “I don’t know, because I don’t know how there can be new music when beach music is really oldies.” What actually did happen was that beach music grew. All this R&B became beach music, like “Myrtle Beach Days” by The Fantastic Shakers, “Summertime is Calling Me” by The Catalinas and “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers, although that was later on. That’s what I liked. Most of the songs were on Atlantic, and these were the first compilation albums of beach music that I was a part of making. Since you’ve compiled a Top 40 of beach music, what are some of your all-time favorites?

(The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk plays.) I like some of the more recent stuff from the late 1960s. I love “Sixty Minute Man,” and that’s the No. 1. When we first started the Top 40, I decided I had to maybe make some people mad, so the first time we did the Top 40, we had “Carolina Girls” as the No. 1 beach music song. We did it for two reasons, because I really like General Johnson, and he was nice enough to let us use his song as the theme song for the show, and we kept “Sixty Minute Man” at No. 2. When we re-did the countdown, “Carolina Girls” dropped to No. 3.

I like everything The Drifters do. Jerry Butler is a friend and one of my favorite artists, so I really like “Cooling Out.” I grew up with The Embers, and every time I did a show in Raleigh, The Embers opened, even for The Rolling Stones. I am not a dancer, and dancers tend to have more favorite songs, but I just enjoy listening to all of it. The interesting thing about “On the Beach” is that I don’t actually hear the music. I do my talk and slide the music over. I do put it on a CD afterward, and while I am am on my recumbent bike, I listen to the show. So I hear the music anyway, and then I give the CDs of the show to UNC Coach (Sylvia) Hatchell. She’s a big beach music fan, and I am a huge Carolina women’s basketball fan. What do you hope your listeners leave with after your show?

(LaVern Baker’s “Tweedle Dee” plays.) I hope that listeners just enjoy listening to the show each week. What’s amazing to me is that they can listen to anything they want to. Yet, when I go to a beach music event, I will have people come and thank me for keeping the music alive. It is appointment listening, since the show is not streaming, so listeners have to know when and what station it is on. It’s good for

Across the region, listeners can tune into “On the Beach with Charlie Brown” on Asheboro’s WZOO 99.9, Raleigh’s WPTK 850 AM, Rockingham’s WLWL 770 AM or Sanford’s WFJA 105.5. For a complete station list, visit .

my ego, and that’s why I keep doing it (laughs). I know it’s appreciated. I’m just amazed, but I am really appreciative, because I don’t know what else I would do. There’s a couple here in Hillsborough who listens to this (WHUP) show faithfully, so I always dedicate a song to them. CONTINUED PAGE 56

AUGUST 2017 | 55

radio stations he has to actually mail CDs to each week. The biggest success is that we have a sponsor in Hayes Jewelers in Lexington, and we’ve recorded more than 730 shows. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t do that show. We are on more than beach music stations, we are on some Top 40 and country music stations. We win the syndicated show award every year, because we have the most stations and the best show. How does that compare to your early radio days?

Tune in to Charlie Brown on WHUP 104.7 FM on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. or listen on www. .


What appealed to you about adding the WHUP radio show to your repertoire?

(The Robins’ Smokey Joe’s Café plays.) I love it, because nobody tells me what to play or what to say, and I do what I want to do. It streams live and archives the shows, and most people listen to the archive. I do this, because it is therapy for me. A few weeks back, I had Doug Limerick, who was with ABC News and has subbed for Paul Harvey before on the show with me, so that was fun. At this point in my life, this is fun for me. On Tuesdays at 1 o’clock, I make enough mistakes on this live show, but because it’s live radio, people actually enjoy that part (laughs). It’s one of Charlie Brown’s strengths. If there were no mistakes, they would know I recorded it. The only thing I don’t like is playing slow songs. How do you go about recording “On the Beach” each week?

In the beginning, I would introduce the song and then my partner would put it all together. Then in 2005, I set up a studio in my house, got the microphone and speakers, and since then, I have been doing the show from my house. I send him a complete show, and he puts in the commercials, and then there are still some 56 | AUGUST 2017

Back in the 1960s, I called a fraternity brother who was at WKIX in Raleigh, and he was able to get me an interview, and I got a chance. A month after I was there, the Beatles came on. I was on the air from noon to 2 and again from 7 to midnight. I don’t know what I did in between. I was getting more mail at the radio station than the show that came on after me. My career in advertising sales took off, and I lost interest in working at night. I was still Charlie Brown and did it by the seat of my pants. The neat thing is that I ended up managing the radio station. Any upcoming beach music events you are taking part in?

Yes, The Embers will be here in Hillsborough for the Hillsborough Arts Council Last Friday concert series on Aug. 25, and I will be there to bring them on the stage. And then, I am always at the Carolina Beach Music Awards, which this year is Nov. 8-12 in North Myrtle Beach. Do you have any goals for your Second 50?

The thing is that my wife Sue and I have never not done anything we wanted to do. We’ve always traveled. We’ve been married for 45 years, so I don’t really have a bucket list. We have three great-grandchildren. I hate to drive and don’t like to ride, so I don’t get to see them enough. So Sue decided that she is going to take our great-grandchildren on trips. That’s the kind of stuff I enjoy. We have taken our youngest great-grandaughter to see Broadway shows. I want to spend more time with them and be more connected to them. When our greatgranddaughter Natalie comes, she will usually record some promos for “On the Beach” with me. Is there something about North Carolina that resonates for you or stands out?

I just love North Carolina, because Sue is here with me.


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Honoring World War II veterans Series «»

Margaret covington

by Jonathan Scott Photography by Katherine Clark


n unpressurized DC3 transport plane touched down in Hawaii carrying Cmrd. Margaret Covington and nearly a hundred wounded soldiers. This young, attractive woman from Richmond County, North Carolina, had never been in a plane before she enlisted in the United States Army to fight in the Second World War. The first time she flew, she embarrassed herself by becoming air sick. Now, she could barely remember a time when she didn’t fly on an almost daily basis. Taking soldiers off the plane from their temporary bunks, which were stacked like tight shelves, was one of the least stressful part of her duties. This was despite seeing them so severely wounded and in such distress. Tragically, she was experienced enough as a nurse to know at a glance that some would be losing a limb. Some, she struggled not to imagine, might not leave the army hospital alive. CONTINUED PAGE 60

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Standing solidly on the tarmac, loading the wounded on gurneys, Covington was still feeling uneasy. They had been under fire when they retrieved this load of soldiers from the battlefield. The enemy likely could tell who they were. The Japanese soldiers knew that those inside the DC3 were not a threat to them but only there to sort through the fallen to find survivors. However, that didn’t mean in a single moment a nurse, like Covington, couldn’t become one of the wounded herself, or become one of those who would never return home. Still, in spite of the risk, that wasn’t even the most difficult part of Covington’s duties. She had been trained to assist doctors, to provide medical care and to comfort the sick. She had not been trained to make split second decisions that would involve life and death for young men on the battlefield in the Pacific Theater. There were times when she was forced to look into the eyes of a solider, maybe not even out of his teens, and realize there was nothing medical care could do for him. Those eyes, of which there were far too many for her heart to contain, would haunt Covington the rest of her life. Personnel from the Tripler Army Medical Center arrived to provide whatever services they could as the wounded were brought into the large, coral pink facility that, since the attack on Pearl Harbor, had mushroomed from a 450-bed facility into a 2,000-bed hospital. As a commander, Covington had to account for the nurses who worked under her, as well as complete the paperwork, which detailed every aspect of her recent mission, as well as the name and serial numbers of the recently wounded. Covington knew from her medical training that coffee wasn’t the best thing to calm her nerves, but she wanted a cup anyway. She made her way to the cafeteria and was about to join the line when the man in front of her made way, saying, “Please go ahead. You look like you need coffee more than I do.” “Thank you,” she said, mustering a smile. “Tough day?” “No more than usual,” she said, thinking that was more true than she would like. He extended his hand to her, smiled and said, “Dr. Ernie Blair. Margaret Covington. Do you work here at the hospital? I see you’re a nurse, Commander. As only a captain, I should have saluted you. I’d make it up to you. May I buy your coffee?” The two became a couple. There were stolen moments

on breaks, dinners together and even walks along lanes shaded by Hawaiian palm trees, where the sounds of gunfire and the eyes of the wounded faded into the colors of the sunset. Covington’s best friend, Geri Haoupe, ran across the couple on one of these walks. She happened to have a camera with her. “Please, Margaret,” she begged. “Let me get a picture you two.” “Oh, no, I look a mess,” Covington said. “Nonsense,” Dr. Blair said. “You look beautiful as usual.” They posed for the camera. “I’d like a copy,” Blair said. “Meet us for breakfast tomorrow in the cafeteria at 7 a.m., and I’ll give you my address.” But Dr. Blair wasn’t in the cafeteria at 7 the next morning. By 7:30 a.m., Covington knew something was wrong. “Dr. Blair was shipped out in the middle of the night, Commander,” she was told. “You know very well I’m not able to tell you where.” Covington never saw Ernie Blair again. It was decades later, after a distinguished career as a nurse, both in the military and in civilian life, when Covington showed a copy of the photograph to her friend, Linda. “Oooh,” said Linda. “What a handsome fella.” Covington smiled at this. It was a smile full of the bitter complexities of life. “War was no time for love,” she said. Covington, 98, now resides at Scotia Village in Laurinburg. She never married. AUGUST 2017 | 61

GREY MATTER See Grey Matter Puzzle Answers on Page 64

Appreciation Atlases Blend Chooses Confirm Dependent

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Excess Grabbed Experimenting Growl False Hears Folks Hilly Frail Major Goats Month

28. Star on keyboard 33. Airy 34. Some Olympians, nowadays 35. Guy Fawkes Day mo. 36. Cabal 37. “Much ___ About Nothing” 38. Havana’s home 39. Biochemistry abbr. 40. Sean Connery, for one 41. A Swiss army knife has lots of them 42. Lighter, brighter shade of vibrant color 45. People disliking something 47. “___ we having fun yet?” 48. Air bag? 49. Great flood of water 52. Lifting device 56. End of the quip 58. Length x width, for a rectangle 59. Cheer starter 60. Noted blind mathematician 61. Blab 62. “Ah, me!” 63. Destitute 64. Fill

ACROSS 1. “Hamlet” has five 5. Heirloom location 10. Washington locale, with “the”


14. Farm soil 15. Hindu deity 16. ___ vera 17. Creole vegetable 18. Property of being chosen | AUGUST 2017

20. Souvenir shop item 22. “I swear!” 23. Cheat, slangily 24. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 25. The _____ Union

DOWN 1. Bunches 2. Furnace fuel 3. Container weight 4. Crushing 5. Back up

Natives North Oasis Particularly Party Perfume Radar Rafts Rails Retiring Robin Ropes Sails Smelt Stars Start Steep Summit Timid Toast Transfer Tyres Wrote Yawns

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AUGUST 2017 | 63



A Caregiver’s Circle of Friends by Mike Collins


ifteen minutes after I started writing this column, my best friend called. He lives in Los Angeles and we talk, on average, four or five times a week. In some of the most challenging times of our lives, we’ve supported each other. Simply hearing each other’s voices and laughter, being able to complain about “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” and sharing our victories makes our lives richer and more joyful. It’s a long-known and increasingly proven fact that social interaction, especially with people we consider friends—especially good friends—helps us become and stay healthier, and live longer. Social isolation, the bane of caregiving, leads to cognitive decline and a range of other mental and physical deteriorations. But, here’s a reality: if you want to find out who your true friends are, become a caregiver. So many caregivers are amazed that people with whom they’ve shared some of the most significant times of their lives fade away when caregiving rears its head. High school and college experiences, weddings, children, professional successes and failures, substance abuse challenges; none of these can have the chilling effect on a friendship as the responsibilities of caregiving.



64 | AUGUST 2017

Why would friends start distancing themselves at a time when being a friend could mean so much? There are four basic reasons: • First, they simply do not know what to say or do. If some of your friends have not been caregivers, they are often at a loss. They envision you being busy 24 hours a day (not an unrealistic thought) and don’t want to intrude. • Next, they don’t want to see/hear/smell/touch the reality of caregiving, because they know that, one day, they will be caregivers. We all have ideas about future life experiences that probably won’t be positive. Some people spend time preparing for those eventualities, while others have an “I’ll deal with it when I have to deal with it” mentality. Neither way is right or wrong, and everyone has their own way. • Third, their own reality is so challenging, they can not take on more stress. The best thing to do with these folks is wish them the best and try to reach out when one or the other of you reaches a plateau of respite. • Finally, they were superficial friends in the first place. We all have friends who are good folks, fun to be around and can be helpful in circumstances that



are not too trying but will cut and run at the first sign of a real challenge. Again, this is neither good or bad in the grand scheme of things; it’s simple reality. If you have friends who are caregivers or, if you are a caregiver and want to maintain friendships during your experience, here are a few things to consider: • Here’s the big one for caregivers who want to keep friendships: Don’t spend all your time with your friends talking about how difficult it is being a caregiver. After a few minutes of your purge, many of your friends will switch off, and they won’t want to be around you in the future, because they know it will be same song, different tune. • If people ask, “What can I do?” tell them. Have a list of helpful chores or efforts and simply say, “Here are some things I need done, which would you be comfortable doing?” Making a meal, sitting with your friend’s loved one or running errands are all possible activities. • One of the best ways for caregivers to maintain friendships and support their own sanity is to have a ritual that gets them away from the one they are caring for—even if only or a short period of time—and into a different environment. Taking a regular walk with a friend, having coffee or playing golf, a weekly

or monthly dinner with friends can all be ways to stay in touch and involved. • Friends of caregivers need to move past the, “am I intruding?” mentality. A quick phone call, especially with a caring (and sometimes humorous) comment is usually welcome. • Keep inviting the caregiver to get together. Simply giving them the opportunity to say, “No,” shows them they are still wanted and needed. • As a friend, offer yourself in ways that allow you to share time with the caregiver. While together, don’t judge how they give care or are living life; caregiving is a different experience for everyone. Simply listen and ... be. The reality is that some friendships do not survive high school or college, moving to another city (or, down the street), divorce, or other life challenges. Caregiving, for many people, is the current life challenge. I am both proud and humbled by the fact that my relationship with my best friend not only weathered both of our caregiving experiences, it was made stronger because of them. Collins is the producer of the video, “Care for the Caregiver,” winner of a National Caregiver Friendly Award. For more caregiving tips, visit www. . ©2017 Mike Collins

AUGUST 2017 | 65


by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl

OutreachNC asked adults and children our August question. Share your answer on our Facebook page.

What’s your Bowling. —Imogene, 98 favorite game to play Bocce on the beach or in with friends? the back yard —George, 73 Rummikub. —Gloria, 70

Scrabble and Mexican Train dominoes. —Shelvey, 79 Shuffleboard. —Daisy, 86 Canasta. —Virginia, 79 Apples to Apples. —Laura, 58 Bridge. —Janet, 67 Golf. —Jerry, 74 Marbles. —Judy, 71 Mahjong. —B.B., 75

Snail Oil board game. —Patrick, 10 Laser Tag. —Palmer, 7 Freeze Dance. —Charlie, 6

Monopoly and UNO. —Virgie, 9 Looking for artists on museum trips. —Paula, 69 Taboo. —Shelly, 50 Horseshoes. —James, 59 Hide and seek.—Zander, 9 The card game Coup. —Nik, 9 Dead mummy on the trampoline. —Harrison, 7

Apples to Apples. —Stella, 10 Pie in the face. —Benjamin, 6 I like animal games, like when we’re galloping horses. —Isla, 7 I like painting pottery. —Hannah, 5 Speak Out. —Makenzie, 10 Pokémon, Transformers and Guardians of the Galaxy. —David, 7

The Allowance game. —Emily, 7

Playing cornhole in our back yard. —Paul, 66

Hide and seek, in-and-out game, or clear the desk, and I always win. —OutreachNC Co-editor Jeeves, 4

66 | AUGUST 2017

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OutreachNC Magazine August 2017  

Our Living Social issue featuring: Living Social: On the Court, In the Gym and Everywhere!, In This Corner, Hope: ‘Fighting Back Against Pa...

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