Park Rapids surgical practice goes MULTI-GENERATIONAL
By Robin Fish Park Rapids Enterprise
“It’s been good so far,” said Dr. Mark Smith, a 2008 graduate of Park Rapids Area High School and one of a father-son pair of surgeons practicing at Essentia Health-Park Rapids Clinic, with surgical privileges at CHI St. Joseph’s Health.
“Day to day, we’re not necessarily working directly with each other, but it’s certainly very helpful, starting out in a practice, having somebody that you trust to run things by and work with,” he said.
Dr. Daniel Smith has been doing general surgery with the clinic since 1989. The oldest of his five children, Mark was born a year later and now practices general surgery there as well.
“We’ve been working together now for just a few
months,” said Mark. “It’s interesting how medical training takes you away for a while. I’ve been gone almost 20 years, doing that. So we’re kind of just getting started in terms of working together.”
“Mark’s practice is gradually picking up steam pretty well,” said Daniel. “I’m happy to see that.”
He added that it’s fun to have his son to discuss cases with, not to mention having Mark’s two children (plus one on the way) living nearby.
Mark and his wife, Anna, a physician’s assistant, live near his parents on Mantrap Lake, as do one of his brothers, Scott, and his family.
Though Scott and another brother, Steve, didn’t follow their father into a medical career, their sisters did. Christina takes forensic nurs-
Top: Father and son surgeons Dr. Daniel Smith, at left, and Dr. Mark Smith practice general surgery with the Essentia Health-Park Rapids Clinic and CHI St. Joseph's Health, where advanced medical technology, such as this surgical robot, is improving patient outcomes. Right: Dr. Mark Smith controls the surgery robot from this console. Increasingly complex surgeries can now be done in a minimally invasive way, sending robotically controlled instruments through smaller incisions and allowing patients to heal faster.
ing calls in the Twin Cities while working part-time in a neuro-ICU at Abbott Northwestern and studying in the nurse practitioner program at St. Catherine University.
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Youngest sibling Julia is a cardiac device specialist with a company that does atrial fibrillation ablation (a heart procedure) with cardiologists and cardiac surgeons across Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.
As a family tradition, you might say it goes back to Daniel’s father, who was a dentist in the small town of Dowagiac, Mich. From that, Daniel said, he got his first “inkling” into medicine.
“Then,” he said, “I worked as an orderly in the operating room in a rural hospital in Michigan as an undergraduate, and then got hooked into the whole rural general surgery thing.”
Daniel graduated from the University of Michigan, then went to medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he also did his residency. “That included the Detroit Receiving hospital,” he said, “which is the main trauma hospital in Detroit. At that time, we’d average, like, six gunshot wounds a day. So, very busy, and you really learned how to operate.”
That was where Daniel met his wife and Mark’s mother, Norita.
Mark’s path to surgical practice started with shadowing his father during his early teens.
“You just see the pros and cons of being a doctor in a small town,” he said, “not having quite as many resources, so a little bit more of it falling on you, but also the rewards of helping your community. That really stuck with me throughout undergrad and training, in terms of leading me back this way.”
After graduating from the University of North Dakota, Mark went on to medical school at
the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, a residency at Hennepin County Medical Center and, most recently, a one-year fellowship in Texas, focusing on minimally invasive and bariatric surgery.
“I knew, going into college, I was interested in medicine, and probably something surgical,” he said. “It’s a nice blend of being a doctor and still having an opportunity to work with your hands. I appreciated that combination.”
Both father and son do what Mark described as “head-to-toe, general surgery,” including thyroid, parathyroid, lung, abdomen, skin, soft tissue, breast, colorectal, hernia and gallbladder surgery – pretty much everything except neuro-, vascular and orthopedic surgery.
Meanwhile, Daniel has been increasingly practicing bariatric surgery, seeing about 4,900 gastric bypass patients since 2000.
“We’re one of the handful of Centers for Excellence for bariatric
surgery in the state,” he said. “Basically, the insurance companies will only let those be done in a few, select places, because of the high risk some patients have. We’ve had BMIs of, like, 99, in really extreme cases.”
A normal body mass index (BMI) is between about 18.5 and 25, with the risk of diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and death increasing the farther above that range it goes.
Daniel said a study shows that for an obese person with diabetes, bariatric surgery can add an average of nine-anda-half years to their life expectancy.
As possibly the only rural hospital with a Centers for Excellence designation in bariatric
surgery, the Park Rapids practice has pulled in patients from throughout northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. “Only about 14% of the (patients) would be in what you would call our service area,” said Daniel. “Everyone else is outside of that.”
It’s been a boon, not only for Essentia’s practice and the local hospital, but also for their patients, he said.
Mark’s training also emphasized bariatrics, but it’s the minimally invasive part that’s bringing change to the area’s healthcare system.
He explained it as, “rather than making a big incision, making small incisions with a camera and instruments.”
Daniel said he thinks
of it as “rather than a big incision, having three, four, or five half-inch to one-inch incisions that you can work through little ports, so you have a lot less incisional pain and less problems with hernia and organ infections, and much faster recovery.”
Basic laparoscopy has been around for a while, but the new wrinkle has to do with robotics. Daniel said laparoscopic robots provide “very good visualization and really precise manipulation, working corners that you otherwise would find difficult.”
He said he’s in the process of picking up these robotic procedures, in which Mark is already certified.
After more than 30 years of practice, Daniel
still feels he chose right. “In a practice like this, you’re really a major component of patients’ healthcare,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time to build on the surgery program that’s been here,” said Mark. “There are certainly challenges with providing excellent surgical care in a small community, where you don’t have as many resources, but that’s part of the fun. Figuring out how we can continue to provide care with more technological advances that tend to favor bigger cities, and being able to come back to where I’m from and continue to build on that, has been a lot of fun.”
Robin Fish can be reached at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise. com.
March 2023 2
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Medical staff at CHI St. Joseph's Health take part in the hospital's first robot-assisted surgery, using technology Dr. Mark Smith has been trained to use.
What did the tree do when it went on sabbatical? It took a leaf of absence, of course.
Tree humor is fun, but what’s happened to trees this winter is certainly no laughing matter. Wet, heavy snow, followed by cold temperatures, left many branches bent and broken since mid-December. Will trees and shrubs recover?
Co-worker Joe Zeleznik, North Dakota State University Extension forester, described the situation in a recent article.
He said: “The blizzard in mid-December was especially bad, starting with a thick layer of ice. After that came the heavy wet snow. Finally, the light fluffy snow came and eventually the storm moved on.”
“How are the trees doing with all these challenges?” Zeleznik asks. “Most trees are doing fine,” he says, “While others sustained a good deal of damage.”
Zeleznik points out that trees that hold their leaves into winter have been most affected, and ironwood and Ponderosa pines in his own yard are still bent from the extra weight of ice and snow. Spruce trees fared better, he notes.
KINZLER Gardening Columnist
I’ve noticed the same in our own yard. Some trees and shrubs are unaffected, while the branches of other types are completely bent out of shape. Our evergreen columnar arborvitae, whose branches form an upright column, are now splayed apart, looking more like a haphazard mess than its normal, tailored shape.
Zeleznik continues “I’ve been debating what to do. Should I knock off the snow and ice from my trees? Would pruning out the deformed branches be a good approach?” He reminds us that “do nothing” is always a management option; it just has its own set of consequences.
“I don’t know if the leader on our pine tree will straighten out next year, if I remove the snow. The stem could be permanently kinked. If I cut out the bent-over leader, I worry that multiple leaders will form, creating a structural nightmare in which connections are weak and more susceptible to future breaking.”
Zeleznik observed that many multi-stemmed
March 2023 3
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Will trees and shrubs recover from the weight of snow and ice?
The branches of this arborvitae normally form a tight column, but are now split apart by ice and snow. DAVID SAMSON / THE FORUM
arborvitaes and junipers were badly affected, which is what I’ve found in our own yard. He says recovery is possible, though it will likely take several years.
Zeleznik suggests drawing the stems back together and supporting them with a strap or flexible material such as a bungee cord. Wait, though, until temperatures are warmer, in the 30s when stems are flexible.
He says arborvitae and other multi-trunked types will need support for one to two years as they put on new wood underneath the bark. The extra rings in the trunk will give the tree strength and stiffness.
Zeleznik emphasizes that support straps should be flexible, providing support without digging into the stems. Check straps every three or four months to be sure they’re not choking the stems, and loosen as needed.
Beyond that, Zeleznik says all we can do is wait, and hope we don’t get more super-heavy snow and ice.
I totally concur that binding together the branches of arborvitae does work.
As a college student, I worked at the home of NDSU professor Neal Holland during summer break. A duty one spring was to bind together the stems of columnar arborvitae, which had become splayed outward during winter. The material of choice at the time was old nylon stockings, which worked perfectly.
The arborvitae regained their structure and were still standing tall many decades later.
Deciduous (leafy) shrubs that are flattened by snow and ice are better able to rebound than evergreens. Many such shrubs in our own yard have lost their rounded shapes. Instead, branches of spirea, nine-
bark and others have fallen under the weight of heavy snow, laying at unnatural angles.
Luckily, the entire shrub can be pruned all the way back to six inches above ground level before spring growth starts, and new, sturdy branches will quickly form, returning most shrubs to their original shapes.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work for evergreen shrubs.
As Zeleznik pointed out, only time will tell the full extent of this winter’s damage.
Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, is the horticulturist with North Dakota State University Extension for Cass County. Readers can reach him at email@example.com.
Expert advice for avoiding winter injuries
Dr. Mahmood Gharib University of Minnesota
Deep into the season, winter injuries are on the rise. University of Minnesota Medical School expert Mahmood Gharib talks about common winter injuries and how to avoid them.
Q: What injuries are most commonly seen during the winter?
A variety of injuries can occur during winter. If someone slips or falls on icy surfaces, an injury can range from spine and musculoskeletal injuries — such as sprains and broken bones — to head and brain injuries — such as a concussion. Injuries also commonly occur during winter sports activities. Other injuries can be related to cold-weather conditions such as frostbite or hypothermia.
Q: Are spinal and head injuries serious injuries?
Spinal and head injuries can be very serious. Anyone who has significant trauma to the head and spine should seek medical evaluation. These types of injuries may not always appear immediately obvious, however, the time between injury and treatment could help limit the severity and extent of damage.
Q: What prevention measures should individuals take when shoveling or using sidewalks?
Be mindful of slippery or icy surfaces that may be difficult to see. Take it
slow on ice and snow and “walk like a penguin,” meaning:
► Walk slowly and flat-footed.
► Use a wide-stance.
► Take small, shuffle-like steps.
► Keep your center of gravity over your feet.
► Use your arms for balance.
Black ice can be difficult to see. Use extra caution near water runoff areas such as downspouts, landscaping, parking ramps and outdoor stairwells. Stay on designated sidewalks and avoid taking shortcuts through grass and landscaping.
Prior to shoveling, dress appropriately, wear multiple layers for warmth and use appropriate footwear to limit slipping. A few gentle stretching techniques can get your body prepared for the hard work of shoveling. Use an ergonomic shovel, typically made of lightweight, durable metals or plastic to reduce stress on your back. Adjustable handle lengths can also provide the best fit.
Shovel often and early during snow falls instead of waiting for snow to accumulate. Pace yourself when shoveling. While heavy, wet snow may be fun to play in, it can create more challenges and strain on your back, so use proper lifting techniques: bend at the hips and knees, push instead of pull and limit excessive lifting.
Q: What extra safety measures should people take when sledding, skiing or snowboarding?
These activities should be done in appropriate and designated areas. Wear protective gear, including helmets. Helmets designated with MIPS (multidirectional impact protection system) may provide additional protection. Avoid areas close to roads, fences or densely populated trees. Be mindful of others nearby — always sled feet first and make sure children are accompanied by adults.
Q: If someone has a back or head injury, what should they expect for the recovery process?
Back and head injuries can vary widely in severity. While most back injuries typically resolve within a few days or weeks, seek medical attention if you experience:
► Any new or worsening weakness
► Numbness or tingling
► Bowel and bladder changes
► Pain that does not respond to relative rest and some over-the-counter medications
It is always best to consult with a physician with any type of head injury. Dr. Mahmood Gharib is a physiatrist at the U of M Medical School and M Health Fairview. He specializes in rehabilitation medicine, restoration of function and a return to a high quality of life.
March 2023 4
TREES From Page 3
DAVID SAMSON / THE FORUM
Most deciduous shrubs recover well from snow and ice damage.
Art Be At
NLOC is grateful for all supporters, whether onstage, playing in the orchestra or volunteering to help build, paint or enhance sets, create costumes, help with publicity, support financially, etc. Please consider being part of the production, whether on stage or helping create sets and costumes.
NLOC plans for another busy summer
The Northern Light Opera Company (NLOC) is not hibernating during these days of snow, ice and cold. This is actually when computers and phones are almost constantly in use, planning and scheduling events and making lists of participants and locations, sometimes even in our sleep.
NLOC’s summer production this year will be “Little Shop of Horrors.” If you aren’t familiar, it’s a horror comedy musical about Seymour, an orphan who lives on Skid Row and works in a run-down flower shop. His pretty co-worker, Audrey, has a boyfriend who is a sadistic dentist.
One day, Seymour buys a mysterious plant that he names Audrey in honor of his co-worker. You have now been introduced to the main characters.
The production will run from July 28-Aug. 5, so be sure to note the dates on your calendar!
An audition workshop March 19 is a new offering this year that will share tips on how to prepare for a successful audition. Time will be 2 to 4 p.m. in Studio 1 at the Armory Arts and Events Center. More information will be posted on Facebook and website: www. northernlightopera.org.
Auditions for “Little Shop of Horrors” will be held the weekend of March 24-25 at the Armory. Auditions Friday, March 24 will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.
NLOC is fortunate to have directors who understand the level of each individual’s skills and know how to encourage and develop these skills to create a production beyond expectations. Every year, audiences express delight and surprise at the quality of the performances. So plan to audition. Learn a new skill,
March 2 Hotdish Mystery Mayhem at the Park Rapids Area Library
March 7 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Andy Wells, CEO of Wells Technology
March 7 Finding Your Female Ancestors at the Park Rapids Area Library
March 7 Heartland Concert: The Patsy Cline Project
March 11 2nd Saturday STEM at the Park Rapids Area Library
March 13 Park Rapids Area High School choir concert
March 14 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Polly Scotland, traveling in Nepal
March 15 Deadline for submission to the Jackpine Writers Bloc Talking Stick
March 15 Deadline for submission of 2nd Street Stage button designs
March 16 Craft supply swap at the Park Rapids Area Library
March 16 Open mic night at the Armory Arts & Events Center
March 19 Northern Light Opera Company audition workshop
March 20 Pick up day for adult Take & Make Kits at the Park Rapids Area Library
make new friends and create a quality event for our community. Watch for specific audition times on Facebook and NLOC’s website.
The third annual New Playwriters Workshop, again led by New York City playwrights Melanie Goodreaux and Greg Paul, will be held June 10-17 at the Armory. Past participants, who ranged in age from 15 to 85-plus, were delightfully surprised that in a week’s time, they created a 10-minute play that was read/enacted by NLOC performers before an enthusiastic audience. Facebook and NLOC’s website will have more information soon.
This second year’s Filmmaker Intensive Workshop will be led by Greg Paul and Los Angeles filmmaker David Leidy. Last year’s aspiring filmmakers were challenged to create a story, then film,
direct and edit their newly created work. The movies went from idea to reality to being viewed by an audience in just three days. Intense! Dates for this year are not confirmed. Check Facebook and the website for specifics.
NLOKids Drama Camp
This year’s four-week collaborative camp for 8-13-year-olds will again be held at both Pine Point and Park Rapids June 19-July 15. Guided by NLOC staff and guest artists, kids write a script, compose the music and create costumes, sets and props for an original musical, which they perform for family and friends at the Pine Point Community Center and Park Rapids Armory. A Pine Point school bus will pick up and deliver kids both in Park Rapids and Pine Point, and lunches will be provided This will be the eighth year for this collaboration, which has created many special
March 20 Photographer Lowell Wolff at the Park Rapids Area Library
March 21 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Debbie Center, photographer
March 23 Corey Medina & Brothers concert at the Armory Arts & Events Center
March 24-25 Northern Light Opera Company auditions at the Armory Arts & Events Center
Heartland Concert: Forever Simon & Garfunkel
Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Andy Stocker, surviving grief
March 30 Minnesota Stories with Kevin Kling at the Armory Arts & Events Center
April 4 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Brita Sailer, what, why and how of recycling
April 8 2nd Saturday STEM at the Park Rapids Area Library
April 11 Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Magic of the Snowy Owl
April 13 Terri Smith author talk at the Park Rapids Area Library
April 15 Bluebirds in our Backyard program at the Park Rapids Area Library
Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning: Jerry Mevissen, restoring an old schoolhouse
memories. The kids work, laugh and play together, and many new friendships have been formed.
Last year, NLOKids and their chaperones were invited to attend a matinee of “The Tempest” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Another highlight was having a journalist and photographer from the Star Tribune engaging with the kids several days at both the beginning and end of camp and documenting their experience in a twopage article in the newspaper’s July 24 Variety section.
If you know of any 8-13-year-old who likes this type of adventure, go to NLOC’s website or Park Rapids Community Ed for an application.
These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
April 20 Open mic night at the Armory Arts & Events Center
April 27 Park Rapids Area High School Band concert
April 28 & 30 Park Rapids Classic Chorale concerts at Riverside United Methodist Church
April 30 Park Rapids Area Community Band spring concert
May 1 Century Middle School choir concert
May 2 Hubbard County Historical Museum opens for the season
May 4 Nemeth Art Center opens for the season
May 8 Century Middle School band concert
May 9 Liberators & the Holocaust at the Armory Arts & Events Center
May 11 Friends of the Library book sale
May 12 Heartland Concert: Copper Street Brass
May 13 2nd Saturday STEM at the Park Rapids Area Library
May 15 Spring Plant Swap at the Park Rapids Area Library
May 18 Park Rapids Area High School choir concert
May 18 Open mic night at the Armory Arts & Events Center
May 20 Park Rapids Sculpture Trail opening and tour
More open mic nights, concert coming at Armory
Art Be At Sculpture Trail seeking entries, sponsors
The Armory Arts & Events Center is opening its doors to more community events.
The Armory’s open mic nights have brought many Park Rapids residents, new and old, together to celebrate the creative talents of our community.
The open mics are open to the public and free of charge. Held the third Thursday of January through May, plans are to pick them up again after the summer. Beer and wine are available from local businesses Revel Brewing and Wine Not?
The open mic nights give local performers a chance to practice new material or play old favorites and connect with the audience in the Armory’s main event space. The board has been thrilled to see how excited community members have been to perform.
January’s open mic was the third and had a full set of performers playing instruments from guitar to harp and ukulele, and an attendance of over 120 people.
The Armory is also expanding event offerings for the community. On March 23, the Armory Arts & Events Center will be hosting a concert of Corey Medina and Brothers for a night of great music and great times.
Corey Medina and Brothers are a blues-rock band that has performed many times around the area, and in 2022 released their sophomore studio album SOAK. For those of you who love to come together over live music, this will be the event for you.
Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Armory website at parkrapidsarmory.org for $15, or can be purchased at the door for $20. We’re very excited to begin offering more events like this in the future, so keep an eye out for more information and
thank all of our generous sponsors. Recently, the Armory also had its very first art workshop, thanks to generous grants from the Region 2 Arts Council and the Park Rapids Area Community Fund. The workshop was a series of three sessions on a variety of printmaking techniques taught by Studio 176’s Dawn Rossbach. There will be one more workshop on March 11.
The workshops provide local artists, both established and aspiring, a way to grow their artistic talents and learn new techniques to add to their creative toolkit. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The Armory still has a lot of room to grow, and is always looking for community input on the sorts of events you would like to see happening. Expanding programming also increases the need for community support. If you’d like to volunteer and help contribute to the Armory’s future, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City Arts and Culture Advisory Commission is currently accepting sculpture entries and seeking sponsors for the Park Rapids Sculpture Trail.
The commission also reminds the sculptures now on display are available for purchase when they are removed this spring.
The Park Rapids Sculpture Trail project was initiated in 2018 in Red Bridge Park, providing a beautiful setting on the Fish Hook River. In 2019, the Sculpture Trail expanded to two locations in downtown Park Rapids, with more downtown sites added every year. The sculptures change annually to expose visitors at both locations to new works.
Sculpture entries are now open with a deadline of March 29. Artists will be notified of selection committee results by April 7 and will have until May 19 to install their works. Artists receive a $500 honorarium when their sculptures have been installed and paperwork is completed.
The entry form is available at www.heartlandarts.org/pages/ sculpture-trail/sculpture-trail.php, by calling city hall at 218-732-3163 or by emailing luann47@ gmail.com.
An opening and artist-guided walk of the new
The Park Rapids Sculpture Trail will be refreshed this spring with entries and sponsors invited for locations in Red Bridge Park and Downtown Park Rapids. On a chilly opening day in 2022, visitors learned about the Salvage Depot’s “Candy Crane” sculpture, located in Red Bridge Park. “Candy Crane” won the first People’s Choice Award when votes were counted last fall.
installations are planned Saturday, May 20.
Sponsors for each new sculpture also are being sought and will be recognized with signage, in a brochure and on the website.
The number of sculptures selected will be determined by the number of sponsors who commit. Payment of $550 will be due March 15. Sponsors also may contact city hall for more information.
The public is reminded that the 14 sculptures they’ve seen and enjoyed since last spring are for sale. Information with artist contact information, sculpture materials and cost of each piece can be found under sculpture artist summaries at www.
Hubbard County DAC expands arts learning activities
Grants from the Region 2 Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts board have allowed Hubbard County DAC artists to work with local artists to learn new skills and create art.
These grants will also help keep HCDAC artists busy this summer as they open a new art studio that will allow them to increase their printmaking programming and add ceramics to their art curriculum.
Local artists and photographer Laura Grisamore shared her talents and worked with participants to demonstrate using lines, shapes, textures and patterns to create dynamic black and white photographs.
Artist Jill Odegaard will return to Park Rapids in April to continue demonstrating the paper arts. This workshop will explore
image making by using a “poured pulp” technique. Images can be designed based on a common theme or individual interests.
During this process, pulp is poured into a frame and collaged elements are incorporated into the wet pulp. After the pulp dries on the screen, it is removed from the frame and more collage work, drawing and/or painting may be incorporated.
Plans are being made to open the workshop to some members of the community.
Hannah Spry will continue to challenge artists to grow their skills in printmaking using new techniques and materials. These classes have proven to provide technical skills and the opportunity to express themselves through art.
All of these classes give individuals a look at how these artistic skills can
be turned into potential jobs at local businesses or as a way to make money selling their artistic creations.
The Salvage Depot team has continued to teach new skills, such as woodworking and leather stamping.
HCDAC is excited to announce the Tin Ceiling Gallery opening in May 2023. The Gallery and store will be an extension of HCDAC’s fine arts studio program. The store will provide an opportunity for artists to interact with the community and will feature art and items for sale created by local artists.
The HCDAC’s goal will be to showcase emerging artists of all backgrounds, experience and abilities. Tin Ceiling Gallery will host exhibitions, events and offer classes for development by part-
One Hubbard County DAC artist made paper and used it as the background for a collage.
nering with teaching artists and guest curators. All of these activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The Sculpture Trail project meets three goals and objectives of the city’s Arts and Culture Plan:
► Promoting the creation and inclusion of art in public spaces, making it accessible to all.
► Making the city a regional destination for unique arts and cultural experiences. It can be expected that art in an unexpected location will convey to park visitors and trail users that Park Rapids has much to offer as an arts community.
► Adding an element of creative placemaking as an approach to improving quality of life and economic opportunity.
Poetry, short stories wanted
Submit poetry and short stories to The Talking Stick, an annual Minnesota anthology. Deadline is Wednesday, March 15. We have a new Creative Twist this yeara fourth genre with special words to use in submissions. See guidelines on our website: www.jackpinewriters.com.
Submit a button design
The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association (PRDBA) is sponsoring a 2nd Street Stage button design contest with a $250 cash prize to the winner. Draw your design within a 4-inch circle. Designs must include “2023,” “2nd St Stage” and “Park Rapids, MN.” They may be full color or black and white with color accents. Designs may be submitted on paper to the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association, P.O. Box 142, Park Rapids, MN 56470 or digitally as a pdf or jpg e-mailed to luann47@gmail. com. Submissions must be received by noon Wednesday, March 15.
www.heartlandarts.org Facebook:parkrapidsarts ManyHeartlandArtsactivitiesaremadepossible by the votersofMinnesota,throughthe Region 2ArtsCouncil, thankstolegislativeappropriationsfromtheArtsandCulturalHeritageFundandtheStatesGeneralFund. ProudsponsorofNoonHourConcerts andArtLeap2021 ProudsponsorofNoonHourConcerts andArtLeap2023
Performers entertained 120 plus in the audience for Open Mic Night in January.
Art Be At
Minnesota’s tiniest art gallery welcomes new artist members
What might be the tiniest art gallery in Minnesota, Studio 176 in downtown Park Rapids, has been wowing visitors since opening in 2019 with its large selection of art exhibited salon-style.
It showcases a wide variety of mediums, from original, oil, acrylic, mixed media and fine art photography to stained glass, fine art prints, cards and gifts.
“We have come a long way in three years and want to become a fixture in Park
Rapids, and the Heartland art scene. We’re always changing it up, thinking outside the box, trying our best to keep it fresh and exciting,” co-owner Jeremy Simonson said.
In past seasons the gallery featured a monthly guest artist, May through August, exhibited alongside the works of co-owners Simonson, Dawn Rossbach, Laura Grisamore, and in 2019-2020, with co-founder Tiffany Besonen and artist members Elisa
Jean in 2021 and Kent Estey in 2022.
The owners report they will be adding three artist members to the gallery for the 2023 season; names will be announced in early March.
“We wanted to respond to the need of artists looking for space to exhibit and sell their work, so this year instead of monthly exhibits through the summer, we decided to add more artist members to the gallery. This provides a longer timeframe for
Check out more than books at the library
The Park Rapids Area Library has become a hub for arts and culture activities. Book some time to check out what’s happening.
Noon Thursday, March 2 –
Hotdish Mystery Mayhem with author Jeanne Cooney
We are wrapping up February’s Hotdish Mystery Mayhem activities with a hotdish sampler, fun games and a special visit from always entertaining Jeanne Cooney, author of the Hot Dish Heaven series. Space is limited; please RSVP by calling 218-732-4966.
6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7
– Mary Schwartz: ‘Finding Your Female Ancestors’
Join Mary to learn about researching your family tree. She will lead you through where to start your search, how to organize your family history research and introduce you to ancestry.com and Family Search websites. Mary has tips and tricks for finding the answers on your family’s female lineage. Participation is limited, please register ahead.
11 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 11 – 2nd Saturday
STEM with Mary Schwartz
We’re celebrating Pi Day a couple days early and in style by weaving in the round! Weave a circle that can be used as a coaster or a table top decoration. All materials will be supplied and all ages are welcome. For participants ages 8 and younger, please have an accompanying adult or older sibling to help. Join Mary Saturday, April 8 and May 13 for even more science fun!
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16 – Craft Supply Swap
The Park Rapids Area Library is having a free craft supply swap. We will be collecting donated craft supplies at the library March 13-15.
Bring in yarn, paint, brushes, fabric, floral, buttons, knitting needles, crochet hooks, markers, ink, stamps, scrapbooking supplies, jewelry supplies and sewing notions. If you can create with it and it’s in usable condition, it will be welcome. If you donate items, you will receive an early bird ticket to the morning session “ticketed event.” The afternoon session is open to everyone.
5-6 p.m. Monday, March 20 – Photographer Lowell Wolff “Reflections of Northern Minnesota”
On display inside the library now! Come listen to Lowell speak about his inspiration, his craft and his love of the boreal forest biome of northern Minnesota. This is a great opportunity for photographers of all skill levels to talk to the artist.
Lowell was raised on the prairies of south-central North Dakota and attended Concordia College in Moorhead, majoring in music.
“While the north shore of Lake Superior has many beautiful spots, so does Park Rapids,” he says. “Nearly half of the images in the collection are based in the Park Rapids, Dorset and Nevis areas. It seems only fitting that 19 of these images ‘come home’ to the beautiful place we live in.”
For a fuller appreciation of his talk, make sure to visit the library to see these beautiful works in person.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 30
– Kevin Kling at the Armory Arts & Events Center
Humorist, playwright and author, Kevin Kling is hailed as a Minnesota state treasure. His writing weaves his sense of humor and unique per-
spective together with the life challenges he has surmounted. Best known for his commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and occasional appearances on Minnesota Public Television’s “Almanac,” he has performed his inspiring stories and plays in libraries, school gymnasiums, The Kennedy Center, Off-Broadway, regional theaters and storytelling festivals around the U.S.
Spend time with Kevin at this free event as he shares new stories and reads from his very popular books, “The Dog Says How,” “Holiday Inn,” “Big Little Brother” and “Big Little Mother.” This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
6 p.m. Thursday, April 13
– Terri Smith author talk, ‘CODE 4: True stories from a 37-year police veteran’ Terri has been an organized crime investigator, a narcotics supervisor, a SWAT team member and a homicide investigator. In 1986 Smith was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Bemidji Regional Office. He supervised all of the agency’s work in northern Minnesota, including approximately 450 death investigations. He’s an accomplished public speaker and enjoys sharing stories about his days “on the job.”
10 a.m. Saturday, April 15
– Ron Jensen: Bluebirds in our Backyard Ron Jensen, Hubbard County Coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Program, will be here to discuss ways to attract and increase bluebird numbers in our area. He will share his knowledge of the special requirements including the best bluebird house designs,
how to pick a site for a new house for optimal results, plus cover issues like predators and disease. Be ready to welcome bluebirds into your backyard this spring and summer!
artists to showcase and sell their work, giving our community and visitors the opportunity to get to know the artists and their work better,” Grisamore said.
Studio 176 is an artist-run gallery, where visitors are able to meet and talk to the artists about their work and creative processes.
GALLERY: Page 8
HCLL gears up for spring season
Does winter have you feeling down? Got a bit of cabin fever? Well, relief is on the way.
The Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) will open its spring series Feb. 28 with author and forensic psychologist Frank Weber speaking about some of the newest forensic tools used by law enforcement. It’s rumored he might even administer a lie detector test to an audience member.
Hear first-person accounts of American soldiers, including Minnesotans, who came across and liberated Nazi death camps at a program May 9 at the Armory Arts & Events Center.
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 –Arn Kind: ‘Liberators & The Holocaust’ at the Armory Arts & Events Center
Arn Kind will relate the tragic story of how the Holocaust was perpetrated by the Nazi Party and how a nation of cultured people with a proud heritage were persuaded to allow and even carry out the worst genocide in the history of the world. Most importantly, he will share first-person accounts of American soldiers, including Minnesotans who came across and liberated these camps. For many, this experience changed their lives forever. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
3-6 p.m. Monday, May 15 – Spring Plant Swap Bring your seeds, starts, divisions and plants for a fun twist on Trunk or Treat. We will meet in the parking lot and share with other gardening enthusiasts. This is a no-cost event.
On March 7, Andy Wells, CEO of Wells Technology, will speak about a job-training program his company has developed that becomes a bridge for helping unemployed people in Red Lake become part of a productive workforce in their community.
March 14, Polly Scotland returns to HCLL to recall a 14-day trek through the Annapurna Loop of Nepal and how it helped her gain an appreciation of the Nepalese culture and traditions.
On March 21, photographer, musician and self-proclaimed Northern Lights addict, Debbie Center, will share her photography and paintings and offer tips on photographing the Aurora yourself.
March 28, Randy Stocker, author of Hugs Help, who lost three family members in a car crash, presents an intimate perspective on surviving grief, while providing practical and proven words, actions and gestures for supporters of people experiencing grief.
Brita Sailer joins us April 4 with an upbeat, practical approach to the why, what and how of recycling, with a specific look at Hubbard County.
On April 11, HCLL diverts from its in-person programming to show a PBS documentary on “Magic of the Snowy Owl,” with footage of the unique creatures as they breed and attempt to raise their young in the harsh Arctic environment.
The series will end April 18 with local author Jerry Mevissen describing a community-wide effort in Sebeka to restore a century-old schoolhouse to new life. The audience will see a Lakeland TV production shown on Common Ground that will chronicle the restoration, supplemented by Jerry’s own involvement in the project.
Programs are held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Armory Arts and Events Center, 203 Park Ave. S. (U.S. Hwy. 71). The facility is handicap-accessible and there is no admission charge.
A general rule, in the event of inclement weather, if the Park Rapids schools are closed, the HCLL program will be postponed and, if possible, scheduled for a later date. Questions? Contact HCLL Chair Marty Leistikow at email@example.com.
Art Be At
Country, rock ’n roll, brass sextet round out HCA season
The second half of the 2022-23 Heartland Concert Association (HCA) season starts Tuesday, March 7 with the Patsy Cline Project.
Lisa Brokop’s warm, rich voice and accompanying band will pay homage to one of country music’s greatest ladies, Patsy Cline. Sit back, relax and enjoy many of Patsy’s classic hits like “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walkin’ After Midnight.” Brokop is Canadian-born but lives in Nashville.
Forever Simon and Garfunkel celebrates the best-selling duo in rock ’n roll history Monday, March 27. The concert stars award-winning singer-songwriters Sean Altman (founder of Rockapella) and Jack Skuller (Songwriters Hall of Fame Buddy Holly Prize).
With humor, soaring energy, charm and laser-precise harmony, the duo lead the audience on a journey through Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s teenage roots, their early success as a groovy folk act, their global dominance as hit-makers and the best of Paul Simon’s solo career.
Copper Street Brass will close out the season Friday, May 12. This Minneapolis-based sextet is composed of two trumpets, trombone, tuba, French horn and percussion with several members doubling on keyboard, percussion, guitars and elec-
Community band plans spring concert
The Park Rapids Area Community Band is preparing for a Spring Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30 at the Park Rapids High School Auditorium.
The concert will highlight various genres of music. “Integrity Fanfare and March” by Julie Giroux is slated to be the opening piece. The native of Massachusetts has become one of the most influential American composers for wind ensembles and symphonic bands. “Integrity Fanfare and March” was originally composed for The United States Air Force Band of Washington, D.C.
“Puszta,” by Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost, is a collection of four Romani dances. It displays sounds of darkness and light with an eastern European flare.
Copper Street Brass presents a variety of music in bold innovative ways with a friendly and charming stage presence. “That ’70s Show” cleverly features music from the 1770s, 1870s and 1970s from classical and opera, jazz and folk to rock and disco.
All shows are held in the Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium at 7 p.m. Single concert tickets are available at the door. For more information visit www.heartlandconcertassociation.org.
Other pieces on the program will include “Chorale Prelude on God of Our Fathers” by Claude T. Smith, “The Girl I Left Behind Me” by Leroy Anderson, and “On the Mall” by Edwin Franko Goldman.
“On the Mall” will enlist the audience’s singing and whistling skills, as it was perhaps Goldman’s most requested march. This concert will be no exception in that it will conclude with Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the national march of the United States.
The Park Rapids Area Community Band has been rehearsing and performing for local and regional audiences since 1991.
The band began with Solon Green
High school choir prepares for March concert
The Park Rapids High School choir enjoyed a productive January.
Since returning to school from winter break, the choir has begun working on concert music for their upcoming concert March 13 in the Park Rapids High School auditorium. This concert is free and open to the public.
Program selections will include works by 17th century composer Hans Leo Hassler, as well as Minnesota-based composers Abbie Betenis and Jake Runestad. The choir looks forward to sharing their music with the community.
The high school singers have also been gearing up for an ensemble contest in Kelliher Feb. 22. Three trio groups will represent Park Rapids High School at the contest, singing a wide variety of lyr-
ics from 1800s British poets to contemporary sea shanties. Choir director Gunnar Aas was also able to take students to Concordia College for the annual High School Choir Festival. This festival is unique in that it gives hundreds of high school students the opportu-
nity to sing with college-level musicians, as well as a chance to listen to featured high school choirs from Minnesota and North Dakota. Students who attended from Park Rapids included Emmy Goochey, Abby Runyan, Levi Trygstad and Jack
as the first band manager and Jim Wheeler as its first conductor. In the years since, the band has grown to be a polished ensemble of woodwind, brass and percussion musicians from the surrounding area including such communities as Park Rapids, Bemidji, Bagley, Menahga, Detroit Lakes and others. Many participants are area band directors, music teachers and freelance instrumentalists.
The ranks are also filled with financial advisors, health professionals, farmers and social workers. Despite the varied occupations represented in the band, the main commonality is the members’ passion for making music.
Readers with the same enthusiasm for concert band music may contact band manager Paul Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or music director, Adam Tervola Hultberg at ahultberg@ isd116.org. A full listing of rehearsal and performance dates, as well as archived performances, can be found on pracb.com.
Plan to attend spring Classic Chorale concert
Are you ready for warmer weather? Are you needing some time to relax and unwind? Just need to get out of the house?
Join the Park Rapids Classic Chorale for “Life,” a concert of life-themed music, to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28 and at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 30 at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids.
The 30-voice chorale, under the direction of Dr. Melanie Hanson, closes their 2022-23 season leading listeners on a journey centered to our daily beat.
The audience will enjoy traditional texts as well as music from famous Minnesota composers, Renee Clausen, “All That Hath Life & Breath Praise Ye the Lord!”
From Page 7
“One of the best parts of our gallery is allowing our customers who want to connect to be a part of the gallery in ways more than just a purchase. We’re always open to conversations about our work, their work, resources, or sometimes issues that are completely off the rails. Honestly, it’s amazing how many people are so deeply interested in art and the conversations and ideas that can be sparked from the art itself,” co-owner Rossbach added.
The gallery doors will open for the 2023 season, Saturday, May 6 with expanded days of operation this summer:
► May 6-27: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
► June 1-17: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
► June 17-Aug. 12: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday.
as well as “Dawn,” composed by Crookston native Dr. Eric William Barnum, grandson of one of the members of the chorale.
The program will be rounded out by the bluegrass toe tapper “I’ll Be On My Way” by Shawn Kirchner, pianist/organist/ composer-in-residence at the La Verne Church of the Brethren in La Verne, Calif.
The concert is open to the public with a freewill offering taken at intermission. As always, everyone is invited to join the chorale in the social hall for refreshments following the concert. Remember to like us on Facebook @PRClassicChorale to stay up to date on all the happenings of the chorale.
► Aug. 12- Dec 16: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Owners say they will also be open during 2nd Street Stage performances this summer for artist receptions and open houses. Visitors will be able to enjoy art, refreshments, snacks and conversation.
“We had one of our best attended receptions during a Thursday night 2nd Street Stage concert last year. We hope to ride that popularity this summer by featuring each of the six members, on those Thursday nights; putting a focus on art, the artist, and hope to keep building our audience in the process,” Simonson said.
Studio 176 is always open by appointment. They can be contacted at email@example.com. Artwork is also available through their online art store at www.studio176.art.
Studio 176 is located at 176 3rd St W, downtown Park Rapids, across from Bella Caffé. For more information, visit studio176.business.site.
Relive your youth with Sean Altman and Jack Skuller when they perform Forever Simon and Garfunkel March 27.
Concordia Choir Director Dr. Michael Culloton conducts high school students Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Concordia High School Choir Festival.
Among those attending the Choir Festival from Park Rapids were (from left) Park Rapids Choir director Gunnar Aas, Abby Runyan, Levi Trygstad and Emma Goochey.
The Park Rapids Area Community Band is rehearsing for a Spring Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30 with a program offering various genres of music.
EAT YOUR COLORS
Add some color to your plate with these
Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers
Home with the Lost Italian
BY SARAH & TONY NASELLO Columnist
My husband loves to tell us to “eat your colors” to stay healthy, and roasted vegetables are a mainstay in our home during the fall and winter months.
These Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers are colorful and delicious, and an easy way to round out your healthy eating regimen with flavorful nutrition. Each of the vegetables in this recipe has a natural sweetness that is complemented by a healthy dose of fresh garlic for a side dish that can be paired with a variety of main courses.
Carrots and parsnips are root vegetables belonging to the Apiaceae family. While similar in shape and size, parsnips differ from carrots in both color and flavor, boasting a cream-colored skin and nutty, anise flavor. You will often find fresh parsnips coated in wax, which is added to preserve their moisture and extend their freshness, and must be removed before peeling the vegetable.
Baby carrots are a staple in my refrigerator, and I cut them in half along the bias for this
recipe. You could also use larger carrots and cut them into pieces about 1½ inches long and ½-inch wide. I cut the carrots first and use them as a guide when cutting the parsnips to ensure that they are of similar size, which helps to promote even roasting in the oven.
I made this dish recently for my husband Tony’s birthday, and since his favorite color is orange, I used an orange bell pepper, but any color of sweet pepper will work.
I cut the bell pepper into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide so that they will roast at the same speed as the carrots and parsnips. Two cloves of minced garlic and one thinly sliced red onion balance the sweetness of the vegetables with won -
derful aromatics and spice, and a sprinkling of thyme and oregano complete the flavor profile.
Before roasting, I toss the carrots, parsnips, peppers and onions in just a tablespoon of olive oil until evenly coated, then add the garlic, herbs and seasoning. Once combined, I place the mixture in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and roast them in a hot oven at 425 degrees until the carrots and parsnips are fork-tender and lightly caramelized.
Root vegetables are perfect for roasting, as the process draws out and enhances their natural sweetness. For extra caramelization, I place the roasted vegetables under the broiler for a couple minutes,
just until the edges turn dark and crispy. I love the additional flavor and texture that this final step adds to the dish, but you can skip this step if you prefer, and the dish will still taste great.
This recipe can be easily doubled, and any
leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week and served warm or cold. Add some color to your plate this winter with these easy and delicious Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers.
CARROTS: Page 10
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SARAH NASELLO / THE FORUM
A sweet bell pepper is sliced into quarter-inch strips so they cook evenly and almost melt into the larger pieces of carrots and parsnips.
Sarah’s Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers are a simple and delicious way to “eat your colors” for a healthy eating regimen. SARAH NASELLO / THE FORUM
From Page 9
Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers
1 lb. baby carrots, cut in half on the bias (about 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2-inch wide if using larger carrots)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into strips about 1-1/2 inches
long and 1/2 -inch wide (similar in size to the carrots)
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/4inch strips
1 red onion, cut into 1/4inch round slices
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the carrots, parsnips, peppers and onion in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, and toss again until well combined. Spread the mixture onto
the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven until the carrots and parsnips are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
For additional caramelization: Once the vegetables are roasted, turn your oven to the broiler setting and place them on a higher rack to broil until the edges start to darken, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Leftovers can be refrigerated and served warm or cold. Serves 4 to 6.
“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do you know it is time to move from assisted living to memory care?
We will first discuss what the difference is between them.
An assisted living can provide meals, medication management, assistance with bathing needs as needed and, in some cases, assist with transportation.
Assisted living facilities work hard to assist a person to be as independent as possible, but are available to assist in the areas preventing a person from living at home alone.
Memory care has 24-hour supervision, incontinence care and bathing assistance, medication management and more. The facility is designed to keep the residents safe from wandering in unsafe places. Most memory care facilities have less residents, so they can provide more individual care.
When is it time to move from assisted living to memory care? We, as family, knew it was time with our mom, due to visible changes in her cognitive
BY LAUREL HED LSW GCM, is a facilitator at Essentia Clinic in Park Rapids
abilities. The location of her room was down a long hallway from the dining room, and she had to turn left just before reaching the outside door. After a meal, the staff would tell Mom that her room was down the hall. At least three times, they found her outside looking for her room.
I had put her name on the waiting list for memory care in the same facility and she was able to transition soon after the episodes of finding her outside happened.
Other changes that can encourage a move to
memory care are more noticeable things like difficulties eating, forgetting to take medications, not changing clothes or forgetting to wash their face and hands and comb their hair.
Signs that it’s time to transition to memory care The Family Circle
As cognitive changes are happening, life in assisted living is changing as well. We started to notice that Mom wasn’t combing her hair or noticing if she had spilled on herself. She loved Bingo, but was no longer able to keep up with the numbers called. Mom didn’t realize these changes were happening and wasn’t able to express what she was feeling or experiencing.
Assisted living facilities are not staffed or trained to be aware of or meeting these needs so, as family, it was up to us to request the move. It may be suggested by assisted living, but it is important to be aware of how your loved one is doing and what changes are taking place, and to help them with the transition.
Remember, consistency is a great help for someone with memory loss.
Laurel Hed is a facilitator at Essentia Clinic in Park Rapids.
March 2023 10 Come on in! Need to fill some space? We would love to help you with that. 1104 PARK AVE. SOUTH | PARK RAPIDS | 218-237-7378 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever.” - Isaiah 40:8 218-732-5131 608 S. Park, Park Rapids www.jonespearson.com 13 SECOND STREET NW • MENAHGA, MN 218-564-4548 Director – Timothy Pearson • Traditional Funeral Services & Cremations • Pre-Arrangements • Monuments
SARAH NASELLO / THE FORUM
Left: The vegetables are tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, thyme and oregano before roasting. Right: The vegetables are placed in a single layer on a parchmentlined baking sheet and roasted in a 425-degree oven.
Dear Savvy Senior, Falls and fires are the two things I worry most about for my elderly father who lives alone. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do to help keep him safe, and keep an eye on him from afar?
~ Concerned Daughter
Of course! There are a number of small adjustments and modifications you can make to your dad’s home to help protect him from falls and fires, both of which cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Here are some tips to get you started.
Eliminate tripping hazards
Since falls are the leading cause of home injury among seniors, a good place to start is to pack away your dad’s throw rugs which are common tripping hazards or use carpet tacks or double-sided tape to secure them. You may also need to adjust your dad’s furniture so there are clear pathways to walk through and position any electrical or phone cords along walls and out of the way.
For hardwood steps, consider attaching a nonslip tread to each one to provide traction and help him see the edge. And for added protection in the bathroom buy some non-skid rugs for the floors and use adhesive non-slip treads or a mat with rubber suction inside his tub or shower stall.
Improve his lighting
Good lighting is essential for safe aging-in-place, so check the wattage ratings on your dad’s lamps and light fixtures, and install the brightest bulbs allowed, and add supplementary lighting if necessary.
You should also purchase some dusk to dawn nightlights for the bathroom and in the hallways that light up when the sun goes down. And mount some motion sensor lights outside the front and back doors and in the driveway that automatically come on when he comes and goes after dark.
Get grab bars
These can significantly reduce his risk of bathroom falls. Install them where he enters the shower or tub and on a wall inside the stall, but don’t use grab bars that attach with suction. Instead, have wall-mounted bars put in by someone who can affix them to the wall studs. It’s also best to choose bars whose surfaces are slightly textured and easier to grip.
Ensure railings are stable
Wherever he has steps – stairways, entryways or basements – he needs sturdy railings. Ideally, they should be on both sides of the steps.
Prevent cooking fires
There are several affordable products you can purchase to help your dad prevent home cooking fires like BurnerAlert discs that attach to a stove’s knob and will continuously blink or beep after the stove has been in use for a preset amount of time, and Ome smart knobs that can control a stove’s heating
settings from an app. Or you can invest in a more expensive iGuardStove sensor that shuts the stove off when it doesn’t detect motion for five minutes.
Install smoke alarms
Install a smart smoke alarm in your dad’s house (buy one for each floor) that will alert him when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. These smart devices will also send alerts to your phone to let you know when a problem is detected. Google Nest and First Alert both smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Add fire extinguishers
Get portable multipurpose fire extinguishers for each level of your dad’s house and in the garage.
Consider a medical alert
To ensure your dad’s safety and provide you some peace of mind, consider getting him a medical alert device that comes with a wearable SOS button that would allow him to call for help if he were to fall or need assistance.
For more tips, get a copy of AARP’s “HomeFit Guide” (see AARP.org/HomeFit), which has more than 100 aging-in-place suggestions that can help make your dad’s home safer and easier to live in. Send your senior
questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK
or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. March 2023 11 Y0040_GHHHXDFEN20_BC_C Are you turning65? Call your locallicensed Humana Louis "Joe" Courneya Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m Website: humana.com/jcourneya 701-809-8014 (TTY:711) Facebook: fb.com/JCourneyaAgent Park Rapids 218-732-4815 IRCC# 37962 Loading & Unloading Service Owned & Operated over 43 years. We except all credit cards. Expanded Mini Storage UNITS: 6ˈx10ˈ, 10ˈx15ˈ, 12ˈx20ˈ, 12ˈx30ˈ DLI MINI STORAGE & MOVING The Savvy Senior
Simple home safety solutions for
‘Alzheimer’s’ and ‘dementia’ are not interchangeable words Minding Our Elders
Dear Carol, Are the words Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeable? I don’t think they are, but I can’t explain the difference to my mom. Dad’s 87 and still has a decent memory, but he makes poor decisions and worse, he sometimes hallucinates. The doctor says that these symptoms without memory loss are more typical of Lewy body than Alzheimer’s but considering his age, there could be a mixture of causes including Alzheimer’s and/or vascular dementia. Can you clarify this for us non-scientists?
Thank you! – KJ
Dear KJ, Dementia is hard on the whole family, so looking for support early is a good idea.
Since Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia symptoms, people often use the words interchangeably. Here’s a brief explain-
BY CAROL BRADLEY BURSACK Columnist
er that might help clarify the terms.
Dementia is the word used to describe decreased cognitive functioning. Symptoms can include memory loss, language difficulties, confusion and decreased problem-solving skills that are severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life.
There are many causes for dementia with Alzheimer’s being the most common, which is why people often confuse the words. However, Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that causes dementia symptoms.
Scientists are still trying to define the cause
of Alzheimer’s, but characteristic plaques and tangles are evident in autopsied brains. Younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (YOAD) is often more aggressive and can even occur as early as one’s 40s, though more commonly in the 50s and 60s. However, late-onset Alzheimer’s is quite common, with age being a major risk factor. Memory loss that exceeds that of normal aging is usually, though not always, the first noticeable symptom.
Other types of dementia
Dementia with Lewy bodies (LBD): Lewy body
dementia may be the second most common type of progressive dementia. Protein deposits called Lewy bodies develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control). Hallucinations are not unusual. Lewy body dementia can occur with Parkinson’s disease.
Vascular dementia: Another common type of dementia is vascular dementia which involves the vascular system and blood flow. Symptoms can be similar to Alzheimer’s and it’s not unusual for them to appear simultaneously in older adults.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD): Frontotemporal dementia refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes. Behavior changes are often the first noticeable symptoms, and it’s typ-
ically diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 65.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Dementia due to TBIs can happen even long after a severe head injury or repeated head injuries.
Alcohol-related dementia is a type of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD).
Normal–Pressure Hydrocephalus: Dementia from fluid on the brain can sometimes be treated by inserting a shunt to drain the fluid.
Mixed Dementia: It’s very common for older adults to develop more than one type of cogni-
tive disease due to the damage that accumulates through the years.
While this isn’t a complete list, these are the most common.
Best wishes, KJ, as your family makes plans for your dad’s care.
Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger and the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Carol hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www. mindingourelders.com. She can be reached through the contact form on her website.
March 2023 12 Home Heal thCa re Non-profit andChristian-based Pr oviding the Pa rkRapids co mmunityandsurroundingareaswit ha fullfamilyofagingservices. SeniorLiving |AssistedLiving| Memory Care| HomeHealthCare| In-Home Technology Le ar nm or eatk nutenelson.or g Crys talBrook “Thebestpar tis beingaroundpeople Theyhavesomanyactivitiesgoingonhere thatyoualwayshavesomethingtodo.”
-Judy Karl-Duclos, CrystalBrook Resident
gotme,andwhere I'mat. They didanawfullotforme.”