A SENIOR-ORIENTED PUBLICATION FOR THE NORTH OLYMPIC PENINSULA
EDUCATION Author teaches reading skills with new book
ACTIVITY Senior-friendly hikes throughout the Peninsula
WELLNESS Managing grief doesn't have to be done alone
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 6
WHAT TO SAY TO THE GRIEVING The grieving process doesn't have to be one done alone
AGING MASTERY Jefferson Healthcare is offering a program to help adults overcome aging barriers
ARTS TO ELDERS This program brings local artists and musicians to seniors
Some summery peach dumplings are just the thing to welcome the season
READING TO GRANDCHILDREN Local author publishes book to help grandparents tell tales
VOLUNTEERING IN SCHOOLS The Sequim School District has a plethora of groups for those looking to help out
NURSING OPPORTUNITIES A nursing shortage is helping to create jobs at senior living communities
HIKING FOR SENIORS There are tons of trails out here on the Peninsula for seniors to explore
24 SIGNS OF ANEMIA OVERLOOKED
This is a condition not widely considered part of the aging process, but it should be looked for
27 AT RISK FOR SUICIDE
Seniors — not teenagers — are more likely to try to take their own lives
Lifelong Journey June 2016 Published by PENINSULA DAILY NEWS and SEQUIM GAZETTE peninsuladailynews.com | sequimgazette.com
Peninsula Daily News: 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 | 360.452.2345 Sequim Gazette: 147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 | 360.683.3311 Terry R. Ward • regional publisher Steve Perry • general manager Patricia Morrison Coate, Brenda Hanrahan, Laura Lofgren • special sections editors Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
What to say to the grieving PAUL FIORINI CHAPLAIN BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR FOR
Your best friend has just lost her husband and you see her walking toward you at the store. If you have not lost your spouse/ partner, you may feel awkward or even scared. You may want to turn around or walk by without saying anything, because what do you say or do? That is a normal response. But it’s not helpful to the grieving — this person you care about. So what can you say and what should you not say? What can you do? The most important thing is to show you care. Attempt to keep the relationship going. That may not be easy at first, as they may need time to be alone to be with their grief or they just don’t have any energy. So please try and contact them more than once. Still one of the hardest things I hear from the grieving in the support groups I facilitate is that all of a sudden, friends they had seem to abandon them after the death of their spouse. They are already profoundly lonely and this throws oil on that fire. OK, so what do I not say? Don’t say you’ve “been there” unless you have had the same or a similar loss. Don’t talk about keeping a positive attitude. That is
asking the impossible. Don’t say anything about God’s plans or good coming out of bad. Don’t start a sentence with “at least” or “I know just how you feel.” Don’t say “you’ll get over it in time” or “aren’t you over this yet?” All of these either make the grieving feel guilty or angry or not heard or understood at the most painful time in their lives. This can make them feel like you have turned the conversation to you and not the grieving. They want to hear you talk about their loved one and your memories of them. That may make them cry, and that is OK. Grief is a form of one of the hardest parts of love. Tears are a release of that form of love. Offer assistance; however, for the
Truly listen to others' thoughts and feelings, even if they perplex you. It's important to create a space in which people can express their feelings. Allow others to speak about their primary concerns without passing judgment or trying to ﬁx the situation. An open ear can mean everything in a time of crisis. — NewsUSA 6
newly bereaved, it is most helpful to offer specific help like meals, trips to the store or helping them organize all the financial details they have to deal with. This is because they are often in an emotional fog and don’t even know what they need. Please feel free to say, “I’m so sorry,” “I have no idea what this must be like,” “I’m here to listen to you,” “Want to go out for a walk or coffee?,” “Can I call you?,” “You can call me anytime” or “Would you like a hug?” Many of the bereaved like touch at this time. They have just lost the person who was their main source of physical contact. Just ask first. Reach out to the grieving and the bereaved and let them guide you as to what they need, or just make an offer and see what happens. Please try more than once and don’t take it personally if they say “no” the first time. In doing this, you give them the greatest gift possible after they lost their loved one — human contact and caring. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
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For over sixty years, Olympic Medical Center has been entrusted with the privilege of caring for our friends and neighbors on the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic Medical Physicians, a division of Olympic Medical Center, is dedicated to maintaining the highest quality standards in delivering the health care you need, when and where you need it. Our physicians and staff work together to provide patient-centered care with the most advanced technology available.
Aging Mastery Program offered KATE BURKE
Marketing Manager & Foundation Director, Jefferson Healthcare
Jefferson Healthcare has launched the Aging Mastery Program. Jefferson Healthcare is one of only 13 sites in the state that has been awarded funds from the National Council on Aging to offer this program. The Aging Mastery Program (AMP) consists of a 10week curriculum covering topics from health to finances. The program is open to baby boomers and older adults interested in learning how to overcome the barriers to aging well in their homes. The fall session starts Sept. 6 at the Jefferson Healthcare Conference Room, 2500 W. Sims Way, third floor, in Port Townsend. It is held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The free session includes 10 core curriculum classes and one elective. The group meets on consecutive Tuesdays from Sept. 6 to Nov. 15. Class participants must commit to all 10 core curriculum classes. Class size is limited to 30 participants and requires registration. If you are interested or want to register, contact Mitzi Hazard at 360-285-2200, ext. 1270, or email mhazard@ jeffersonhealthcare.org.
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A third session of the Aging Mastery Program will be planned for spring 2017. The AMP is a comprehensive and fun approach to aging well that encourages people to take actions to enhance their health, financial well-being, social connectedness and overall quality of life. Central to the AMP philosophy is the belief that modest lifestyle changes can produce big results and that people can be empowered and supported to cultivate health and longevity. Equally important, the program encourages mastery — developing sustainable behaviors over time. Life expectancy has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, yet people are generally unprepared for this increased longevity. AMP offers an innovative approach to guide individuals through this phase of life. The program incorporates evidence-informed materials, expert speakers, group discussion, peer support and small rewards to give participants the skills and tools they need to achieve measurable improvements in managing their health, remaining economically secure and contributing actively in society.
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All program materials and resources align with the goal of helping people enjoy self-sufficient lives. CORE CURRICULUM • Navigating Longer Lives: The Basics of Aging Mastery Introduction to the program and its philosophy with a special emphasis on the new realities of aging, making the most of the gift of longevity and taking small steps to improve health, financial well-being, social connectedness and overall quality of life. • Exercise and You Discussion of the importance of exercising both the mind and the body with a focus on strategies for incorporating meditation, aerobics, strengthening, flexibility and balance into daily routines. • Sleep Overview of how sleep patterns change as we age, the importance of monitoring the sleep cycle and simple strategies to improve sleep. • Healthy Eating and Hydration Review of nutrition as it relates to aging with a focus on strategies for incorporating healthy eating and hydration into daily routines. • Financial Fitness Introduction to strategies for remaining economically secure in an era of longevity with an emphasis 78th annual
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on setting financial goals and setting financial boundaries with friends and families. • Advance Planning Guidance around key steps needed to manage health care, financial and housing/care decisions with a focus on considering the role of personal values and beliefs in these decisions. • Healthy Relationships Exploration of the benefits of being socially active, as well as the risks of isolation with a focus on practical strategies for continuing to build and strengthen friendships and family connections as we age. • Medication Management Best practices on how to take medications as directed, how to store medications safely and how to keep track of multiple medications. • Community Engagement Introduction to the value of continuing contribution and small acts of kindness with a focus on identifying personal aptitudes for meaningful volunteer and civic opportunities. • Falls Prevention Overview of the importance of falls prevention among older adults along with strategies to prevent falling. For more information on this and other programs, visit www.jeffersonhealthcare.org.
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Arts to Elders a bright spot for care center residents PATRICIA MORRISON COATE
Whether you’re 8 or 80, there’s no age limit to enjoying the arts and humanities. That’s why the Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend has focused on bringing music, opera, dramatic readings and art exhibits to its older residents through its Arts to Elders program. Since 2008, the program has brought arts education and art presentations to residents of elder care facilities, primarily in Port Townsend, with monthly events. “Because of elders not being mobile and not of means to participate in art, our mission is to bring that to them, to put music in their spaces and to bring art workshops to them,” said Michael D’Alessandro, the center’s executive director. “And we’ve been very successful with that. We reach a wide variety of people from six facilities in Port Townsend, and we serve up to 80 at performances. “Probably 500 a year is a good swath, and we’re hoping to double that in years to come,” D’Alessandro said. “The demand has been constant; it’s just that funding dips to carry off the programs,” he said, but things are looking up — in 2016 a total of 10 concerts were booked. “In our three- to five-year plan, we want to bring the program to a greater level and serve the underserved by bringing more art to elders in the county through grant funding. “We recruit musicians from the community, many of whom have their own personal mission as working with
Upcoming Arts to Elders events
All performances are at 2 p.m. Tuesdays July 12 — Choral Belles — a cappella women’s choir Aug. 9 — Carla Main — contemporary vocalist Oct. 18 — Sydney Keegan — mezzo soprano, “Singing in the Rain” Nov. 8 — Pies on the Run — three-piece acoustic ladies’ band Dec. 13 — Raven — dramatic reading of “The Christmas Carol” 10
PATRICIA MORRISON COATE Michael D’Alessandro, executive director of the Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, oversees the Arts to the Elders program. Touring the gallery is one of many cultural enrichments elders enjoy. Here, D’Alessandro poses with a work by Erica Nordean called “Abstracting Equus #8” in the gallery at 701 Water St.
the elderly and playing their music,” D’Alessandro said. Although many in the audience are care facility residents, seniors living on their own are invited and encouraged to attend, like Ginger White, 75, who also is a volunteer docent at Northwind. “I have been attending many — though not all — of the Arts to Elders musical events for almost as many years as the program has been in place. “I like many kinds of music, including jazz, folk, rock and old standards. Solos, small groups, large groups — all. I do not think I could choose a favorite event among them,” White said. “It is a series of remarkably good musicians, vocal and instrumental, and the high quality keeps me coming back. It is a free program, which is an added benefit,” she said. GETTING OUT THE MESSAGE “We need to get the message out to mobile elders and transportation services,” D’Alessandro said, noting transportation costs eat up a lot of the nonprofit’s funding for Arts to Elders. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
Workshop materials and stipends for the performers and administrator also are in the budget. The Arts to Elders program is funded by the Port Townsend Arts Commission and other grants. For 2016, the Port Townsend Arts Commission has awarded $2,500 to Arts to Elders; last year it gave two grants totaling $800. Rodney Schmidt of Port Townsend matched the aforementioned $2,500, giving Arts to Elders a total of $5,000 for this year. Harvey Putterman is the energetic 80-year-old director of Arts to Elders and has been a Northwind Arts Center volunteer since 2001. “Our concerts are held at Seaport Landing, the largest of the residential communities in Port Townsend, once a month on the second Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. “There are five other residential communities whom we serve — Life Care Center, Discovery View, San Juan Commons, San Juan Villa and Victoria Place,” Putterman said. “The goal of the guest artist is to bring participatory forms of entertainment and performing arts appreciation to residents who will bring their own unique perspective to finding joy in a collaborative and creative process. All our residential communities are notified and invited to attend. We generally have 70 to 80 people in the audience.” Putterman explained his responsibility as director is to find guest artists who are proficient in their area of expertise, have the ability to motivate the group of elders and are “caring and disarming” individuals. “Since the elders seem to enjoy music as their first priority, we generally find artists who are superb entertainers. My job is to find the guest artists, do the publicity and deliver posters to each retirement venue. “Since I was president of the Youth Music Fund for nine years, a 501(c)(3) group who offered scholarships to deserving young musicians, and have been director of Arts to Elders for seven years, I have been fortunate in knowing people in the entertainment field and have had
SUBMITTED PHOTO A mixed crowd enjoys the Al Harris Trio, which performs pieces from the Great American Songbook, including tunes from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen and others.
no trouble in hiring them for this worthwhile gig. “Having been a chairman of an English department in Connecticut, I always have loved the arts and relished being involved,” Putterman said. THINGS ARE JUST GETTING STARTED “Each performance is quite a lively event and now we’re doing so many dramatic readings, it’s gotten a lot more exciting,” D’Alessandro said. “Key City Public Theatre and the Port Townsend School of the Arts collaborate with us.” Through the end of the year, upcoming programs are an a cappella women’s choir in July; a contemporary vocalist in August; a mezzo-soprano in October; a threepiece acoustic ladies’ band in November and a dramatic reading of “The Christmas Carol” in December. “Arts to Elders is a bright spot in the schedule of care center residents,” said D’Alessandro. “A lot of these facilities have different activities but they can’t bring in the kind of talent we do. It’s personal to be able to use this art center to be a catalyst in helping the elder community thrive with arts in their later years.” 2014 Award: Excellence in Integrative Medicine
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SUBMITTED PHOTO Al Harris, leader of the Al Harris Trio, plays a hot clarinet during the recent May 10 Arts to Elders event. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
Forbes (Nov. 4, 2012) A large NIH-sponsored trial has turned up substantial evidence in support of chelation therapy for patients with coronary artery disease. Known as TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy), headed by Gervasio Lamas, MD, the study was sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Chelation therapy with EDTA, known to remove heavy metals from the blood, has been used to treat coronary artery disease since the 1950’s. TACT was a double blind study of chelation in stable patients with a history of myocardial infarct. The primary endpoint of the trial--the composite of death, heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, stent procedure, and hospitalization for angina--was significantly lower in the chelation group. Chelation Therapy is an important therapeutic support for patients having coronary and cardiovascular disease. Call for a consultation to discuss the option of having chelation therapy.
RECIPE: summer peach dumplings • 1 recipe (double crust) pâte brisée • 6 large ripe (but not over-ripe) peaches, cut each peach in half and remove the pit • ½ cup brown sugar • 2 tablespoons butter • pinch of fine sea salt • ½ teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg • pure vanilla extract • 1 egg for egg wash • Sanding sugar FOR THE SAUCE • ½ cup brown sugar • 2½ tablespoons butter • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla • ½ cup heavy cream • ¼ cup of brandy • pinch of fine sea salt • 1 extra tablespoon of butter (added at the end) DIRECTIONS Roll out the dough into a rectangle so it is about an eighth of an inch thick (no more than a quarter inch). Cut the dough into 6 squares. On sheet pan, lay out the peach halves. Sprinkle the sugar and spices
evenly over the peaches. Drizzle a few drops of vanilla onto the peaches, then add a bit of the butter to the center of each peach half. Now take two halves of the peach and close them with the butter, sugar and spices inside. Hold them closed. Place the held closed peach into the center of a dough square. Pull the sides of the dough up around the peach, pinching the
dough closed to seal the peach inside. Once the dough is closed, use your hand to gently mold the dough so it hugs the peach and stays in shape. If you have extra dough hanging, cut it off (you will gather the extra dough scraps and make leaves later). Repeat this with all of the peaches. RECIPE continues on 15
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Recognize early Parkinson’s symptoms METROCREATIVE Tremors in the hands, loss of balance, handwriting changes and slowed movements may be early indicators of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological movement disorder. Classic motor symptoms, such as tremor, rigidity and extreme slowness of movements and reflexes, called bradykinesia, are typically used to identify Parkinson’s. However, identification of other, more subtle symptoms may help identify the disease years before more obvious motor conditions present themselves. Since Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive neurological disease, symptoms are often mild at the onset, becoming more severe over time. Initial symptoms may be so subtle that they’re even difficult for spe-
cialists to detect, according to the The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Symptoms also may be different for some patients than others and may progress at different paces. Dopamine loss is a major contributor to the onset of Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine controls movement and mood, so when dopamine is affected, walking, talking and writing can be impacted. Depression or anxiety may accompany other symptoms. The National Institutes of Health says Parkinson’s disease affects as many as 500,000 people in the United States. An early diagnosis may help improve quality of life and delay the onset of greater motor issues. Here’s what to look for and discuss with a doctor:
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• Micrographia and other handwriting issues occur. • Tremors take place in a limb. • Pace or activities slow down. Parkinson’s disease may reduce one’s ability to move. • Loss of automatic movements and functions can occur. • Poor balance and loss of posture may develop. • Speech can change, like hesitating before speaking, slurring words or speaking in a monotone voice. • Others may notice a masked face. This describes a vacant or fixed stare and lack of facial animation. • Sleep issues may increase. If you or someone you know is experiencing repeated symptoms of any of the ones described here, speak with your general practitioner or a neurologist.
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RECIPE from 12
Heat your oven to 450°F. In a baking dish that will fit comfortably all of your peaches, gently place your dough-covered peaches. Set the baking dish in the fridge while you make the sauce and leaves. The leaves are cute, but leave them off if you are not in the mood for the fuss. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and the butter. When the sugar begins to color, swirl the pan to make the sugar color evenly. Be very careful, as the sugar is extremely hot. When the sugar has taken on a nice amber color, add the heavy cream. With a whisk, make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the brandy, and continue to stir. Once you no longer smell alcohol, turn the heat down and reduce the sauce (at a simmer) for a few minutes. Take the sauce off the heat once it's slightly thickened and add the vanilla, salt and the final tablespoon of butter. Combine with the whisk. You should have a smooth, velvety, wonderful flavored caramel sauce. Now gather your dough scraps and re-roll them so you can cut out leaf shapes to garnish your dumplings. You can make the leaf veins using the back of your knife. Egg wash the dumplings and attach the leaves. Next, sprinkle sanding sugar over the dumplings. Next, and this is very important, pour the caramel sauce into the pan with the dumplings without pouring
the sauce onto the dumplings themselves. The sauce should go between and around but not over or on the dumplings. Bake the dumplings at 450°F for about 45 minutes. If they seem to be getting too dark, turn the temperature down to 400°F for the last 10 minutes or so. Use your judgment on that. Have a platter ready to move the dumplings to when you take the pan out of the oven. The dumplings will need to be moved after they rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to move them. They will be fragile on the bottom. The sauce will be caramelized and thick. Drizzle a little of it over the dumplings or around the sides. Serve while warm with ice cream, if you like. Enjoy!
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Grandparents learning, too
AUTHOR PUBLISHES GUIDE TO HELP OTHERS SHARE WITH KIDS LAURA LOFGREN
SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR
Most likely, you can recall a memory from your childhood when your parents or grandparents sat you down to read with you. Maybe you remember the book title and even the author. Maybe you remember that the story made you laugh or cry. Or maybe you remember grandpa or grandma being so enthusiastic as the tale unfolded that all you can picture is their smiling faces and funny character voices. Port Angeles author and grandpa Larry Welch is a man who can make a book come to life for kids, and he can help other parents and grandparents do the same for their children. Welch has just self-published a book, “Read to Me NOW, Grandpa: A Guide for Sharing Books with Grandchildren,” which directs grandparents — or anyone who cares for a child — toward ageappropriate books for preschoolers through teenagers. “When a grandchild wants you to read to him, you do it,” Welch says in his book, “even though it may not 16
be convenient at that particular moment.” FROM TEACHER TO AUTHOR Welch is a teacher, grandfather and a lifelong reader whose 90th birthday was June 22. He was a classroom teacher for 40 years, including 20 years teaching children’s literature at Peninsula College in Port Angeles. He and his wife, Marilyn, have lived in Port Angeles for 49 years. Welch also read books in all of his five grandchildren’s elementary school classes, starting in the classroom of his eldest grandson, Clay Nowak, now 31, when he was in kindergarten. After retiring in 1991, Welch continued reading picture books and stories as a volunteer in primary-grade classes. “After I retired, I decided since I needed some practical experience, I volunteered in first-, second- and third-grade classes reading picture books and telling stories,” Welch said. He continued volunteering for about nine years until his doctor told him he had a choice. “I started getting colds,” Welch said. “At that age, you don’t rebound as fast,” Welch’s daughter, Lynn Welch Nowak, added. But the kids is the schools loved the readings, she added. So did Welch, and he wants to share that feeling with other grandparents. In “Read to Me NOW Grandpa,”
published January of this year, Welch’s goal is to help familiarize grandparents, parents and anyone who cares for children with some of the best modern children’s books. “This is a book for contemporary books, meaning someone else has done the reporting,” Welch said. “I may mention a classic now and then, but that’s not my focus. My focus is with contemporary books that grandparents are not as familiar with.” “ ... because they didn’t read them when they were young,” Marilyn, Welch’s wife, added. “That’s been one of our challenges,” Lynn said. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
“He actually had the bulk of this [book] done many years ago. During all that time, he kept reading children’s books and trying to stay as current as possible, so there’s some fairly new stuff.” Some books Welch encourages grandparents to read and learn about include “Holes,” by Louis Sachar; “The Elders Are Watching,” by David Bouchard; “Rainbow Fish,” by Marcus Pfister; and “Runny Babbit,” by Shel Silverstein. With so many titles on the market, it can be difficult to pick a book that is both age-appropriate and interesting for a child. In his book, Welch helps the reader differentiate quality from the hype. He suggests Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners, nonfiction books, multicultural books and some children’s titles published outside the United States. STORYTELLING TIPS One of the best parts of his book is Welch’s storytelling tips. He dives into how to tell engaging and meaningful tales to children. Some grandparents and parents find it intimidating to read to a child. “I think one thing that’s important ... is that it’s not that scary to tell stories to kids,” Lynn said. “I try to make it easy,” Welch said. “There are some people who are embarrassed, like some people don’t like to get up and make a speech or to tell about themselves in public,” Marilyn added. But reading to a child is a bonding experience that every child and grandparent or parent should have. “Getting up on the lap is a loving experience,” he said, and something that children, parents and grandparents should all experience to develop healthy relationships. “My chapter on storytelling lists some possible guidebooks, some techniques that I have learned from experience,” Welch said. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
LAURA LOFGREN Larry Welch, center, had the help of his wife, Marilyn, left, and his daughter, Lynn Welch Nowak, right, while writing his book. Nowak copy edited the self-published book.
When a grandchild wants you to read to him, you do it, even though it may not be convenient at that particular moment.
— Larry Welch, author and grandpa
A FAMILY AFFAIR “Read to Me NOW, Grandpa” was a family project. Welch mentions Lynn and his son, Dave, throughout the guide. One grandson, Dave’s oldest, Ben, at the age of 2, inspired the title. “... [he] would meet us regularly when we would come to visit in Edmonds or wherever they were living then, would meet us at the door, book in his arm, and with, ‘Read to me now, grandpa!’ ” Welch said. Lynn’s eldest son, Clay Nowak, designed the cover, while her youngest, Sam Nowak, wrote the foreword. Lynn, who has a background in reporting, copy edited the book. Throughout the book, readers will find photos from when Welch read to his grandchildren and when he read in school classrooms.
He has broken down his book into 17 knowledgeable chapters, including “Criteria for Choosing Children’s Books,” “Try Some Nonfiction Books” and “Poetry for Young Children.” “Kids to tend to want to read the same book over and over again,” Lynn said. But with Welch’s book, grandparents can offer some newer material to the hungry reader/listener. Welch, along with Lynn and Marilyn, are planning book receptions in the coming months. For more information, visit www. facebook.com/readtomenowgrandpa or email readtomenowgrandpa@ gmail.com. “Read to Me NOW, Grandpa” can be purchased at local books stores and on amazon.com. 17
PATSENE DASHIELL Sixth-grader Shaheer Chaudhry, munching on an after-school snack, and volunteer Joe Nuber get to the nitty-gritty of a math problem during Sequim Middle Schools’ Opportunity to Excel after-school program.
Plenty of volunteer opportunities within the Sequim School District PATSENE DASHIELL
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION/VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, SEQUIM SCHOOL DISTRICT
Community service and volunteerism are an investment in the community and the people who live in it. Giving your time and talent provides a mechanism through which our students receive all kinds of supplementary support and a more enriching educational experience. The Sequim School District recognizes the valuable contribution made to the total school program through the volunteer assistance of parents, grandparents, service organization members, business people, retired 18
folks and other citizens. There are many ways in which volunteers can be involved in the district. Volunteers assist in classrooms, on field trips, in the library and with after-school programs. Booster organizations, vocational programs and clubs utilize volunteers, as well. Greywolf Elementary Parent Teacher Association (PTA) puts on numerous events and fundraisers throughout the school year, including the annual Greywolf Holiday Bazaar, Open House, jog-a-thon, Family ReadIn, Math Night, family movie nights, book fair and more.
Check for monthly meeting times and more information on the Greywolf Elementary website under “For Parents.” Volunteering in schools is rewarding for both the student and the volunteer. Community member Jeanne Martin has enjoyed her two years as a reading tutor at Greywolf Elementary. “When Krista Chatters, literary specialist, approached our Soroptimist Club about volunteers to read with fourth- and fifth-grade girls, I signed up along with about 20 other members,” Martin said. VOLUNTEERING continues on 26 Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
Nursing shortage creates opportunities at local, national senior living centers LAURA LOFGREN & BRANDPOINT With nearly 8 million Americans still unemployed, it may be difficult to imagine a labor shortage is on the horizon. Yet many labor experts predict the health care industry is headed in that direction — and older adults may be one of the groups that will suffer the most if a shortage does occur as forecasted. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2022, American health care facilities will need 1 million more nurses than there will be nurses practicing. At the same time, people 65 and older will account for 16 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureaus. With 85 percent of seniors having at least one chronic medical condition, and more than two-thirds having at least two, seniors are the age group most in need of care. Any labor shortage, however, can have a silver lining for those who are willing to train for the understaffed market
and pursue available jobs where the need is greatest. “While it does seem to be increasingly difficult to recruit quality nurse managers for assisted living, it is an even greater challenge to find trained caregivers,” said Tracy Willis, director of corporate development at Village Concepts and chapter governor for Washington Health Care Association. “We have needed to come up with creative ways to attract and retain caregivers in order to maintain a consistent work environment to care for our residents. It is important for career counselors in high school, vocational schools and beyond to talk to students about careers in long-term care.” Willis said careers in long-term care are not only rewarding but relatively “recession proof.” “As an industry, long term-care weathered the 2008 recession much better than other industries, avoiding layoffs and reduction in hours,” she said. NURSING continues on 20
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“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home care aide occupation is among the top 10 occupations with the largest job growth (2016).” Willis points to legislation that made requirements for caregiving more unattainable for those looking to join the field. “The issue became exacerbated by 2012 legislation requiring that caregivers complete a 75-hour training. Because this is cost prohibitive for many, the applicant pool has dropped considerably over the past few years, leaving companies competing for talent more aggressively,” she said. According to Vicki McNealley, PhD, MN, RN and corporate director of quality assurance at Village Concepts, the entire state is facing difficulties locating qualified caregivers, as well as nurses, in long-term care facilities. “The recent change in Washington state regulation for nursing homes requires 24-hour RN coverage, only extending the shortage further,” McNealley said. “Residents in assisted living communities average 87 years old and [are] in need of assistance with two activities of daily living. “Eighty-three percent of them require assistance with medications. “The shortage of qualified care staff continues to be one of the primary focal areas of long-term care companies
across the state.” Village Concepts has chosen to invest in educating and training quality individuals who possess the needed attributes to be a caregiver, Willis said. NURSING continues on 25
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Clallam Transit System 21
HIKING ON THE PENINSULA LAURA LOFGREN
Take an easy stroll or a leg-burning ramble to see the beauty of the region
Special Sections Editor
It seems pretty obvious that the North Olympic Peninsula is a beautiful place in which to live, start a family and eventually retire. For those who have lived here for years or are just starting to explore the region, hiking is a big staple around these parts. Some seniors may find it a daunting task to get out solo or with a group to take in the sights. But the Peninsula is a welcoming place, full of quiet trails and busy routes, experienced locals and friendly passers-by. Several hiking groups come and go as residents ebb and flow in the cities and smaller towns of the area. One current hiking group, Over the Hill Hikers out of Sequim, acknowledges the senior audience's need to get out and about. They hike Wednesdays and Fridays on a wide variety of trails — from remote back country in the summertime to beach fronts and low-altitude areas in the winter, according to their website. Participants range in age from 40 and older, and all skill levels are welcome. They meet at the Sequim Goodwill parking lot at 8:15 a.m., with the group heading out for the hike at 8:30 a.m. Hikes range from 5-10 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of anywhere between several hundred feet to upward of 3,000 feet. For more information on the Over the Hill Hikers, visit www.olypen.com/ richd. If a group isn’t your thing, or you want to get out with your own crowd, here’s a sample of some of the trails that can be done in day out here on the Peninsula. 22
Miller Peninsula-Thompson Spit With an elevation gain of about 360 feet, the Miller PeninsulaThompson Spit hike starts about two miles down Diamond Point Road off U.S. Highway 101 in Sequim. According to www.wta.org, the state is developing a destination state park on the Miller Peninsula property, and WTA volunteer crews have created a pretty trail to help interested folks check out the area. This wooded walk enters a lush ravine lined with remnant old-growth and gives way to an isolated beach with views of Protection Island. Washington State Parks has completed a trailhead with a parking lot, restrooms and horse-unloading facility. There are many miles of trails here — whether you do a meandering route around the area or the more direct 4 miles to the water and back. It's possible to create all sorts of loops, so bring a map of the area with you as you go exploring for the day. This is a great hike for dogs, but there is a lot of horse use on the last part of the trail, so be sure to keep dogs on leash.
Elwha River Valley Even though Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to cars at the Madison Creek Falls trailhead, hikers and bikers alike can still access the road to head up to and past the ranger station and Altair Campground. The smooth road has minor elevation gains, so it's an easier, leisurely stroll that can be short and sweet or a longer, more arduous hike up to viewpoints of the ever-changing river. Off the road, you'll find several access points to other Elwha River Valley trails. If you just want a quick jaunt to a gorgeous view, head down the path to Madison Falls, which is only 0.2 miles round-trip. At the end of the ADA-accessible path, watch the water tumble down into the creek below. Whatever you want to do, you'll get exceptional views wherever you look during your outing. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
Fort Worden State Park-Point Wilson On the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Port Townsend, you can walk a sandy beach between high bluffs and two access points to reach the Point Wilson Lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park. The total distance is 2.5 miles, and whether the tide is high or low, you can walk it either direction. Watch long-necked black cormorants dive and
then stretch their wings to dry their feathers. Views are wonderful of Mount Baker, Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands and the Cascades behind them. Follow the beach to the red-roofed lighthouse at Point Wilson. There are picnic tables available for a lunch stop out of the wind.
Olympic Discovery Trail While not in a forest or along a rugged coast, the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) covers a lot of Peninsula ground. Walkers, bicyclists, runners and everyone in between can hop on the route at a multitude of locations throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. The ODT will eventually start in Port Townsend and end on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The trail is a wide, paved pathway with a 4-foot shoulder for equestrians where appropriate.
While portions of the trail are being repaired and some still under construction, it's easy for any in Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Forks and beyond to take advantage of the smooth walkway that boasts sights of all kinds. Wherever possible, the ODT meets ADA accessibility requirements. Maintained by the Peninsula Trails Coalition, the ODT encourages people of all ages to get out and explore the area.
The Hoh River If you're looking for some rainforest action, cruise up to the Hoh Rainforest Visitors Center off U.S. Highway 101 and make a day hike out of the trip. Alternatively, you could backpack up to Glacier Meadows, which is a 17.5-mile trip. The trek is relatively easy up to Olympus Meadows, but it becomes moderately strenuous as you move past the area.
Even if you just wander the campground or take the Spruce Nature Trail, you'll see mosses, ferns and conifer seedlings carpet every spot, including fallen logs. Trails wander near the river at times, so you can catch glimpses of its icy waters. Like any good backpacker, be sure to account for the weather and bring the 10 essentials.
The Quillayute Needles Avid bird watchers should check out the Quillayute Needles Wildlife Refuge, which, along with Flattery Rocks and Copalis, was set aside by Teddy Roosevelt in 1907 as one of the earliest National Wildlife Refuges in an effort to protect and enhance habitat for struggling seabird populations. Thirteen species of seabirds choose to nest and raise their young on these windswept islets, finding clever ways to adapt to the demanding habitat, according to www.fws.gov. Head toward La Push to the well-marked Second Beach trailhead for an easy coastal hike. Lifelong Journey â€˘ JUNE 2016â€
This 2.4-mile day trip takes hikers to the base of Teahwhit Head. Take the Second Beach Trail down to the coastline. The Quillayute Needles are scattered across the water. Turn south and follow the coast as it bends away toward Teahwhit Head. Tidepools among the rocks showcase sea anemones and starfish, among other wild creatures. Use caution when heading to Teahwhit Head. Like any coastal hike, it's best to check the tides and head out during low tide. 23
Signs of anemia are often overlooked METROCREATIVE Aging is accompanied by a number of physical changes. Some of these changes, such as vision impairment or loss of hearing, are anticipated, while others may arrive unexpectedly. One condition many adults unexpectedly encounter is anemia. While anemia is common in older adults and its prevalence increases with age, it is not a condition that is widely considered part of the aging process. Anemia is often a symptom of a hidden problem that needs to be addressed promptly. Anemia is one of the most common blood disorders, affecting more than three million Americans, said the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The American Society of Hematology notes that anemia is characterized by insufficient levels
Anemia is not usually discovered unless a blood test is ordered. Its symptoms can mimic other conditions.
of red blood cells in the blood. Anemia also occurs when red blood cells, which are responsible
for carrying oxygen to the various organs and tissues throughout the body, are not functioning properly.
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Very often the signs of anemia are overlooked or go unnoticed until a blood test determines low hemoglobin (Hb) or hematocrit (HCT) concentrations. Some people discover they have anemia as they attempt to donate blood, at which time their red blood cell count is found to be inadequate. When the body lacks oxygen, any number of the following symptoms may be experienced: • weakness • dizziness • extreme fatigue • shortness of breath • fast or irregular heartbeat • pale or yellow skin • cold hands or feet Frequently, existing disorders or conditions, such as congestive heart failure, are made worse by anemia. But unless doctors specifically consider anemia as a possible cause of symptoms, its presence can go undiagnosed.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says the most common causes of anemia among older men and women include chronic diseases and iron deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency, folate deficiency, gastrointestinal bleeding, and myelodysplastic syndrome are other causes of anemia. The main way to treat anemia is to discover its source and reverse the outcomes. For instance, a gastrointestinal bleed may need to be repaired. If iron deficiency is the source of the anemia, iron supplements may be prescribed. Many methods to correct anemia involve trial and error and experimentation, especially when the source of the anemia is unknown. Anemia is a condition that can affect aging adults but does not need to be accepted as a natural consequence of aging. Correct diagnosis and treatment can mitigate symptoms.
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Sequim High School Robotics Club benefits from a number of community members who serve as mentors. VOLUNTEERING from 18
“After a background check and a very helpful introduction to the reading program, I was assigned a student to read with twice a week, about 45 minutes per session. “My total time commitment is less than two hours per week, and they are two of the most enjoyable hours in my week,” Martin said. “Even though I have no particular teaching skills, the time I spend with my student seems to make a positive difference in her ability to read and comprehend. The students also seem to enjoy having the individual attention that the volunteers provide.” Helen Haller Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is involved with Back to School Night Ice Cream Social, Cougar Writing Conference, Robotics Club, Drama Club, Math Olympiad, family movie nights, Stocking Drive, teacher appreciation/recognition, yearbook, field day, jog-a-thon and more. Haller PTO also awards a scholarship to a Sequim High School senior who is a Haller alum each year. Check the school’s website under “For Parents” for meeting times and more information. Sequim Middle School’s newly formed Middle Matters help put on staff appreciation luncheons, a book fair and more. Consult the school’s website for more information and meeting times. Volunteers help with band, drama, science fair club, Family Reading Week, Timberwolf Days, Opportunity to 26
Excel (OTE) after-school program and more. “Partnering with a very motivated group from St. Luke’s Episcopal math outreach program was a wonderful experience for the kids, the tutors who volunteered their time and myself,” said Sequim Middle School math teacher Shannon Paselk. “This program, and the wonderful volunteers who participated, had a significant impact on student learning, achievement and attitude in math this year.” Sequim High School has numerous booster clubs, including football, choir, band and flag team. Other clubs include robotics, operetta, cheerleading, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA) and more. Volunteer coaching requests must go through the high school’s athletic director. To be a volunteer in the Sequim School District, you must complete the Volunteer Clearance Process prior to beginning a volunteer position or attending a field trip. This process must be repeated each school year. A volunteer registration form allowing a criminal background check, a volunteer expectation agreement and confidentiality agreement form must be signed and submitted, along with a copy of a Washington driver’s license or state ID card, to your child’s school or the district office at least two weeks prior to the date you wish to begin volunteering. For more information about volunteering in the Sequim School District, contact Patsene Dashiell, volunteer coordinator, at email@example.com or 360-582-3264. Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
Seniors more at risk for suicide BRANDPOINT While teenagers are the age group most associated with suicide risk, the terrible truth is that another group is killing themselves at even higher rates: seniors. Adults aged 65 to 84 are nearly twice as likely to commit suicide as 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Beyond age 85, the suicide risk is 70 percent higher. What’s even more concerning is older adults are six times more likely than teens to complete their suicide attempts. Unlike younger people, seniors are more decisive and more likely to have access to lethal means. Why are seniors attempting suicide at such astonishing rates? The Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line provides insight. At the country’s only free 24-hour crisis call center for seniors and disabled adults, trained volunteers speak with seniors for a variety of reasons. “Considered a ‘warm line’ rather than a ‘hot line,’ the Friendship Line exists for seniors to call for any reason,” said Patrick Arbore, director and founder of Elderly Suicide Prevention & Grief Related Services at Institute on Aging, who launched the crisis intervention program in 1973. “While some call because they are having a crisis, the majority call due to chronic loneliness and undiagnosed depression. These two reasons are precursors to suicide.” Many times seniors struggle to understand their purpose in life, and if they are disabled or have little human contact, the negative feelings can compound. However, the Friendship Line offers hope. If you have a senior in your life, suicide risk can be difficult to spot. Common signs are often confused Lifelong Journey • JUNE 2016
as normal parts of the aging process. Arbore says to pay attention for these signals: Subtle cries for help: Seniors are unlikely to say something as straightforward as “I want to die.” They are more likely to say “I don’t want to be a burden,” “There’s no place for me here” or “I just don’t feel right.” Irritability: Seniors at risk for suicide are more likely to be irritable than sad. They may complain often about physical ailments or inability to do things. These signal low quality of life. Undiagnosed depression: Look for signs of depression, such as lost interest in hobbies, loss of appetite or sleep or giving away prized possessions. Pay close attention during times of change, such as when a spouse dies. Lack of social interaction: Note seniors who are withdrawn and lack social contact with others. Loneliness and isolation cause seniors to feel their death wouldn’t really affect anyone. “Keep in mind, seniors are unlikely to ask for help because they don’t want to be a burden to anyone,” Arbore said. “It’s up to you to
take action if you notice any of these signs or feel something is off.” Here is a three-step action plan to help if you believe an elderly loved one is at risk of suicide: Step 1: Call or visit. Simple yet profoundly effective, calling and visiting regularly helps give seniors purpose and allows them to feel connected. When you eliminate feelings of loneliness, you help eliminate thoughts of suicide. Step 2: Schedule a depression screening. Many seniors don’t believe in mental health; they believe in toughing it out. That means they may not speak to their doctor about their depression. Be an advocate and their voice during appointments. Ask the doctor to schedule a depression screening when you observe any red flags. Step 3: Use the Friendship Line. The Friendship Line phone number is 800-971-0016. Seniors can call it every day if they’d like for social interaction or to ask health questions. You can even request a volunteer to make an outgoing call directly to a loved one who might be reluctant to reach out. 27
Elderly especially susceptible to heat METROCREATIVE Many people might choose a nice, hot day over a blustery, cold afternoon. However, excessively hot days can not only feel uncomfortable, but they can also prove life-threatening. Elderly men and women, in particular, are susceptible to the effects of hot temperatures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people ages 65 and older are more prone to heat stroke and heat-related stress than those of other ages. Seniors’ bodies are not able to adjust to sudden changes in temperature as quickly as younger people’s. A chronic condition that affects the body’s response to heat, as well as taking certain prescription medications, also may play a role in seniors’ susceptibility to the heat. Prolonged heat exposure can take
quite a toll on the average person. Factor in the more delicate health of many seniors, and the hot weather can be quite dangerous. Further compounding the problem is higher energy costs. Seniors living on fixed incomes may not be able to afford to turn on air conditioners because of the power draw. There are different types of heatrelated injuries, though heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most common. Here are signs that a person may be experiencing one or the other: HEAT EXHAUSTION • weakness or tiredness • heavy sweating • paleness • dizziness or nausea • vomiting • fainting • fast, weak pulse rate • headache
HEAT STROKE • extremely high body temperature (over 105°F) • red, hot and dry skin • absence of sweat • throbbing headache • dizziness or nausea WHAT TO DO Friends or family members should check in with an elderly relative or friend when the weather is especially warm to ensure they’re safely handling the heat. Have anyone suffering heat exhaustion or heat stroke symptoms drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol); remove any tight or unnecessary clothing; take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath; or apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.
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Better Hearing Means Better Overall Wellness At Olympic Hearing Center, our mission is to help all of our patients achieve healthy hearing. Allow us to guide you through this most personal of decisions. Many forms of hearing loss are subtle and may only involve difficulty hearing in certain situations, such as dining out in a restaurant or cafe. We’re here to provide diagnostics and hearing health treatment for all patients, especially those age 55 and older. When it comes to your hearing, you want to know that you’re in the hands of the most highly qualified, best equipped audiology professionals on the Peninsula. Let us be your hearing partner!
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Trusted Care, Close to Home Billing Inquiries (360) 417-7111
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By demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety, Olympic Medical Center has earned DNV Healthcare accreditation.
Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation (360) 417-7728 (360) 582-2601