Page 1

Formerly Senior Focus

April 2017

Vol. 44, No. 3

Published by The Daily Herald and Senior Services of Snohomish County

Senior Services to launch new brand Page 2

A house filled with pets — and love Page 7

Tips for boosting your recall ability Page 10

Program stimulates seniors with memory issues

www.homage.org

Page 12

Walker, 90, keeps on truckin’ Page 13

Columns

Savvy Senior . . . . . . . . . . 3 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Washington Watch . . . . . 6 Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

VOL. 44 NO. 9 | OCTOBER 2017

Learn about programs and services available to seniors by visiting www .sssc .org .

Meals on Wheels volunteer Pam Timm places food (Dan Bates / The Herald) in the refrigerator and freezer

By Caitlin Tompkins

Herald Writer

Pam Timm is standing door with a cart of brown at his front grocery bags. “She’s my favorite lady,” Mike Kerasotes, 67, said. Timm, 66, delivers meals to him each week. She has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for six months. During that time, Kerasotes has battled cancer. “When you get $80 in food stamps, it doesn’t go very far. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it through radiation,” he said to Timm. Last year, Meals on Wheels volunteers

and staff served more than ple throughout the county 1,000 peoof 152,000 meals. Senior — a total Snohomish County has Services of managed the local chapter of Meals on 42 years. Each of the meals Wheels for is approved by a nutritionist. Most are and have helped diabeticslow sodium blood sugar under control, keep their said Martha Peppones, director of the nutrition program.

Since the program started, been a growing demand. there has Staff were able to bring the waiting list about 300 to 60 people last down from year.

Adaptation helps couple battle

Commentary: Housing affordability crisis requires solutions.

Music wellness facilitator Noah Plotkin leads a drumming and singing session with Michael Folio as Cheryl Levin-Folio looks on.

Broadway Plaza.

“That’s 60 too many,” Peppones said. “Those are people who still need The program may be facing meals.” tial financial cuts if PresidentsubstanDonald Trump’s proposed budget approved. Nearly half of for 2018 is the program’s funding comes from the federal government through the Older Americans Act and Community Development Block Grants. The grants are removed under the budget slated to be plan. That would affect 150 meal recipients in Snohomish County, Peppones said. “Fortunately, it’s only a proposal,” she CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

early-onset Alzheimer’s

By Karen Berkowitz

for a laugh. “I think the next time we our clothes off,” she gently should take HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois told him. “I made light of it,” she Levin-Folio can’t anticipate — Cheryl said. “I never milestone of memory loss every new correct him. That’s not fair to Michael. as she and ” In the five years since her husband, Michael Michael Folio, navigate Folio was diagnosed with early his Alzheimer’s disease. onset Alzheimer’s at age 56, Sometimes quick thinking the Highland comes in Park couple handy, as it did when has adapted their daily Michael forgot routine many times over. one day to take off his clothes before They’d been together for stepping into the shower. years, but Rather than married correct her husband, less than four months, Cheryl joined when him in the shower with her clothes on CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 Chicago Tribune

(Mark Ukena, Chicago Tribune) NON PROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID SOUND PUBLISHING 98204

for Lorna Jenkinson at

Meals on Wheels’ future uncertain under president’s propos ed budget

Music therapy enables stro to regain some languag ke patients e through song

By Rashod Ollison

The Focus is a publication of SENIOR SERVICES OF SNOHOMISH COUNTY 11627 Airport Rd ., Suite B Everett, WA 98204-8714

Page 2

Hero’s Cafe welcomes veterans each month for coffee and conversations.

years, who sits within arm’s The Virginian-Pilot reach of him, nodding. They’re all in a small NORFOLK, Virginia — When the Johnny Cash room inside Fort Norfolk melody frustrates James Medical Center — Rodriguez in his wheelchair and Rodriguez, he chuckles, shakes his head and says, Bowdish on a low stool sandwiched between “I don’t know.” an Tracy Bowdish gen- imposing keyboard and a tly pushes him, taking computer desk. Bowdish is a music therapist with Senhis hand into hers as she tara’s Music and Medicine leans closer and sings in bell-clear perfect pitch lyr- Center. In a promotional ics from “I Walk the Line. clip for the program, she ” The goal is to get Rodri- mentions that her blindguez to find the words, still ness helps her to engage patients, to “see who they a difficult task since Music therapist Tracy J. his Bowdish plays the guitar stroke in summer 2011. are beyond the stroke.” As Bowdish holds Rodri- leads James “Jim Bob” Rodriquez in singing songsand But his progress has been during their session “remarkable,” says San- guez’s hand, singing lyrics in Norfolk, Virginia. at Sentara Neurology Specialists Rodriquez suffered a stroke dra, Rodriguez’s wife of 47 CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 2011 and Bowdish is helping him regain some in speech through music. (Bill Tiernan / The Virginian-Pilot)

Page 2

Business teams show their community spirit during Month of Caring. Page 3

Early area shools were rustic and rough-hewn structures. Page 4

Dental care contributes in important ways to your overall health. Page 8

Homage Senior Services has many opportunities for engaged volunteers. Page 14

Protect yourself from fraud following major data breach. Page 16

Columns History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Washington Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Savvy Senior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Saraless Perel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Homage is a publication of HOMAGE (formerly Senior Focus) 11627 Airport Road, Suite B Everett, WA 98204-8714

Learn about programs and services available to seniors by visiting www.homage.org.

Valentina Bogdanova, 74, loves working in the gardens that nearly surround the Bakerview Apartments, where she has lived for 20 years. The units are among 16 affordable and subsidized properties leased to seniors by the Everett Housing Authority. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Finding a place to call home Amid the region’s real estate boom, those with low or fixed incomes often need help locating housing

By Megan Brown Special to The Herald Seniors are pros at budgeting. For some, that might mean clipping coupons, chasing bargains or skimping on a new winter coat. But even the savviest savers might be in financial trouble when faced with a dramatic rent increase. Low-income seniors are getting squeezed out of one of the nation’s hottest housing markets. Western Washington has become home to high-paying employers, leading to increased wages and an influx of mainly young residents from around the world. Housing prices have soared as a consequence, and price hikes are projected to continue, with Seattle-based housing finder Zillow.com forecasting a 5 percent increase in home prices by next August. Zillow.com considers this market “healthy.” But that’s probably not the word a fixed-income retiree would use. When budgeting alone isn’t enough, low-income senior housing programs offer an affordable solution. “Usually it’s because people are on a fixed income and something happened like their landlord raised the rent and now they can no longer afford to live where they were living,” said Amy Hart, lead housing social services coordinator for Homage Senior Services. “Our ultimate goal is to keep our aging and disabled residents in their homes. Our service coordinators link residents to resources so they may age respectfully,” said Ramonda Sosa, social services director with Homage. Homage is present in 22 senior housing properties throughout Snohomish County to link residents with social services such as Medicaid, transportation services and Meals on Wheels. “It’s our goal to help seniors age in place rather than having to go to assisted living, retirement centers, rehabilitation centers CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

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October 2017

Homage

HERO’S CAFE

COMMENTARY

Our housing crisis demands solutions

Once a month, it gives veterans a chance to drop in, have coffee and snacks and visit with their peers By Nicole Strachila Marketing and Communications Specialist Homage Senior Services Being a veteran is a distinct honor and experience, but it can have its challenges. Christopher Szarek, director of the Veteran’s Resource Center at Edmonds Community College and a veteran himself, will be among the first to say the transition from military life to civilian life isn’t always easy. “Veterans go from a career, from a place where they socialize with the people they work with every day and identify with, to going outside where you can lose yourself in a bunch of people you don’t know,” Szarek said. “Many veterans don’t feel connected or know how to meet people.” In Snohomish County, veterans now have a space where they can come together — Hero’s Cafe, which opened in January. Once a month, veterans are welcome at Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for complimentary lunch, coffee and snacks. There is an occasional guest speaker, but for the most part, Hero’s Cafe has become a meeting ground where veterans of every branch, service and generation socialize, swap stories and reconnect.

By Mark Smith Executive Director Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County

“While there are many veteran groups all over the county they often become siloed,” said Szarek, who is a member of the Hero’s Cafe planning committee. “This is the first place where all of these groups can be under the same roof at the same time.” Hero’s Cafe also provides information and assistance to veterans. There are typically two to three partner agencies with booths, and the Veterans Administration is always present to address questions veterans may have. The next two Hero’s Cafes will be Oct. 24 and Nov. 28 at Verdant Community Wellness Center, 4710 196th St. SW, Lynnwood. There are no requirements, membership fees or expectations. Veterans can come and go as they please. “It is a great opportunity to meet veterans who may have served around the same time as you did and who’ve had common experiences. You will find a very welcoming atmosphere and will leave feeling energized,” Szarek shared. The Verdant Health Commission, the city of Lynnwood, and the Hero’s Cafe Planning Committee all have helped make this community program possible.

“Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.” In many respects, Robert Browning’s famous line has never been truer than it is today. Modern medicine has helped people stay healthier for longer, and Homage services like DART, Minor Home Repair and Meals on Wheels help seniors live active and fulfilling lives, regardless of disabilities or health conditions. This quality of life, however, is being threatened by our region’s housing crisis. The economic boom in the Puget Sound region has brought prosperity to many, but it has also caused the cost of housing to spike to unaffordable levels. According to Zillow, rent for a onebedroom apartment in Snohomish County has increased 9 percent in the past year to $1,300 per month. The sharp increase in housing cost threatens an already sizeable population of vulnerable households. As of 2015, more than 22,000 Snohomish County households — and almost 6,000 senior households — were extremely low-income, earning less than $27,000 per year and spending at least 50 percent of their income on housing costs. These households, representing almost 10 percent of the entire county, are one unexpected health bill, car repair or rent increase away from homelessness. For seniors in particular, many of whom are on a fixed income, the fear of losing the roof over their heads is all too real. This housing crisis, of course, is

For additional dates, times and details, go to: www.verdanthealth. org/events/. Distribution: Over 12,000 papers are mailed to households and senior-friendly businesses;1,900 papers are distributed at drop-off locations including senior centers, retirement communities, libraries, etc.

Published by Homage Senior Services www.homage.org 11627 Airport Rd. Suite B, Everett, WA 98204 425-513-1900

For information on the consortium and the work it does, contact andrew@housingsnohomish.org or 425-339-1015.

Also distributed monthly in The Daily Herald. Contact Josh O’Connor at 425.339.3007 or at joconnor@soundpublishing.com. Advertising: The existence of advertising (including political advertisements) in this publication is not meant as an endorsement of the individual, product or service by anyone except the advertiser. For more information, contact Jacqueray Smith, Multimedia Consultant, at 425.339.3023 or at jsmith@soundpublishing.com

Published monthly with a readership of 100,000+, the Homage Senior Services educates and entertains readers (seniors, family caregivers, service providers and other interested persons) with news and information that reflects the diverse interests and needs of the senior community. Signed articles are the opinon of the writer and not the opinion of Homage Senior Services.

not restricted to low-income seniors: It cuts across every demographic. Of the low-income households that pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing, 19,000 are renters; another 19,000 are owners. In Everett, 18 percent of all households pay more than half of their income on housing; in Monroe it is 14 percent, in Arlington it is 14 percent, and in Lynnwood it is 17 percent. The results of this housing crunch are more visible by the day: The unsheltered homeless count in Snohomish County has increased 65 percent since 2015. One thing is clear: The housing situation for low-income people in Snohomish County, including tens of thousands of seniors, is dire. The Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County is dedicated to addressing this crisis. Our efforts include everything from talking to legislators in Olympia to working with local city and county staff to make housing affordability a priority, to rallying the broader community around bold solutions like a housing levy, which would create thousands of homes countywide. There is no end in sight to the constant increases in housing costs in our region. We need to take it upon ourselves to make sure that no matter what a person’s income or stage of life, they have the opportunity to live in a safe, stable and affordable home, enjoying the quality of life that has made Snohomish County such a desirable place to live.

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Homage

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October 2017

Businesses make a difference during Month of Caring

Fortive employees enjoy cleaning up an overgrown yard during the Month of Caring. (Homage photos)

D.A. Davidson team members with emergency packages assembled for Meals on Wheels.

Volunteers show community spirit by doing yard work, assisting Meals on Wheels and serving up a lunch By Nicole Warren Volunteer Manager Homage Senior Services During September, which was the Month of Caring, Homage Senior Services hosted a variety of corporate groups that wanted to give back to their community. These included: ■■ D.A. Davidson, a wealth management firm, whose volunteers assembled over 100 packs for Meals on Wheels clients in case of an emergency when staff and volunteers are unable to drive out frozen meals to homebound older adults and people with disabilities. Each package contains juice, pasta, canned protein, condiments,

Team Kalani shows its aloha while working to beautify a client’s yard. pudding and carbohydrates to provide one person enough nutrition for three to five days. ■■ A new business in the area, Fortive, had three separate groups assemble emergency packs, serve lunch at the

Fortive employees assemble packs that provide homebound Meals on Wheels clients with three to five days of nutrition. As an agency, Homage is extremely fortunate to have continued support from the community during the Month of Caring. To learn how your business can help, call 425-740-3787 or email nwarren@homage.org”

Center for Healthy Living and clean up a client’s overgrown yard. ■■ And a family-oriented company, Kalani Packaging, shared its aloha by clearing tons of debris from a local trailer home.

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October 2017

Homage

PERSPECTIVES ON THE PAST

First schools in the Edmonds District were humble, rough-hewn structures By Betty Lou Gaeng Perspectivepast@gmail.com When Lynnwood/Alderwood Manor pioneer Gordon Hunter died in 1971 at age 82, he left a record of his memories of the early days of Lynnwood. Born in Wisconsin in 1889, he was the eldest child in the family and only 2 when his parents, Duncan and Jennie Hunter, traveled west in 1891 to carve out a home in the wilderness of south Snohomish County in the new state of Washington. Gordon Hunter spent most of his life on his parents’ homestead — the land at the top of the hill just west of what is today Alderwood mall in Lynnwood. He had endless knowledge of the history of the logging days, education and many other subjects. In addition, schooling meant a lot to the young Gordon and also to his younger brothers, William, Reuben and Basil. As Hunter told the story, the first school in the rural Edmonds School District No. 15 was a oneroom log building in the upland area, about six miles east of the town. The small log building was built by his father on the northwest corner of the Hunters’ 80-acre homestead. Hunter School opened in 1896 for a three-month school year. The first teacher was T. A. Stiger, of Everett. Several years later, Stiger commented that the school started with 12 pupils and was one of the best ventilated school buildings in the country. Stiger called the wild animals their friends and added, “The little squirrels, the red squirrels and the chipmunks came and cocked their little shiny eyes and looked in through the cracks at us inside.” When their early school years ended, the Hunter brothers attended high school in Seattle and Edmonds. All four Hunter brothers went on to graduate from college. With more people arriving in the rural countryside each year, a larger school was needed, and the small Hunter School closed in 1904. Named Maple Leaf School, the new school opened in fall of 1904. The building was in a clearing next to what would later be known as the Alderwood/

The Hunter School’s first teacher, T.A. Stiger, recalled squirrels and chipmunks watching the class through cracks in the walls. (Photo courtesy of Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association) Edmonds Road or North Trunk Road West. In our time, it has been widened and paved and is now State Highway 524, also known as 196th Street. The school’s location would have been between 52nd Avenue West and 48th Avenue West — east of Lynnwood’s Wilcox Park and west of the Fred Meyer store — very close to what is now K. C. Martin Automotive of Lynnwood. The school building was 18 by 30 feet, with a rustic exterior and finished inside with shiplap and fir for the flooring. The school district provided the

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During one of his interviews, Hunter related an interesting account of the naming of the school: “In those days, people with smallpox were segregated in a county pest house built someplace clear away from all settlements. When this building started going up, the rumor went around that the county was putting up a pest house, and there was a good bit of uneasiness about it.” Hunter continued, “It turned out it was to be a school, but the carpenter who put up the building thought he

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Schools: Gordon Hunter chronicled first structures CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 would make one last joke out of it. He wanted something yellow to put on the school — yellow was the sign of a pest house — so he found a great big yellow maple leaf, and tacked it over the door. When the teacher, Belle Abbott, asked the first class of kids to vote on a name for the school, they decided on Maple Leaf School!” It became the name the school district used during the school’s lifetime — 14 years. Through the years, Maple Leaf School had a succession of teachers after Abbot. There was Elverton Sweet and also A.K. Anderson, who taught for several years. A favorite teacher in the district, one who began her early teaching career at Maple Leaf School, was Adrienne Caspers, who came from a well-known Edmonds family. Caspers’ career spanned more than 42 years in several local schools following Maple Leaf, including Seattle Heights, Esperance, Alderwood Manor and, finally, at the Edmonds schools. One of my own special memories is that I was privileged to have her as a teacher. Other small south county rural schools that opened in the early part of the 20th century were: Esperance (first known as Hadley School), Upper Meadowdale and Lower Meadowdale, Cedar Valley, Seattle Heights, Jacklin and East Alderwood.

The eventual closure Time and weather took its toll on the economically built Maple Leaf School building, and the board was seriously considering closing it as it got ready to open a new school on property owned by Puget Mill Company on North Trunk North (today’s 36th Avenue SW) at the hub of the new Alderwood Manor business district. When the little white wood-

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Taken in about 1915, teacher A.K. Anderson stands with schoolchildren at the Maple Leaf School, which operated until 1918. (Photo from Betty Gaeng collection) planked school opened for the 1918-1919 school year, Ina Bettinger was named the teacher. The school would have a short life. Puget Mill Company soon replaced it with a much larger brick building in 1921. Eventually known as Alderwood Manor Grade School, this more modern school was part of the company’s plan in advertising the land for settlement. Even though in May 1918 the school district had named new teachers for the fall opening — with Caspers appointed for Maple Leaf School at an annual salary of $800

— in September when the school year opened, Maple Leaf School had been abandoned. Caspers became the teacher for a new school at Seattle Heights. That school was near the tracks of the Seattle-Everett Interurban, just east of what would be Highway 99 and north of today’s 212th Street. The Maple Leaf School building was sold to a private party and converted into a family dwelling. Dairy cows grazed on land leased from the school district. The money derived from the sale of the former school building was

used to fund the new Seattle Heights School. The outlying small school buildings were becoming obsolete, and the new larger brick Alderwood Manor Grade School filled the void. The school in the 3800 block of 196th Street operated for 41 years and closed in 1962. The building was used as the administrative office for School District No. 15 for a time and was razed in the 1990s. Very soon, City Center, a large apartment complex, will open to take its place. A hotel is also being built on the land.


6

October 2017

Homage

Fund asks our county to do more for veterans By Ron Vivion, Board Chairman Veterans’ Assistance Fund A little-known program in Snohomish County provides critical assistance to veterans who are in need. The Veterans’ Assistance Fund, operated by the Snohomish County Human Services Department and authorized by state law, requires that each county provide funds to help veterans and their family members who are experiencing hardship. The funding for this program comes from a small portion of the property taxes paid by county residents. The amount of tax allocated to veterans’ needs, at the present, is just slightly more than one-half cent per thousand dollars of property valuation. Put another way, for each $100,000 of property that is subject to property taxes, owners pay slightly more than 50 cents annually toward veterans’ support! A volunteer board advises the county on this

program, and in preparing for the 2018 budget, the leadership of the board has advocated to the county executive and county council for more funding. As the current Veterans’ Assistance Fund board chairman, I have requested that the county “add a penny for vets.” As I told the county: “By increasing the portion of the property tax dedicated to the program, we are able to make an impact on the significant needs in our county.” The assistance that this program provides can vary. It includes things like short-term financial help to veterans and their families — keeping the electricity on, buying gas so they can get to medical appointments or putting food on the table until a job is found. Longer-term solutions include getting homeless veterans into adequate housing, connecting eligible vets to available services, helping them find jobs and working to qualify them for Veterans Administration benefits for which many are eligible. The Veterans Assistance Fund board is asking

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Homage

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October 2017

Home: Recognizing disparity in market CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 and hospitals earlier than needed,” Hart said. But the application process requires patience and determination. It’s not an overnight solution. The Everett Housing Authority leases 16 affordable and subsidized properties to seniors, with the minimum age ranging from 55 to 62. According to its website, rent for these apartments starts at $470 for a one-bedroom unit, less than half of the cost of the average market-price of $1,300 for the Snohomish County region. Senior Housing Assistance Group, or SHAG, is a nonprofit that provides affordable apartments for seniors. The organization operates more than 25 communities, from Bellingham to Olympia. Its newest property, Alderwood Court, opened in Lynnwood in early September. A complex in Tukwila is slated to open in january. SHAG provides seniors with more than a roof over

their head. It also has happy hour, tailgating for Seahawks games, fitness classes and other weekly activities, keeping residents engaged in their community. “There’s always been a need for senior living, especially in the niche that we provide — this is for active and independent seniors,” said Leanne Siguenza, SHAG marketing director. The properties are designed and managed to promote that active lifestyle for years, said Jay Woolford, executive director of SHAG. “We purposely designed the buildings for ease of access for people,” he said. ““We have a resident services coordination group that will work with residents individually in order to help them manage changes in their lives.” Rents vary based on the location of the complexes. Overall, the rate is lower than market rate, and residents shouldn’t expect dramatic price increases when it comes time to renew their lease. “We have restrictions on how much rents can go up,

Donelle Kienholz, of the Everett Housing Authority (left), and Linda Baines, deputy director of housing management, look around Svetlana Yuvtushenko’s comfortable apartment unit in Bakerview Apartments. (Dan Bates / The Herald) so that provides comfort to residents,” Woolford said. October is Housing America Month, designated to advocate for affordable housing nationwide. Hart encourages people of all ages and income levels to acknowledge the disparity. “I think people can help advocate for senior housing by getting involved in their community — Homage Senior Services is always looking for volunteers — and talking to their community leaders and representatives about the housing gaps,” she said.

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Dental care helps maintain your overall health Free and reduced-fee dental services in Snohomish County Provided by Homage Senior Services Community Health Centers CHC clinics offer ongoing, comprehensive dental care to adults who have Medicaid or private dental insurance. For uninsured patients, CHC offers urgent dental care with a discount program. Services include: check-ups, cleanings, fillings, sealants, extractions, and limited root canals and crowns. Contact information for CHC locations with dental clinics: ■■ Arlington: 360-572-5430 ■■ Edmonds: 425-640-5533 ■■ Everett (north): 425-551-1000 ■■ Everett (south): 425-551-600 ■■ Lynnwood, 425-835-5204 Puget Sound Christian Clinic This clinic, at Community Life Center, 19820 Scriber Lake Road, Lynnwood, provides comprehensive dental care to patients with sliding fees that depend on service and income. Services include X-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, extractions and dentures. Questions or appointments: 206-3634105 ext. 701 Senior Dental Assistance Program This program arranges discount dental services for eligible low-income clients who have no dental insurance and who are disabled or are 65 or older. Dental services are provided by volunteer members of the Washington State Dental Association, which developed the program in cooperation with the Washington State Dental Laboratory

By Whitney Johnson Nutrition Assessor Homage Senior Services

Association and the Area Agencies on Aging. For information: Chellcie Wilson, 425-388-7239.

Oral health problems often occur over an extended period. We may not realize our oral health is worsening until professional treatment is necessary. The most common oral health problem is tooth decay, often referred to as cavities. Improper (or absence of) brushing and flossing can cause enamel loss, bacteria and acid build-up, which may lead to the development of cavities. If cavities go untreated, serious infections may result that can raise blood glucose in individuals with diabetes or increase the risk for heart attack. Another common oral health problem is xerostomia, the lack of saliva production. Xerostomia causes dry mouth, which can also contribute to tooth decay. Xerostomia is a side effect of certain medications, but also occurs as a natural part of the aging process. Diseases and conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, depression and stress can also cause dry mouth. Some ways to manage xerostomia include drinking water or sugarfree beverages during and between meals, chewing sugarless gum and avoiding tobacco and alcohol. If medications produce a dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are other drugs that can be substituted. A third oral health problem is gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums and is very common among older adults. It develops when bacterial plaques form and sit on the gum line. If not treated, gingivitis can spread to the roots of the teeth and cause receding of the gum line, often resulting in tooth loss. There are significant interactions between oral health and nutrition.

Safe Harbor Free Clinic The clinic, 7209 265th St NW, Suite 204, Stanwood, provides free urgent and chronic medical care as well as dental services. Phone: 425-870-7384 The Mobile Dental Program This program provides free or low-cost urgent dental care services to patients who lack dental insurance or any realistic way to pay for dental treatment. Fully equipped vans are staffed by licensed dentists. hygienists and dental assistants who generously volunteer their time. For information about clinics in your area, please call: 425-284-1950 Project Access Northwest Project Access Northwest helps patients access a range of medical and dental specialty care. To qualify, patients must be uninsured or receive Medicaid. Project Access Northwest does not accept referrals for patients with Medicare only. A patient’s household combined income must fall within 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Patients must be referred by their primary care provider or a hospital or emergency department and complete a patient referral form. After the referral, a project coordinator will schedule an intake appointment. Phone: 206-788-4204, or email: info@projectaccessnw.org Washington Women in Need The service, 700 108th Ave NE, Suite 207, Bellevue, assists low-income women for limited periods of time, depending on funding. Payments are made directly to service providers. Phone: 425-451-8838

When older adults experience any of the above mentioned oral health problems, mouth pain can occur. When pain worsens with chewing, individuals often avoid tougher foods such as meat proteins, increasing their risk of protein deficiency or malnutrition. A decrease in overall caloric intake, or even anorexia (the absence of food intake), are also common in individuals who have poor oral health. This may lead to unintentional weight loss, increasing risk of malnourishment and dehydration — things for which older adults are already at high risk. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can optimize oral health right at home. Dentists recommend brushing teeth within 30 minutes following each meal. If this is not realistic, rinse mouth with water or mouthwash if available. Flossing is recommended for adults at least once daily. For those who have dentures, it is important to remove and rinse dentures after each meal. Brush dentures at least once daily. Dentures should be stored in a solution to soak in overnight to preserve shape; always rinse dentures before putting them back into your mouth. It is recommended individuals with dentures routinely see a dentist to make sure the dentures fit appropriately and are in good shape. Loose fitting dentures can cause sores, inflammation and infection in the mouth. Oral health and routine dental care are critically important for maintaining good overall health and nutritional status as we age. If you or someone you know is in need of dental assistance, please refer to the aaccompanying list of recommended, low-cost clinics. For information on oral health and nutrition go to www.mouthhealthy. org.

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Homage

October 2017

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WASHINGTON WATCH

Florida disaster leads to nursing home rules Get moving

Too late? Are patients not being admitted to hospice care early enough during their illnesses? This was the question asked in a study at Yale University. According to the research, half of the participants were in hospice care for less than 13 days, although the Medicare hospice benefit is good for up to six months. “Failing or delaying to refer older persons to hospice at the end of life can place a high burden on caregivers and result in patient suffering,” said Dr. Thomas Gill, main author of the study. Most of the people in hospice have advanced dementia or cancer, while frail and older adults were the least likely to receive hospice care. Gill recommends that health care providers discuss this option with patients and family members earlier in the course of treatment. Information: www.nahc.org

New tricks The adage about old dogs contradicts reality. For years, a standard assumption about older adults has been that they are not only uninterested in technology, but also unable to learn how to use it. Recent information from a Pew Research Center survey finds the “sharpest growth in the past year [in obtaining news via mobile devices as opposed to via computer] has been among Americans ages 50 and older.” However, the survey also concluded, older

adults may use mobile devices for news, but it does not mean it is their preference. Among those 65 or older, less than half chose to get news using a mobile device. Information: www.pewresearch.org

Family history month Knowing the health history of family members can be important. Information on what illnesses and diseases were suffered by parents and grandparents can help a doctor determine the course of a patient’s future health. While most people agree this is important, he surgeon general’s office reports that only about one-third of individuals have investigated or recorded what illnesses their relatives have had. In 2004, the surgeon general declared Thanksgiving as National Family History Day, encouraging families to use the occasion to review what illnesses previous generations have experienced. And now, the surgeon general’s office has gone a step further, setting up a web-based program known as “My Family Health Portrait,” to help people create a health history. Information: http://familyhistory.hhs.gov

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Ten people died from heat stroke in a Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma. Despite an attempt to use fans and an emergency call to the governor’s office for aid, residents were left to suffer in heat that at times reached 108 degrees. There also are indications the nursing home altered medical records on the status of residents, and the facility is being investigated for criminal neglect. Its operating license has been suspended and it has been cut from the Medicaid program. Justin Senior, head of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, noted, “As more information came to light on this egregious situation, this facility absolutely cannot continue to have access to patients. This facility failed its residents multiple times throughout this horrifying ordeal.” The AHCA was ordered by the state Gov. Rick Scott to issue an emergency rule requiring nursing homes to obtain a generator and the necessary amount of fuel “to sustain operations and maintain comfortable temperatures for at least 96 hours following a power outage.” Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to have generators by Nov. 15. Information: AHCA Communications@ahca. myflorida.com

A decade-long study has confirmed what most people know intuitively: Too much time in front of the TV is unhealthy. The study, reported in the Journal of Gerontology, found that individuals who spent three or fewer hours per week in physical activity were at a three-fold higher risk of losing their ability to walk. The study compared sedentary behavior to light physical activity, indicating that sitting and watching TV “was particularly harmful.” “TV viewing in the evening may be especially detrimental to health because it is not broken up with short hours of activity, compared with sitting during the day,” said the study’s lead author, Loretta DiPietro, chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at George Washington University. Information: www.geron.org.

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10 October 2017 Homage

TECH TALK

Private rentals improve trips, or ruin them By Bob DeLaurentis Q. What do you think of using a service like Airbnb or HomeAway instead of a hotel? A. My family has used various websites to find daily rental lodging for more than 10 years. When everything goes according to plan, they are fantastic. But a bad experience can ruin your vacation. We have experienced both kinds on multiple occasions. There is a huge inventory of rooms, apartments and houses available for rent online. They are offered by different types of businesses — everything from individuals with a spare room to property management companies that handle dozens of homes. Searches in any popular city will present a lush inventory of beautiful choices, lodging that makes all but the most expensive hotels pale in comparison. There are numerous advantages, including a wide variety of choices and price points. My favorite is the ability to experience another city like a full-time resident.

Renter beware The main disadvantages are reliability and an effective Plan B. There is usually an opportunity to change to a different room in a hotel, but if there is a problem with a daily rental upon arrival, alternatives are often nonexistent. Be extra cautious if the hotels near your destination are full, or if you expect to arrive after dusk. We tend to stick with hotels when a good Plan B seems out of reach, like a trip with nonrefundable airfare or a cabin at the top of a mountain.

Q. Is there anything specific I should be on the lookout for when using rental sites online? A. Some cities prohibit daily rentals. Yet listing services still present dozens of choices in these cities. So I always start by Googling the question: Does the local community welcome short-term rentals? If the answer is no, I look elsewhere for lodging. When these services were new, restrictions were rarely a problem. But regulations are common now. If you are asked to pretend you are a friend of the owner, that is a red flag. When an owner or property manager routinely skirts local restrictions, what makes you think they will deal fairly with you? Regardless if it’s the city, the county, or the building’s manager, I stay clear of properties that operate on the edge of legality. If there is any doubt, ask the contact person before the transaction is final. Another thing to watch out for is side contracts. Online listing services are supposed to collect the money and act as an intermediary. Indeed, most will not accept a reservation request without payment upfront. But an owner might cancel the request, then respond directly with a rental agreement and a request for your credit card information. If you take that route, the listing service is bypassed and you are dependent entirely on the kindness of a stranger. The bottom line is that these types of transactions are very lightly regulated and rarely enforced. Renters have very little recourse when they encounter fraudulent owners. Online reviews are not as reliable as they may seem.

There are a few other tips that can help: Look for the same properties on different listing services. Sometimes prices or details vary between competing services. Learn how to spot the difference between an accurate representation and photographic trickery. It is easy to make that shoreline three blocks away fill an apartment’s front window. Get the address as soon as you can and check the satellite view in your maps app. My sense is that avoiding hotels was easier five years ago, and problems are becoming more frequent as more people discover daily rentals. But under the right circumstances, great adventures can still be found.

Charger in a suitcase Q. How do you keep your phone’s battery going when you travel? A. Travel can always bring unexpected challenges, and challenges are best handled with a fresh battery. I have become completely dependent on my phone while traveling for schedules, navigation, and e-tickets. As a result, I have fallen in love with the fiendishly clever Away carry-on. It is a four-wheel suitcase with an internal battery large enough to charge other devices. The battery is removable if the bag is checked. Two standard USB connectors are accessible under the handle atop the case, perfect for refueling your gadgets while waiting at the gate. Check them out at awaytravel.com. Bob can be contacted with your questions and comments at techtalk@bobdel.com.

WANDER THE WEB Here are my picks for some worthwhile browsing this month:

Travel checklist The U.S. Department of State has a checklist to help prepare for international travel, although it’s useful for any sort of travel. Do not overlook the downloadable PDF card and the section for older travelers. www.travel.state.gov/content/ passports/en/go/checklist.html

Airport directory Gateguru is a free app for iPhone, Android and Windows that contains terminal maps, directories and airport amenities. Handy for navigating the maze from the curb to the gate, and vice versa. The quality varies by airport, but it is worth some space on your phone. Create an account if you want to save itineraries and favorites. www.gateguru.com

Educational adventures If you crave travel but seek a different kind experience, Road Scholar has been creating unique travel adventures since 1975. Several of my friends and family have attended Road Scholar trips, and every one returned home brimming with enthusiasm for the program. Most have taken multiple trips. If you enjoy learning and discovering new places, you need to explore Road Scholar. www.roadscholar.org — Bob DeLaurentis

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Homage

October 2017

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Loss inspires widow to teach ‘healthy grieving’ By Treva Lind The Spokesman-Review Lorri Stonehocker faced grief on multiple levels just over a year ago. She’s now braced to reach out to others who are struggling with the loss of a loved one by teaching a community college class, one simply called Healthy Grieving. Stonehocker, 57, doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but she went through a similar beneficial course that encouraged written exercises and participants sharing grief experiences. Her husband, Bob Stonehocker, died from cancer in March 2016. “He died of a rare cancer; it was a long struggle,” Stonehocker said. “It didn’t just mean grieving him. It was grieving the loss of our future together.” Her husband was set to retire in a few years. The couple planned on more time with family and for travel. One of their dreams was to take months hiking the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. But grief appeared instead, as a process they at first shared during the time before his death. Then afterward, she grappled with emotions as a widow. “I really struggled with grief, the evolution of friendships, how people treat you,” she added. “I received a lot of help from Hospice of Spokane. I attended a course that offered the same

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curriculum we’ll be using.” Her upcoming class aims to help people who have faced loss by encouraging use of a journal and discussions, though people aren’t required to share publicly. “The class on Healthy Grieving is not spousespecific,” Stonehocker added. “It can be loss of a sibling, loss of a child, loss of a good friend.” Stonehocker has prior experience teaching as an adjunct faculty member for about five years. She’s taught classes in the realm of emotional healing, including yoga, along with breathing and meditation classes. After pushing through her own emotional journey, she approached the college about offering a course focused on grieving, she said. “I have no degree in counseling. This is more me trying to help others. I can reach a hand back in the fire to help pull some other people out,” she said. “The class is really exploring the emotions of grief. You have these dark corners where it hurts to feel those memories, all these areas you don’t let your mind wander because it’s too painful. Then it ends up being too many areas, and you find yourself in a small place. “You’re out to dinner and someone asks you, ‘How’s your husband?’ You have to have this conversation with someone who will have the pain freshly felt, and then you’re going through it again.”

There isn’t one way to grieve, because people experience it differently, she said. She added that one danger is avoiding emotions, which can create isolation, even within a family. “It’s interesting how people who haven’t lost a loved one can put their perceptions on grief; that can cause shame and a tendency not to share, which is unhealthy,” Stonehocker said. One class focus will be on helping people work through painful areas they tend to avoid, she said. “We’ll be doing lots of sharing and journaling, although people don’t have to share if they don’t want to. There’s homework, then the next week, discussion, if you want to share what you wrote.” When she took the grieving session through Hospice of Spokane, Stonehocker noticed how people who at first were reluctant to talk later softened and started talking, realizing the benefits. Participants even shared some smiles again, she added. “It’s a cathartic experience working through grief,” Stonehocker said. “I hate those cliches, but that really worked. I’m at a place I feel I can help others. I know for me this class will be emotional. There will be two boxes of Kleenex available all the time.” For resources in Snohomish County, call 425290-1260 or 800-422-2024.

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October 2017

Homage

Radiation becoming an option if stents fail By Tom Avril The Philadelphia Inquirer Four times, Elaine Paparella Vandeputte underwent balloon angioplasty to clear dangerous blockages in her right coronary artery, usually also having stents implanted to prop open the blood vessel. Four times, the artery became blocked again, clogged with scar tissue and other cells that were part of her body’s attempt to heal. Last year, physicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia tried a different tack: a targeted dose of radiation inside the artery to inhibit the regrowth of cells. So far, it seems to have worked. The technique, called brachytherapy, works by damaging the DNA in what’s known as smoothmuscle cells to prevent them from multiplying during healing. It was developed more than a decade ago to treat patients with bare-metal stents whose arteries became reclogged. It fell out of favor with the

advent of stents that are coated with drugs to prevent repeat blockages, called restenosis. But now physicians are getting interested in brachytherapy for the small number of patients for whom drug-coated stents do not work, said Dr. Michael Savage, a Jefferson cardiologist. “After you’ve had three layers of stents in there, if the stents aren’t working at that point, it’s time to think of other options,” Savage said. Brachytherapy also does not work for everyone. Vandeputte’s crash course in cardiology began in 2014, when she had a heart attack while recovering from a hysterectomy. Physicians inserted two drug-coated stents into her right coronary artery, and she felt good at first. A former smoker with high cholesterol, she adopted a heart-healthy diet and focused on staying active. Nevertheless, 10 months after her heart attack, she started to feel increasingly short of breath. Seven months later, it happened again, and physicians inserted two more stents. Then, in May 2016, she took a stress test and learned that the artery was once again nearly

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blocked. Physicians reopened the vessel with balloon angioplasty but did not put in another stent. Instead, they mentioned the possibility of brachytherapy, Vandeputte said. By August 2016, as she suffered unstable angina, she was ready to try it. Going in through an artery in Vandeputte’s left wrist, Savage first inserted a slender device equipped with a laser to cut away blockage. Then he inserted a balloon to expand the vessel. Radiation was the final step, administered with a special catheter. A syringe was used to push a short chain of radioactive isotopes through the opening in Vandeputte’s wrist up to her coronary artery. The radiation is more intense than that in a chest X-ray but is delivered to a very small area, just a few millimeters long, and does not harm surrounding organs. Before the procedure, the coronary artery looked as if it had been pinched in several locations. But the most recent angiogram, an image of the coronary artery taken with X-rays, showed the vessel wide open along its entire length.

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DRIVERS WANTED If you have a desire to help others and enjoy driving, you may be just the right person for us! We are hiring drivers for our DART program, funded by Community Transit. Full-time and Part-time opportunities are available to provide safe and reliable transportation for frail, elderly, disabled and/or vulnerable adults. Commercial Licensed (A,B,C) drivers with Passenger Endorsements are encouraged to apply, but if you don’t have these credentials, don’t worry. WE will PAY YOU to TRAIN while you learn the skills required for this type of license. Earn a $1,000 HIRING BONUS and enjoy competitive wages and great benefits. Pay is union scale, starts at $15.00 per hour and increases to $16.31 per hour at six months. This position is considered safety sensitive under the U.S. Department of Transportation and is subject to drug and alcohol testing under both DOT and Homage Senior Services authority; this position must pass physical examination and drug/alcohol testing, as well as a criminal history.

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Homage Senior Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Homage

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Sponsored by Catholic Community Services, RSVP is America’s largest network for volunteers 55 and older and the only program that records the collective contributions of the senior volunteer. RSVP exists to help older volunteers find fulfillment in their volunteer work. Volunteer opportunities exist all over Snohomish County. School/after school mentors: We’ve already had one round of volunteers receive an orientation to help in schools in the Edmonds School District. You could be next. RSVP is helping Westgate, Cedar Valley, Lynnwood, Jackson and Hawthorne elementary schools find volunteers. We also can tell you about after school opportunities and Boys & Girls Clubs, too. Peer-to-peer counseling: If you are empathetic, understanding, compassionate and can keep a confidence, peer-to-peer counseling might be for you. You receive training and are matched with someone who can use a friendly ear. You meet with the client for an hour each week. Emergency management: If you’d like to assist first responders in the event of a countywide emergency, consider volunteering with the Snohomish County Department of Emergency management. There are several support jobs that allow those working a disaster to succeed. These jobs are not on the scene of the event, they are in the office. Volunteer chores: While we all complain sometimes about having to wash dishes, do laundry or vacuum, consider what life would be like if you couldn’t. Volunteers assist others with those routine household chores and allow clients to “age in place” and stay in their home. A few hours every couple of weeks goes a long way. Food banks: Economic hardships have some people turning to food banks for the first time In fact, 99.4 percent of food banks and distribution agencies reported seeing more firsttime users in the past

If you have questions about RSVP, volunteering or any of the agencies listed here, call 425-374-6374 or email me at johnm@ccsww.

To cut your mom’s medication costs, there are a number of cost savings tips. For starters, find out if there are generic alternatives to the drugs she currently takes. Switching to generics can save between 20 percent and 90 percent. Ask your mom’s prescribing doctors if any of the pills she takes could be cut in half. Pill splitting allows you to get two months’ worth of medicine for the price of one. And for the drugs she takes long-term, ask for a three-month prescription, which is usually cheaper than buying month-to-month. Because drug prices can vary depending on where you buy them, try shopping around (GoodRX.com will help you compare drug prices at U.S. pharmacies), and find out if your mom’s drug insurance plan offers cheaper deals through preferred pharmacies or a mail-order service. If your mom’s income is limited, she may qualify for drug assistance programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charitable organizations. Find these types of programs at www.BenefitsCheckUp.org. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070 or go to SavvySenior.org.

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Reduce your PUD bill by 20% to 60%, depending on income level. Questions? Visit snopud.com/discounts or call Customer Service: 425-783-1000 Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM

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To get a handle on the medications your mom is taking, gather all her pill bottles — ­ all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements — and put them in a bag and take them to her primary doctor or pharmacist for a thorough drug checkup. This “brown-bag review” will give you a chance to check for duplicate meds, excessive doses and dangerous interactions — and a chance for you to ask questions. Medicare Part B covers free yearly medication reviews with a doctor through their annual wellness visits, and many Medicare Part D plans cover medication reviews with a pharmacist. Also note that Saturday is “National Check Your Meds Day.” A number of pharmacies — Albertsons, Costco, CVS, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart and many independents — have agreed to support the effort. Ask your local pharmacy whether it is participating. When you get your mom’s review, go over the basics for each medication or supplement, such as: What it’s for? How long she should take it? what does it costs? Are there side effects or potential interactions? Ask if there are any meds

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A. There’s no doubt older Americans are taking more prescription medications than ever. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that around 40 percent of those 65 and older take five or more medications. And the more drugs a person takes, the higher the risk for problems.

Call Monica for a visit 360-659-0003

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Q. I’m concerned that my 80-year-old mother is taking too many medications. She takes 10 different drugs prescribed by three different doctors, which I think is causing her some problems. She also struggles to keep up with all the drug costs. Any suggestions? Concerned Daughter

she can stop taking. Find out if there are any nondrug options that might be safer or whether she can switch to a lower dose. To help your mom avoid future medication problems, make sure her primary doctor is aware of all the medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements she takes. Also keep an updated list of everything she takes and share it with every doctor she sees. Have your mom fill all her prescriptions at the same pharmacy and inform her pharmacist of any over-the counter, herbal or mail order prescriptions she’s taking so that there is complete oversight of her medications.

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year. Opportunities to volunteer are all over the county. All food banks need help with repacking food, assisting clients, picking up food from donors, unloading trucks and registering clients. You can get involved at food banks in Arlington, Everett (two locations), Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville (two locations), Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Snohomish and Stanwood/ Camano. Volunteer transportation: Many people in our county do not own or have access to private transportation. This makes it difficult to get to the doctor, for example. If your vehicle is insured, safe (lights, brakes and horn all in working condition) and available, consider volunteering as a driver. Your driving record doesn’t have to be perfect to qualify. Drive when and where you want. Clients enter and exit vehicles on their own. Mileage reimbursement is possible.

To Book Call 425-268-7220 Senior Tuesday

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By John McAlpine RSVP Program Recruiter

October 2017


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October 2017

Homage

Want to make a difference? Give Homage a call By Nicole Warren Volunteer Manager Homage Senior Services

providing transportation, in-home organization and socialization. Eligible volunteers may receive a government tax-free stipend for their volunteer service. Front desk greeters at main office. Greet staff and community members when they arrive at the Homage office on Airport Road in Everett, answer the agency phone and provide information to those in need. Volunteer hours are Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to become actively engaged with our mission. Friendly visitors. Our social service staff receive daily requests looking for volunteers throughout Snohomish County to visit older adults living

Homage Senior Services has dozens of volunteer opportunities for community members to become engaged with its mission of keeping older adults and people with disabilities living in their homes longer and remaining independent. Homage provides options for one-day groups, clerical roles, skilled based volunteering, internships and more: Check out these highlighted ways to serve: Senior Companion Program. Volunteers who are 55 and older serve other adults 60 and older by

alone, provide transportation to things like doctor appointments, help with laundry and complete other small household tasks. If you are looking for an opportunity to help a neighbor for one or two hours a week, become a friendly visitor. Homage handy helpers: Are you a handy person? Our home repair team has an extensive waiting list of small to large work orders to be completed so we can keep older adults and people with disabilities living in their home safely. Tasks vary from installing closet rods to helping build wheelchair ramps. Contact me at nwarren@homage.org or 425-740-3787 if you have questions about how to get involved or if you want to volunteer.

Feeling negative about negativity can just make it worse The Washington Post

1,300 adults to test the connection between their acceptance of their own emotions and their psychological health. For the research, more than 1,000 people filled out surveys with relevant questions, such as how they react to statements including, “I tell myself I shouldn’t be feeling the way that I’m feeling.” Next, more than 150 participants came to a laboratory and were asked to give a three-minute videotaped speech — with only two minutes to prepare — to a panel of judges as part of a mock job application and afterward rate their own performance. Those who thought they did poorly were more

This belongs in the “it-seems-obvious-butsomebody-actually-studied-it” category: Research has found that people who feel bad about feeling bad — that is, people who get sad about their own negativity and judge themselves harshly for it — wind up with even more mental stress than people who learn to accept their emotions and thoughts. The study was conducted at the University of California at Berkeley and funded by the National Institute on Aging. The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, looked at more than

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stressed. And finally, more than 200 people chronicled in journals what they described as difficult recent experiences. One psychology professor was quoted by the UC-Berkeley release as saying: “Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you’re not giving them as much attention. And perhaps, if you’re constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up.” The research can help people who keep judging themselves understand that there is an emotional cost to doing so. So there you have it. Stop feeling so bad about feeling bad, or you will just feel worse.

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I’ll continue to volunteer as long as I can…”

er most of the time; another 25% just utilize it as a tool to keep tuned into their grandkids. Otherwise, we depend on traditional media to stay informed.” Joan sat back for a minute to contemplate which KSER ‘Focus on Aging’ show she thought was her favorite. “Oh, they’re all interesting,” she says, “but I think I had the most fun interviewing a senior karaoke singer; she sang through the whole show!” And, when queried about what the future holds as far as her volunteerism is concerned, Joan smiles and says, “I’ll continue to volunteer as long as I can. In fact, I’m thinking of putting a sign on my front door that says, ‘Sucker Lives Here!’

A gathering place for folks with dementia, their loved ones and caregivers. Relax and enjoy friendship, food and MUSIC in an accepting and nonjudgmental environment. Great company, food and fun!

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hen Joan Bethel speaks, people listen. At age 81, Joan co-hosts KSER 90.7/KXIR 89.9FM Independent Public Radio’s ‘Focus-On-Aging’ half hour show on the 4th Monday of each month, and has done so for 12 years. “It was sort of baptism by fire,” Bethel says. “For my first show, KSER news director Ed Bremer asked me to interview the head of Snohomish County Human Services. I prepared a script, showed up at the station early before my guest arrived and Ed promptly tore up the script and informed me that all good interviewers should be good listeners. He was right. That advice played to my strengths.” Joan Bethel has listened to thousands of stories. When people first meet her, they see bright hazel eyes and a halo of soft white curls surrounding a friendly face. As a former registered nurse with a Bachelor of Psychology degree and certification in substance abuse and detox, Joan says with a wry smile, “I was going to cure the world, but as you can see that didn’t quite turn out as planned.” At age 65, after 30 years in the medical field, a coronary embolism ended Joan’s professional career but established a gateway to a whole new one she calls ‘my years as a chronic volunteer.’ “It started when I was 13,” she explains. “Two hours after my Catholic confirmation, I went to our priest to ask how I could serve. You see, I took the learning seriously.” Now as CEO of her own retirement, Joan runs a tightly scheduled operation from her Marysville headquarters at a blue kitchen table in a pretty yellow house brimming with framed photos of her 5 smiling children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. When not playing pinochle or gardening, Joan sits on the Regional Board of the North Sound Behavioral Health Organization, covering 5 counties; works as co-founder and volunteer for food delivery systems at the Marysville Food Bank: serves as Vice President of (SEIU6) Service Employees International Union 6; volunteers as a senior peer counselor for Homage Senior Services of Snohomish County; hosts a Public Radio show in Everett with partners Pat Mahoney and John McAlpine and she enjoys her affiliation with (PNHPI) Physicians for a National Health Program International. Joan endorses the concept of universal health coverage with a single-payer option and laments, “we’re the only industrial nation in the world that does not provide health care for all, regardless of income or circumstances.” When asked what has changed for seniors in the 12 years she has been hosting the radio show, Joan was quick to answer. “Well, there are a lot more of us. Medical science is keeping us alive longer and social media has affected not only our medical delivery systems but helps seniors, who otherwise would be alone and isolated, stay in touch with their loved ones. I’d say approximately 20% of the Greatest Generation uses a comput-

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Homage

October 2017

15

Dishing out silliness about a grave topic By Saralee Perel Last week my friend Marilee and I met for lunch for the purpose of me giving her a list of things to do when I’m dead. She ordered a salad and I ordered a turkey wrap. I said, “Would you say my eulogy?” “Let me hear it first.” I read, “Saralee was so benevolent that when she won the Nobel Prize, she donated it to our president so he could have something to boast about. She was the first old Jewish woman to take a spacewalk from the International Space Station, where she established the first orbiting satellite Kosher deli.” Marilee was wide-eyed. “Saralee won her 10th Pulitzer Prize for her bestselling book, ‘I Found My Cell Phone in My Casket.’ In later life, she was honored at the Kennedy Center where she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Greatest Humanitarian in the Entire Universe – and Elsewhere.” Marilee sat back, shook her head and said, “I refuse to say any of that.” “Well, would you put my obituary in the paper?” “I’ll need to hear that first too.” “Saralee’s funeral will be at the bus station tomorrow at noon. No early birds please! It will be catered by Burger King. BYOB.” I told Marilee, “Make sure nobody gets any crumbs on my outfit. I want to be buried in my clown suit. It’s the red one hanging in my closet. Definitely not the black one or the yellow

one or the green one. Oh, can you post the obit on Twitter?” She said, “No.” I went on: “Saralee’s rented 14-karat gold casket will be surrounded by a one-day-only yard sale with all of her stuff. Everything must go! Items include: vintage, original black and white photos of Saralee at summer camp when she was elected Miss Wohelo for winning their famous beauty and talent contest. There will also be leftover pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream in a freezer. And so much more! All sales are final, since there’s nowhere to return anything anyway.” I finished my turkey wrap, then continued, “Proceeds will go to the Red Cross, which was founded by Saralee and Clara Barton, who was so overwhelmed with charitable odds and ends that she asked Saralee to do the field work of helping millions of people.” Marilee agreed to help with the pets and other sane things on my list, but she thought my eulogy and obit were warped. We walked arm and arm to our cars. Overwhelmed with loving gratitude, I took her in my arms, hugged her to me tightly, and whispered in her ear, “If you want to cremate me, I could live with that. Just make sure I’m dead first.” Award-winning columnist Saralee Perel can be reached at sperel@saraleeperel.com or at www.SaraleePerel. com/.

If we don’t use muscles, they just grow weaker By Wina Sturgeon Adventure Sports Weekly Once you turn 55 or older, you’re usually nowhere near as active as you once were. That means certain muscles will atrophy or waste away. For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting, you’re not working your glutes. This is the buttocks, composed of three muscles, and it’s the largest muscle group in the body. The buttocks help perform many necessary movements, like stepping up on a curb or climbing stairs, even just ordinary walking. If these muscles do not have the strength to support the body, it might be impossible to move quickly enough to cross an intersection once the signal numbers have started counting down. Weak glutes are often a cause of lower back pain. Perhaps your weak spot is your core — your midsection. Since every limb movement originates in the core, a weak core will create a weakness in limb movements as well. The shoulders are a complex and

important series of tendons and joints. They allow the arms to rotate, providing a variety of movements. However, there is another kind of weakness that many older folks don’t even know they have. They allow one side of the body do more work than the other side. This causes a muscle imbalance that, with time, can even pull on the bones of the skeleton. It takes a good physical therapist to diagnose a muscle imbalance, and it’s done with special tools that can identify whether one glute or one thigh is doing more work than the other. The therapist can then create an exercise program that will build up the weaker side. The program can never be accomplished in just a few months. It takes a long time to rebuild a weak spot — a year or maybe even two years. One good thing: Medicare will pay most of the cost of working out in a physical therapy or rehab center. Wina Sturgeon offers news on the science of anti-aging adventuresportsweekly.com.

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Serving as your City Councilmember for the last four years has been a true honor. With your vote, I pledge to continue to: P Work to ensure safe neighborhoods for all our citizens P Create and retain family wage jobs P Use our tax dollars wisely P Protect our most vulnerable P Care for our public spaces Visit my website for more information about my pledge to you. scottmurphyforcitycouncil.com Endorsed by: Individuals: Rich & Connie Anderson | Phil & Scuttle Bannan | Jack & Marilyn Courrier | John & Julie Dickson | Bob & Liz Dobler | Tom & Dianne Easley | Brian & Colleen Frauenholtz | Geoff & Carlene Goldfinch | Greg & Nga Goldfinch | Brian & Connie Hallgarth | Connie & Mark Hoidal | Jamie & Kathy Hunter | Jim Langus | Ed & Betty Morrow | Jeanne Metzger | Ed Rubatino | Dr. Tom & Marion Skalley | Dr. Tracy & Patty Spencer See complete list on website!

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Organizations: Affordable Housing Council | Associated General Contractors | Everett Transit Union (Local 883) | Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS | Everett Longshoreman - ILWU Local 32 | Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants | IBEW Local 191 | Rental Housing Association Elected Officials: Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson | Everett City Councilmember Jeff Moore | Everett City Councilmember Scott Bader | Everett Port Commissioner Glen Bachman | Everett Port Commissioner Tom Stiger | Everett School Board member Carol Andrews | Everett School Board member Ted Wenta | Everett School Board member Caroline Mason | Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers | Former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel 1967766


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October 2017

Homage

Protect yourself following major data breach By Martha Peppones Nutrition and Wellness Program Director Homage Senior Services The Equifax data breach is one of the largest in history, affecting half of the U.S. population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports. The stolen information contains sensitive personal data that can be used for identity theft, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. As a credit reporting agency, Equifax collects information about consumers and how they handle their finances. It then sells this information to lenders and credit scoring companies to determine eligibility for loans, lines of credit and even employment. You could be affected even if you don’t bank online or think you’re a customer of Equifax. Identity theft tops the list of consumer complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission and other enforcement agencies every year. Another risk of this breach is tax identity theft,

in which crooks file phony tax returns in an older adult’s name. Equifax said it will send paper mail to consumers whose credit card numbers or documents with personally identifying information were impacted. There is also a dedicated website for consumers to see if they were affected, www. equifaxsecurity2017.com. Consumers affected by the breach should consider a security freeze. This prevents a thief from using stolen information to establish a new credit account in the older adult’s name. Consumers can freeze their credit reports at all three major credit bureaus as a protection against stolen information being used to fraudulently apply for credit using reports from Experian or TransUnion as well. Information about security freezes is available from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the FTC. To place a freeze on your credit reports, call the credit reporting companies. There are three big ones — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and one smaller one, Innovis. It’s a good idea to freeze your credit at all four.

t c e l Re-e ht g i r W a n n Do

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More information: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money /2017/09/13/how-freeze-your-credit-protect-youridentity/657304001/ http://states.aarp.org/equifax-breach-need-know

Saved taxpayers $150 million on courthouse renovation vote

Marysville City Council Position 2 Priority Issues:

Here are the numbers to call: ■■ Equifax: 800-349-9960 ■■ Experian: 888-397-3742 ■■ TransUnion: 888-909-8872 ■■ Innovis: 800-540-2505 It may be difficult to get through as they are overwhelmed with phone calls. Fortunately, for Washington state residents, there is no cost to start or lift a freeze for consumers 65 and older. The National Consumer Law Center has published a free article offering detailed advice on security freezes, fraud alerts, credit monitoring, and other steps consumers can take to minimize the risks from the Equifax data breach: www.nclc. org/media-center/statement-nclc-staff-attorneyequifax-data-breach-09112017.html

Endorsed by 100 + statewide & local leaders County Councilman Nate Nehring

Currently serves as County Councilman

www.ElectNateNehring.com 1947348

Special Sections - Homage 10.18.17  

i20171016101749805.pdf

Special Sections - Homage 10.18.17  

i20171016101749805.pdf