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Twins champion helpful hobby + health

Bidets add benefits in the bathroom

+ finance

The nuts & bolts of reverse mortgages An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette

An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette


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ROW FOR HEALTH Local rowing programs contribute to wellness of all ages



EASE INTO EXERCISE Men and women can employ various strategies to make a smooth transition


REVERSE MORTGAGES Peninsula Mortgage breaks down how these loans work for seniors



GLEAN TEAM Twins are champions of the helpful — and healthy — hobby of gleaning


Homeowners can consider some of these tips as they start compost piles



ASK YOUR DOCTOR Some questions to ask your doctor when being prescribed a new medicine


BIDET BASICS These bathroom accessories can be benef icial for a number of reasons


20 FEBRUARY 2019



Twins champion helpful hobby + health

ON THE COVER Twin sisters Deborah Harrison and Dianna Sarto show off a pie they baked using gleaned fruit. Read more about gleaning on page 12.

Bidets add benefits in the bathroom

+ finance

The nuts & bolts of reverse mortgages An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette

An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News and Sequim Gazette

SENIOR YOGA SERIES Poser Yoga is offering two new series at their new Sequim location


MARK HARVEY Columnist advises that helping each other should continue year round

Do you have a story idea for the next edition of Lifelong Journey? Email Shawna Dixson at sdixson@ peninsuladailynews.com


Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019


Row, row, row for health

Rowing programs contribute to wellness of all ages by CAROLYN DESALVO, MD, & LINDA CARLSON

Exercise, social interaction, spiritual connections and diet are all important in wellness and are all contributors to quality of life. For dozens of people in Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend, rowing provides three of these: vigorous work-outs, fellowship and the inspiring natural beauty of the water. Rowing is a total body exercise that offers significant benefits. It strengthens lung capacity, improves blood pressure and cardio health, decreases anxiety and the risk of depression, and keeps glucose and insulin levels low. This means it reduces the chance of chronic health problems. Like swimming, but unlike running or jogging, rowing is gentle on the joints. It’s ideal for those who experience (or want to avoid) back, hip or knee pain. Another benefit of rowing in a shell — a sliding-seat boat — is that it develops a sense of balance, which is critical in preventing falls. Falling is one of the most common causes of injuries in older adults. Almost everyone who rows in and around the Peninsula participates in a club, which means built-in encour-

Rowing strengthens lung capacity, improves blood pressure and cardio health, decreases anxiety and the risk of depression, and keeps glucose and insulin levels low. agement when learning the sport. Especially for women who came of age before Title IX’s impact, this might be their first team sport. Those who row through groups, such as the Sequim Bay Yacht Club (SBYC), the Port Angelesbased Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association (OPRA) and the Port Townsend-based Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club, develop friendships through tasks ranging from adjusting equipment to guiding new rowers to participating in or helping organize competitions. Most of the shells accommodate

four rowers, so everyone works together to lift boats into the water, follow the coxswain’s instructions and synchronize our strokes. (A coxswain is the person in charge of a boat, particularly its navigation and steering.) For those new to the area or newly retired, rowing can create a new circle of friends. Because rowing requires both rhythmic strokes and regular breathing that encourages you to clear your mind of distractions, many compare it to meditation. Research has shown that meditation reduces the risk of dementia and improves mental acuity. Like any cardio sport, rowing also increases blood flow to the brain, another factor in preventing mental decline. Some people start rowing as part of their recovery from cancer or health crises, after divorces or in bereavement. Because the water is usually calmest in the morning, rowing groups often start between 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. Rowers are not necessarily morning people, but a sunrise row — with fish jumping, seals surfacing and the occasional bald eagle soaring overhead — both eases anxiety and energizes you for the day ahead. ROWING continues on 9 >>

Lifelong Journey FEBRUARY 2019 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 Eran Kennedy • advertising director Shawna Dixson, Laura Foster and Brenda Hanrahan • special sections editors 6 

Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

Sequim Bay Yacht Club rowers move their boats from racks to the water.

<< ROWING from 6

As the famous rowing shell designer and builder George Pocock once said, rowing is “touching the divine.” For touching Pocock’s divine, OPRA offers programs for both teenagers (junior) and adults (masters),

and SBYC and Rat Island offer adult rowing. If you can do a half hour of aerobic exercise, you’re probably fit enough to row. Every rower can contribute to the team effort, even novices who might lack the power strokes of more experi-

Photo by Don Berger

enced participants. With regular practice, everyone develops stamina. Some people row almost daily year round, others only seasonally or as their schedules permit. ROWING continues on 9 >>

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How to ease back into exercising by METROCREATIVE Men and women who resolve to get healthy often benefit by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise. Making such adjustments can be challenging, especially as men and women accustomed to sedentary lifestyles begin exercise regimens. Whether they’re fitness novices or returning to exercise after a long layoff, men and women can employ various strategies to make that transition go smoothly. •  Work with a trainer. Many fitness facilities offer a handful of free personal training sessions to new members upon enrollment. Take advantage of such offers, as trainers can devise workout routines for people of various abilities. Trainers also can instruct new members how to use machines and help ensure they’re following proper form


so they can avoid injury. If necessary, continue working with trainers after making use of complementary sessions. Personal training sessions typically can be purchased in batches, and men and women can continue working with trainers until they’re comfortable working out on their own. •  Embrace low-intensity exercises. Even men and women who were once accomplished athletes must take it slow when beginning an exercise regimen after a long layoff. Initial low-intensity exercise sessions might feel ineffective and seemingly produce few results. But early on, the goal is to simply get the body acclimated to physical activity. As their bodies adjust, men and women can begin to make their workouts more intense.

•  Focus on flexibility. Sedentary bodies likely lack the flexibility of bodies more accustomed to exercise. Men and women who are becoming more physically active must include stretching in their workouts and cease exercising if they feel something tweak or suspect they have pulled a muscle. •  Take days off. As men and women begin to see their work in the gym pay off, they may be tempted to push themselves hard, working out several days in a row without taking time off. But rest is an important component of an effective workout. Days off help the body repair itself and recover from vigorous activity. Exercising for the first time or after a long layoff requires patience. But as men and women grow more acclimated to physical activity, they will begin to see the fruits of their labors. Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

<< ROWING from 7

If you’ve tried a rowing machine and didn’t like it, that doesn’t mean you won’t be a good rower. Some rowers use ergometers (another name for a rowing machine), and some hate them! Erging is similar to local programs’ sculling (rowing with two oars), but it lacks both the camaraderie of a team sport and the sensual pleasure of an outdoor workout. Rowers don’t have to be good swimmers, although rowing programs require every prospective participant to complete a 10-minute float test. These are scheduled with lifeguards at local pools. Age is no barrier, as many teammates started after age 70. You will want to discuss rowing with your health provider if you’ve recently suffered a heart attack, have an uncontrolled seizure disorder or are at high risk of a medical event. Rowing with a club’s boats keeps costs modest. Learn-to-row courses cost $150 at SBYC.

Club dues can vary. SBYC’s annual dues are a maximum of $375 and cover all regular rows, as well as yacht club membership (no boat ownership is necessary). OPRA masters quarterly dues are $150. Rat Island annual dues are $345. Some programs offer complimentary or low-cost guest rows, especially for experienced sweep rowers interested in trying out sculling. The only other costs are for personal floatation devices and clothing, and, for those who compete in USRowing-sanctioned races, USRowing membership. If you’re looking for a new hobby, to make friends, to get fit or all of the above, rowing might just be the next step you take toward a more healthful lifestyle. Contact a local club today and get started on something good for you. Carolyn DeSalvo, MD, is boardcertified in integrative medicine and gynecology. She practices at Rain Shadow Integrative Medicine in Sequim. Visit rainshadowintegrative-


Sequim Bay Yacht Club: sequimbayyachtclub.org Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association: parowing.org Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club: ratislandrowing.com USRowing: usrowing.org/find-club medicine.com for more information. Linda Carlson is the author of “Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest.” Both row with Sequim Bay Yacht Club.

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Putting rumors aside How does a reverse mortgage work?



Reverse mortgages are loans available to homeowners age 62 and older. They are designed to provide a safety net to seniors that allow them to access a portion of their home’s equity without requiring monthly payments to the lender. Unlike other kinds of loans, the borrower won’t have to make any payments as long as he or she — or his or her spouse — still live in the home. Instead of making monthly payments to the lender, interest that is owed to the lender is accumulated each year and added to the borrower’s loan balance. If there is an existing mortgage on the home, it would be paid in full at closing. The borrower would have no further monthly mortgage payment. They can spend the money they previously used for their mortgage payment on something else instead. If the borrower has enough remaining equity, they also would be able to receive cash payments to additionally supplement their income. If there is no existing mortgage on the home, all of the eligible reverse mortgage proceeds can be received by the senior as cash payments. There are several ways to receive cash proceeds from a reverse mortgage.

Options range from a “lump sum” at closing to payments received over time. The most beneficial and often overlooked option is the line of credit feature. Borrowers can elect to have a flexible line of credit established at closing that gives them permanent access to a portion of their proceeds — without having to actually borrow money at closing. The line of credit is then increased by the lender each year whether the borrower accesses any of the funds or not. An initial line of credit of $90,000 will increase to an amount available to the borrower of over $150,000 in just 10 years. The line of credit provides a safety net for senior borrowers as they manage the “peaks and valleys” of retire-

ment income. A reverse mortgage line of credit is a far superior option for seniors to use than a traditional home equity loan line of credit (HELOC) from a bank. The terms of HELOC can be changed unexpectedly by the lender at any time. The available HELOC balance can be lowered or completely closed unexpectedly, monthly payments can be increased suddenly or a loan balance can actually become due “in full.” A HELOC unfortunately is not a reliable tool for seniors to rely upon as they manage their retirement. In comparison, the reverse mortgage line of credit is permanent and is never “canceled.” MORTGAGE continues on 11 >>

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<< MORTGAGE from 10

Craig Stevenson has been a mortgage loan originator for more than nine years and is the owner of Peninsula Mortgage Inc., 720 E. Washington St., Suite 106, Sequim. Peninsula Mortgage has been serving the Olympic Peninsula for more than 23 years. Stevenson is a certified military home specialist who has extensive experience in veterans affairs financing, as well as the USDA zerodown purchase program. Peninsula Mortgage also features its “purchase express” financing that provides fast closings for conventional home buyers looking to stand out from other buyers in this competitive market for home buying. For more information, call 360-683-2429 or visit penmortgage.com.

Northwest Living









The available amount is instead automatically increased each year. If both the borrower and spouse permanently move out of the home or both pass away, the loan balance becomes due. The borrower or their estate can choose to repay the reverse mortgage loan balance or put the home up for sale. If the borrower or heirs sell the home, the lender is entitled to be paid only the amount of the loan balance. All remaining equity belongs to the borrower. New rules for reverse mortgages that took effect in 2014 better protect both spouses and ensure that both are able to stay in the home as long as they desire. There used to be news reports years ago of a spouse being evicted after the other spouse — the only spouse listed on the reverse mortgage — passed away. This important flaw was fortunately addressed more than five years ago. A question frequently asked about reverse mortgages is, “Will I still own my home?” The answer is “yes.” Borrowers remain the owners of their home. The lender is entitled only

to be paid back the amount they are owed. As with all financial matters, it is very important for someone considering whether to include a reverse mortgage in their retirement cash management plan to have the professional guidance of an expert. Clients are encouraged to bring a list of questions to an initial meeting to ensure that they fully understand their best course of action.



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GLEAN TEAM Twin sisters’ hobby gives back to the community by



ianna Sarto and Deborah Harrison, identical twins who share an appreciation for the outdoors and healthy eating, have found a hobby that combines the two. They are volunteers with the WSU Extension Gleaning Program, and they are having a grand time of it. Gleaning is an oldfashioned word that means “harvesting the extra from a garden or farm.” In biblical times, farmers were instructed to leave produce on the edges of their fields so the poor, widows and orphans could come and take some. Gleaning was a way to ensure that everyone had access to food. During World War II, gleaning helped keep food on the table when rations were thin. Recently, it has experi-


enced a resurgence as people around the country are trying to find ways to eat healthier on a budget. Sarto and Harrison began gleaning about four years ago. They’ve harvested everything from strawberries and loganberries to cherries and Swiss chard. “We leap at any opportunity that comes along to partake of homegrown fruits and veggies,” Harrison said. “The taste is so much better.” But Sarto and Harrison didn’t always eat so well. The sisters grew up in upstate New York, surrounded by farmland; however, their parents were transplants from the inner city and knew little about fresh food. Since mom and dad had their hands full raising four small children, most fruits and vegetables came from a can.

Gleaning of plums

Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

Submitted photo Twin sisters Deborah Harrison and Dianna Sarto show off a pie they baked using gleaned fruit.

“(Our) Irish-Italian mother was a good cook ... but vegetables at our table were usually a chore to finish,” Sarto said. The worst offender was canned spinach. “Mom had us convinced that Popeye the Sailor ate it to get strong, so we would diligently comply ... but it was pretty nasty stuff.” Sarto does remember an exception to all this processed produce. She would climb gnarled old apple trees to find fruit that was juicy, crisp and full of “sweet-tart deliciousness.” The sisters’ appreciation for fruits and vegetables really began to develop after their college years. For many years, though, they were unable to afford fresh, organic produce. It was when they moved to the Pacific Northwest that they had their introduction to gleaning. Harrison recalls her amazement at seeing an Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019 

empty house with a pear tree in the yard, full of fat fruit. Day by day, the pears were falling to the ground, and no one ever came to pick them up. She couldn’t fathom it. Pears were so expensive! Why wasn’t anyone eating them? Harrison debated whether or not she could help herself to a few. She felt guilty about taking them, but she also was appalled by the waste. One day, unable to resist any longer, Harrison snatched a few and brought them home to her sister. As it turned out, these pears — Comice pears — were Sarto’s favorite, and they were perfectly ripe. “They were the best pears we ever tasted in our lives,” Harrison said. “It was only then that we really understood the difference between homegrown and commercial produce. What an awakening!” GLEAN continues on 14 >>


<< GLEAN from 13

As volunteers with the WSU Extension Gleaning Program, the twins now have an easy way to pick free produce — without any guilt. They are on the Clallam Gleaner email list. They receive a weekly newsletter during the growing season alerting them to ripe fruits and vegetables. “The WSU Extension Gleaning Program is kind of like a fruit and veggie classified service,” said Sharah Truett, gleaning coordinator. “Have fruit, will donate!” and “Desperately seeking plums!” are common phrases in the newsletter. “It links up volunteer pickers with homeowners who have leftover produce in their yard and don’t want to see it go to waste,” Truett added. The program has grown to about 100 active gleaners. Many of them are seniors, but folks of any age are welcome. “Sometimes we get moms gleaning while wearing a baby on their back,” Truett said. “It’s a lot of fun!” The unsung heroes of the gleaning program are the homeowners. They generously invite volunteers into their yard because they want their homegrown treasures to go to folks who will appreciate them. After harvest, the gleaners usually keep half of the fruits and veggies for themselves but are asked to donate the other half to those in need. Where they donate is up to them. Donation sites include local city and tribal food banks, senior centers and elementary schools. Gleaners also donate to friends, family and neighbors. Sarto and Harrison’s favorite place to donate is the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula. They love to bring small, organic apples for the club to distribute as a healthy snack. They also take food to food banks and senior centers. “Additionally, I enjoy sharing with seniors in our neighborhood,” Harrison said. Even after donating, the sisters still have plenty of fruit for their own household. One of Sarto’s most memorable gleans was during a particularly abundant plum year.


Photo by Sharah Truett A group of Clallam Gleaners pick cherries at a more-recent group gleaning event at Robin Hill Park in Sequim.

The sisters eat it for breakfast, “The homeowner seemed very lunch and snacks. relieved when we arrived. Every tree When asked what they like most was laden with ripe, golden plums,” about the gleaning program, Harrison she said. “What a beautiful sight to behold! It reflected. “It is a wonderful meditation, an was such a pleasurable and rewarding invitation to slow way to spend a down, be in the sunny afternoon.” “It is a wonderful present moment The twins drove and become contheir small pickmeditation, an scious of how up truck home, invitation to slow generous Mother completely loaded Nature is to us down with fruit. down, be in the all.” For several days, present moment Sarto likes that the fridge and gleaning “has countertop were and become awakened her overflowing with conscious of how to the changing plums. seasons and the Nowadays, they generous Mother natural cycles of have a plan in Nature is to us all.” life and especially place in case of generosity of such abundance. — Deborah Harrison on the the land and the After a harvest, people who live they quickly disthe process of gleaning here.” tribute a large “The Clallam portion of produce Gleaners can always use more volunto their favorite emergency food organizations and then set to work finding teers,” Truett said. “We would also like to expand the online recipes for the rest. types of produce available for harvest. They make healthy desserts, such We’d love to find grapes, figs, raspberas cobblers that are free of gluten, ries and peaches (along with) walnuts sugar and dairy. Harrison said she will often freeze a and hazelnuts. dish so that deep into winter, she can “If you’ve got something interesting pop it out for a special treat. in your yard, we can probably find She discovered a scrumptious pear someone to pick it,” she said. crisp that seems to “magically disappear whenever we make it!” GLEAN continues on 15 >> Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

<< GLEAN from 14

To become a Clallam Gleaner or to have gleaners come to your yard, contact the Truett at 360-565-2619 or struett@co.clallam.wa.us. To learn more about WSU Extension, visit the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Suite 15, Port Angeles. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information also can be found at extension.wsu.edu/clallam. “WSU Extension has so many other great programs to offer, from Master Gardener lectures, to small farm workshops, to 4-H camps for kids,” Truett said. “There’s a real cornucopia of opportunities here.” Sharah Truett is spending her AmeriCorps VISTA service year as the WSU Extension gleaning coordinator. She has lived in Port Angeles for 10 years and also works part-time as an Olympic National Park ranger. She and her husband, Josh, have a new baby girl and a new raised-bed vegetable garden, both of which they are very excited about!

T ips for novice composters by METROCREATIVE The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that food scraps and yard waste account for between 20 and 30 percent of what we throw away. But thanks to composting, such waste can be put to work rather than discarded. Compost is organic material that helps plants grow when added to soil. Benefitting the planet in myriad ways, compost enriches the soil by helping it retain moisture. The EPA noted that composting also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers while also suppressing plant diseases and pests. In addition, when homeowners compost, they inadvertently reduce methane emissions from landfills, thereby lowering their carbon footprints. Homeowners who do not know how to compost can consider the

following tips as they start compost piles on their properties. •  Choose an accessible spot on your property. When looking for a spot on your property for your compost bin, choose a location that’s easily accessible. The less accessible the bin is, the less likely you are to stick with composting over the long-term. The EPA also recommends placing a compost bin or pile in a dry, shady spot near a water source. •  Add the appropriate materials. Animal waste, cooked foods, diseased plants and fresh weeds from perennial plants should not be added to a compost pile. The EPA recommends moistening dry materials as they’re added and adding brown and green materials as they are collected. COMPOST continues on 17 >>

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Questions to ask when your doc prescribes a new medicine by METROCREATIVE Though few people might want to take medicine each day, prescription drugs prolong lives and help people manage conditions that might otherwise make it difficult to live life to the fullest. A 2017 survey from Consumer Reports found that 55 percent of people living in the United States take a prescription medicine. The survey also found that those who take prescription drugs use an average of four such medications. That figure might alarm some people, especially aging men and women whose bodies might be more susceptible to conditions that are often treated with medication. There’s no denying that prescription drugs can save lives. But men and women have a right to explore their options when doctors prescribe them medications, and asking the right questions when doctors suggest medication can help men and women decide if prescription medicine is their best option. To help men and women make the best decisions regarding their healthcare, the National Institute on Aging advises people to ask their physicians these questions when being prescribed a new medicine (see graphic).

•  What is the name of the medicine, and why am I taking it? •  Which medical condition does this medicine treat? •  How many times a day should I take the medicine, and at what times should I take it? •  If the prescription instructions say the medicine must be taken “four times a day,” does that mean four times in 24 hours or four times during the daytime? •  How much medicine should I take? •  Should I take the medicine on its own or with food? Should I avoid certain It’s imperative that men and women be forthcoming about any other medicines they might be taking under the guidance of other doctors.

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foods and beverages when taking this medicine? •  How long will it take this medicine to work? •  Will this medicine cause problems if I am taking other medicines? •  Can I safely operate a motor vehicle while taking this medication? •  What does “as needed” mean? •  When should I stop taking the medicine? •  What should I do if I forget to take my medicine? •  Can I expect any side effects? What should I do if I have a problem? •  Will I need a refill, and how do I arrange that?


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<< COMPOST from 15

Examples of green waste include grass clippings, weeds from annual plants and plant trimmings. Brown materials include dead leaves and shredded cardboard. Chop or shred large pieces before adding them to the pile. •  Give the pile structure. Layering materials can give compost piles better structure. The EPA suggests burying fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material, including brown and green waste. •  Turn and aerate the pile. Using a garden fork, periodically turn the compost pile. This aerates the heap and provides oxygen that can accelerate the decomposition of the pile. Piles that are not periodically turned and aerated may grow malodorous, which can be unpleasant for homeowners who hope to add materials to their piles on a regular basis. In addition, without the heat produced by aeration, composting piles will break down very slowly. •  Recognize when the material

is ready. The EPA noted that compost is ready to use when materials at the bottom of a pile are dark and rich in color.

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*The Wells Fargo Home Projects credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., an Equal Housing Lender. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 3/13/2018 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. **See your independent Trane Dealer for complete program eligibility, dates, details and restrictions. Special financing offers, offers vary by equipment. All sales must be to homeowners in the United States. Void where prohibited. Offer expires 1/31/2019.

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TRUE or FALSE? • I’ve lived in five foster homes this year • I’m a cutter • My parents give me Benadryl to make me sleepy • I’m a bully • I get bullied • My family is really poor, and I’m hungry a lot • I’ve never had my own bed Each one is typical of the youth we see


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According to the EPA, this can take anywhere from two months to two years, so composters must be patient. More information about composting can be found at epa.gov.



Bathroom accessories can become necessities


We’re all getting older, and every day activities inevitably get harder to accomplish. One of the most common challenges is personal hygiene. Loss of flexibility and strength as we age and with injuries can cause toileting to become dangerous, leading to poor hygiene and even falls. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By staying in control of this basic Activity of Daily Living (ADL), you not only stay cleaner and healthier but you also get to maintain your personal dignity and the pride of independence. Preserving your ability to toilet yourself can go a long way in helping you to stay in your own home. Hiring someone to assist in bathroom use can be awkward, uncomfortable and inconvenient, not to mention costly. One solution to that is the use of a bidet. The convenience of pushing a button is incomparable to the “old-fashioned way” of wiping. Whether you’re considering a bidet for yourself or a loved one, bidet toilet seats improve independence and hygiene for all. BACKGROUND & BENEFITS The bidet appears to have been an invention of French furniture makers in the late 17th century.

By the 1900s, due to plumbing improvements, the bidet (and chamber pot) moved from the bedroom to the bathroom. In the mid-1900s, American toilet manufacturers improved the bidet as a porcelain bathroom device, but the

American culture did not adopt it, and it was mostly exported to other countries. Despite the lack of popularity, bidets seats are for everyone; however, there are groups of individuals that can benefit the most from using a bidet toilet seat. Those who suffer or have suffered from stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, urinary tract infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis, arthritis, broken bones, thinning skin, hemorrhoids or amputation would greatly benefit from the use of a bidet. Any condition you can think of that compromises your ability to wipe would be reason enough to consider a bidet seat. Bidets can improve quality of life for those with specialised or specific needs by protecting the delicate skin “down there” by eliminating the struggle of wiping with paper, thus improving hygiene and reducing risk of injury. They are recommended by medical professionals from many disciplines and are relied upon by millions of users every day. Yet, many people still do not know how life changing a bidet toilet seat can be, nor how easy they are to obtain, install and use. A bidet toilet seat can transform your existing toilet. BIDETS continues on 19 >>

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Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

<< BIDETS from 18

Simple to use, safe and effective, toilet seat bidets are easy to install and only take a few uses to master. HOW DOES A BIDET WORK? An electronic bidet toilet seat is one of the more popular bidet options out there today. It easily replaces your existing toilet seat. They draw fresh, clean water from the incoming supply line before the toilet tank. The bidet seat heats the water internally just when you need it and can supply an endless amount of hot water for any washing need. The washing wand has two nozzles in the end: one for rear washing, one for front or feminine washing. When not in use, this wand is safely and hygienically tucked away inside the bidet seat housing. When you’re ready to wash, you simply press the appropriate button (rear or front) on the remote control or the unit itself. The nozzles flush out any cold water in the lines, the wand extends out approximately 4-5 inches and begins washing. When you feel you’re clean or the automatic cycle ends, the wand will return to the housing and self-clean by flushing water around the entire wand and nozzle openings, ready for the next use. Most models come with built-in warm air dryers that you can activate with the push of a button. Alternatively, you can grab a few sheets of toilet paper, use a towel or just air dry. These “smart toilets” provide a

hands-free and optional paperless way to take care of business. BETTER FOR YOUR BUDGET, BETTER FOR THE EARTH There are many ways regular bidet seat use will save you money and reduce your consumption of natural resources. Reduction of toilet paper and/or wet wipes is the most obvious. The amount of water, electricity and trees it takes to produce toilet paper is a commonly debated topic. An estimated 27,000 trees are cut down worldwide daily to make toilet paper, according to a National Geographic article by David Braun. This uses 850,000 gallons of water and 454 tons of chlorine for bleaching, per day. Along with the negative impact of so much water use and chemical waste from its manufacture, more and more people are becoming sensitive to the perfumes, chemicals and paper dust that comes with modern, fluffy-soft toilet paper. In addition to issues with toilet paper, “flushable” wipes are costing municipal water treatment systems millions of dollars in damaged machinery, clogged pipes and plugged up pumps. Sewer systems all over the country are experiencing an unprecedented increase in wipe-related costs. Wet wipes cost an average $0.04 per wipe while toilet paper averages $0.0034 per sheet. At these prices, one wipe is 1,200 percent more costly than one sheet of TP. With an average usage of two wet wipes per toilet visit and six visits a day, that works out to $.48 cents a day, or $175.20 per year, in wet wipes per person.

The Food and Drug Administration classifies some bidet models as Durable Medical Equipment, which is any equipment that provides therapeutic benefits to a patient in need because of certain medical conditions and/or illnesses. For toilet paper, the numbers are understandably less: $0.12 cents per day, or $44.67 per person per year. For a family of four using wipes, the cost is staggering $700.80, and for toilet paper, it’s a conservative $178.70 per year. The use of a toilet seat bidet typically reduces toilet paper consumption by about 75 percent. Many people are able to completely eliminate toilet paper from their shopping lists by utilizing the built-in dryers on most bidet toilet seats or by using a dedicated drying towel. You’ll save money on your septic system, as well — less paper down the drain means a longer life for your system, plus more time between pumping bills. Sara Shearer and Ellen Hammer, together with their team, run Clear Water Bidets for the Streett Family. They are passionate about educating people about the benefits of bidets and are happy to be part of small family business run by women with old-fashioned business ethics and ideals. For more information, call 360565-5418, visit clearwaterbidets.com or visit the showroom at 151 Ruths Place, Suite 4, Sequim. 922302107

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Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019 

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Ahh, yoga. For many, the practice has given them not only physical strength, but mental strength. Many have been practicing for years and have made it a part of their lifestyle. But for those who have never tried yoga or who practice infrequently or feel they are “too old,” it might seem intimidating or not worth their time. That’s why Poser Yoga is in the midst of two eight-class progressive series at its Sequim studio, 145 E. Washington St. Both taught by Steve Saunders, the Senior Yoga and Gentle Back Care Yoga are targeted at seniors. Senior Yoga takes place on Tuesdays, Feb. 5 through March 26, at 2 p.m. This series is “designed for seniors 50 and older with little or no recent yoga experience, or for those who would like to continue their practice at a safe, gentle sequential pace designed to improve overall strength, flexibility and balance,” according to news release from Saunders. Gentle Back Care Yoga, set for Tuesdays, Feb. 5 through March 26, at 4 p.m., is for anyone with problematic or chronically stiff backs or for those continuing students who want a slower, more gentle practice. The series addresses muscle length and strength imbalances that affect the spine, plus decompression of discs, release of chronic tension patterns and improvement of spinal alignment. All classes are about an hour long. While the classes have already begun and are sequential, Saunders said he is OK with drop-ins. “I can modify classes,” he said. Saunders interest in yoga took off in February 2012 when he purchased a studio in Olympia after his retirement from the state Department of National Resources. After taking a 200-hour training course, he started teaching in June 2012, gaining experience with a range of Hatha yoga classes, including gentle/back care, cancer survivors, seniors, restorative and beginning-level classes. In April 2018, Saunders moved to Port Angeles, where he found a new teaching space in Poser Yoga. Jenny Stewart Houston, owner of Poser Yoga, said she is excited about the senior classes. “We would love it to be a continuous thing,” she said. Inquiries are always welcome.” Saunders said participants in his classes should wear loose-fitting clothing, and all props will be provided. For either of the entire eight-week series, the cost is $85 per person. For more information, visit poserstudios.com/senior-yoga or poserstudios.com/gentle-back-care, or call 360-452-6121. Both Saunders and Houston said they hope to offer more of these series of classes in the future.

Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019

The season isn’t over

Helping each other should continue year round by MARK HARVEY

Some of us are not. And some of us are downright loners. But the fact is that we are a social suppose that we should feel species; we depend upon one another. some degree of accomplishment In fact, we require one another. We as we put the holidays of 2018 require the “us” to make the day-tofirmly in the rearview. day world turn. In many ways, it’s a lovely Then, there are the “little season. It is the season of things,” such as whether you light, after all, with its familinvited somebody over who iar music, familiar decoradoesn’t get out much or if tions, family, friends, cards you gave somebody a ride to and kids. somewhere. For many of us, it’s a very Did you help somebody joyful time. get pounds and pounds of It’s also a heck of a lot of Christmas decorations out work! of and back into the attic or Somebody had to get out Mark Harvey basement? all those decorations and Did you help somebody get somebody had to put them all up off the floor after a fall? up and somebody had to do all those Did you only find out that they’d cards and somebody had to wrap fallen because you took time that you those packages and somebody had to didn’t have to stop by and say hello? ... you get it. Did you help somebody clean up Usually, most of us are a bit sad after a storm? to see the season pass — and a bit Did you ... ? relieved. Did you ... ? Another aspect of the holidays that Yeah, you probably did, and you can be a bit taxing at times is having probably didn’t think that much about to be so nice to everybody. it. You just did it. After all, it’s the Well, yes, I’m mostly kidding. But season, right? there is some truth to it. Right. Being pleasant and happy and But now it’s not, so we can go back generous! Good heavens! Did you to before the holidays, when helping even realize how many charities exist wasn’t at the forefront of our minds. before the holiday season hit? Oh, I hope not. They do, and many of us came Especially in this time of hyper, through and donated, to one extent or overexaggerated partisanship and another. perceived cultural differences and We want to! We want to help! And beliefs — the “us” versus “them” — we the season provides a good excuse to need each other. go out of our way to be helpful and The need for help didn’t go away. thoughtful and generous with our Sure, the calendar changed, but needtime and energy, as well as whatever ing assistance from time to time? money we can afford to part with. That has not gone. And it never will. We help friends. We help neighbors. I’m not talking about justifying We certainly help family. And we help being the “neighborhood busybody” each other. who puts her/his nose into everybody Sometimes, we even help complete strangers. After all, it’s that “time of else’s business to the point that “help” the season”! comes across as intrusion. But now, we can get back to what I’m not talking about the person many consider “normal,” right? whose words are often accompanied Oh, I hope not. by some thinly veiled message about Some of us are social and outgoing. what somebody else “should” do or


Lifelong Journey • FEBRUARY 2019 

how they “should” act. I’m talking about good-old, downhome, respectful neighborliness, which means being willing to the take time that you probably don’t have to help simply because it’s the right thing to do. The right thing to do. That’s all. And if each of us, according to our abilities, does the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do then, who are we? We are more. Call it karmic, or giving/receiving, or paying it forward or what goes around, comes around. It all comes down to the same, simple thing: Doing what’s right. It’s helping. It’s being a small part of the solution. It’s perhaps even leaving a legacy. I, personally, could bury you alive in programs, services and acronyms. I could put you into a coma with strategies, resources, advance directives and durable power of attorneys. I could drive you screaming from the room with health insurance nuance. But I can’t give you the one thing that will do you the most good, because we all have to find it for ourselves. We have to find a sense of purpose. A mission. A reason to be. A belief that there is a reason to continue. That there are still opportunities to contribute, to be part of the “solution,” to make things better. To help. And that helping our neighbors and friends is not truly “over.” Every day is the next opportunity to start again, to get it “right,” to do better. To be willing. Oh, I hope so. Mark Harvey is the director of Olympic Area Agency on Aging’s “Information & Assistance.” He can be reached at 360-452-3221 (Port Angeles-Sequim), 360-385-2552 (Jefferson County) or 360-374-9496 (West End), or by emailing harvemb@ dshs.wa.gov.



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Special Sections - Lifelong Journey February 2019  


Special Sections - Lifelong Journey February 2019