55 & Better 2023

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June 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Chilson Senior Center

ed by :

GREELEY EXPO + Free Lectures

June 17, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

University Center, UNC


June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 1 Pr esen t
Pr esent e d
2 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023 At the Good Samaritan Society, the promise of providing exceptional senior care options isn’t just something found in a mission statement. It’s at the core of who we are. For almost 50 years, Good Samaritan Society – Loveland Village has offered housing and supportive services to seniors of all faiths and beliefs. Some places have a policy of providing excellence in retirement living. Others have a history of it. To learn more, visit www.good-sam.com. The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (the Society) and Owner comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability familial status religion sex age sexual orientation gender identity gender expression veteran status or other protected statuses except as permitted by applicable law in admission to participation in or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities and in staff and employee assignments to individuals whether carried out by the Society directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which the Society arranges to carry out its programs and activities All faiths or beliefs are welcome © 2022 The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society All rights reserved 496-411-783 Rev 4/22

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Connectivity is more vital than ever for seniors

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An advanced directive

Eases decision making at a difficult time

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Better safe than sorry

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Chasing away aches and pains: lifestyle choices we love

Page 14 Ways to maintain positive expectancy on aging

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Fun plus exercise equals a winning combination

Page 18 Keep meds straight With a few key steps

Editorial: Misty Kaiser, Marketing & Publications Editor 303-473-1425, kaiserm@reporterherald com

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Plan now for your housing future before it’s too late

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Staying home: resources to help seniors stay in Their homes as they age

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Don’t let housework be a pain in your back

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How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

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What are funeral celebrants?

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Bathroom remodeling options for safety and style

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Galucoma doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age

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Screening for skin cancer as we age

Advertising: Jill Stravolemos, Vice President of Marketing & Advertising, 303-473-1420, jill@dailycamera.com

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 3
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• Back

• Migraines

• Inflammation

• Arthritis

• Joint pain

• Chronic pain

• Neuropathy

• Headaches

• Knee pain

• Shoulder pan

• Hip Pain

• Disc issues

• So much

Maybe they didn’t grow up with the internet, but those age 55 or older are leaning on technology more than ever to expand their social media, entertainment and communications options.

That is why reliable service is a necessity for all ages.

“Connectivity is important. If you look at how our society is moving, it’s the way to access entertainment, our TV, our telephone service,” explained Lindsey Johansen, communications and marketing manager for Pulse, a municipal fiber-optic broadband provider in Loveland. “Social media is actually pretty prevalent among that community (55 and older). And telehealth is a big deal, too, so being able to communicate with health care providers in a way that makes sense is important.”

Pulse started offering Internet, TV and voice (non-cell) services in 2020 as it built out its network. As a testament to how important connectivity has become in communities, Pulse is the largest capital construction project in city of Loveland history. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of this year, when broadband will be offered to residents throughout the entire service area.

“We call it municipal broadband. We are owned by the city of Loveland and the community,” Johansen said.

The provider can keep connectivity costs down to an extent because it does not have a duty to shareholders.

“We can make decisions with the long-term in mind. Many times, the network is the beneficiary in that approach,” she said. “We treat it and manage it like a utility. It exists only to serve the community.”

In turn, customer service – whether billing or technical support – is provided by employees in Northern Colorado.

“They live and work here. We are very proud of our customer service,” Johansen said.

Reliability is particularly important when it comes to WiFi. Pulse reported a 99.5% uptime rate in 2022, meaning there were few times when services was not available. The fiber optics are buried underground and don’t require many electronics, which means fewer opportunities for service failure.

“Then you get that consistency. During peak times, you don’t see your network starting to lag, such as when everyone comes home and logs on,” Johansen said. “That’s really important when it comes to video calls and streaming.”

Access to the fiber-optic service also may help residents increase their property values, Johansen said. Lower-priced options also are available at Pulse via the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal initiative based on income qualification.

For information about Pulse, visit lovelandpulse.com or call (970) 541-1990.

4 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
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An Advanced Directive eases decision making at a difficult time

want to make decisions on your behalf. Otherwise, it becomes a proxy decision process.”

If interested parties can’t agree, the decision moves to a guardianship battle in court.

It’s a conversation that should take place at the kitchen table rather than the Intensive Care Unit.

Creating an advance directive for medical care can be one of the most practical and kindest gestures a loved one can perform

Advance directives are written instructions recognized under state law that can be used at any stage of life to ensure medical treatment is consistent with one’s preferences should that person not be able to make his or her own decisions, explained Kat Laws, community health educator for UCHealth’s Aspen Club.

The Aspen Club provides information on medical decision-making ahead of time as a free service. Those advance

directives include the medical durable power of attorney and living wills (shorthand for medical or surgical treatment).

The medical DPOA serves to identify a primary decision maker and up to two alternates who can speak on your behalf. They can only make medical decisions via this documentation. “This is who can speak on your behalf when you can’t,” Laws said.

A living will allows individuals to share their preferences at an irreversible point of life, near end of life. This documents lets medical providers know when to discontinue life-sustaining procedures.

Other types of advance directives include organdonor registries that can be completed as young as age 16 when getting a driver’s license; and the Colorado Declara-

tion of Disposition of Last Remains, a form identifying one’s wishes for what to do after death.

The need for an advanced directive for medical care could be a temporary situation due to an illness or injury or when someone lacks capacity at end of life when decisions need to be made about treatment provided and where the treatment will be completed.

“Without these instructions, loved ones - and medical providers - are left to guess the approach for a loved one when they are incapacitated,” Laws said.

She added, “In Colorado, we are not a next-of-kin state, so there is no automatic decision maker. Not a spouse, not parents, not adult children. You must name who you

“We can avoid all of that process by simply naming someone to be our voice when we can’t speak for ourselves,” Laws said. Nearly a quarter-million Coloradans (one third of all state residents aged 65 or older) are facing their retirement years without an advance directive, according to the Colorado Health Institute.

“I’d like for people to feel empowered to do this. It’s really appropriate for anyone 18 or over to not only complete the medical DPOA but also to share the document so that your voice, your instructions are available when needed. The whole process is to reflect with one’s self, complete a document and share it well.”

UCHealth is emphasizing the importance of advance directives by enabling electronic registration through its patient portal.

“It has become a big initiative at UCH because it aligns with our patient-centered care goals, and it makes sure people’s voices are heard. We can provide best care for patients when people cannot speak for themselves.”

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Additional tips:

• States may differ on requirements for advanced directives. For those who travel, it makes sense to have a durable medical POA notarized and signed by witnesses to ensure it is honored by all states. That information can kept by loved ones on a cell phone for easy access.

“Having something is better than nothing when it comes to portability and travel,” Laws said. “Carry copies with you; it will help the situation.”

• UCH patients can complete advance directives through


its portal system. Many doctors are also asking patients when they schedule visits if they have completed a directive. Forms also are available through the State of Colorado. Even if registered with one health care system, residents can print out their directives, date them and take them to other systems and ask for them to be registered.

• Estate planning for finances is a separate process. Laws recommends people work with an attorney to align their financial and medical wishes.

Aspen Club

The nonprofit provides activities and health programs for residents 50 and older in Northern Colorado. Health education, screenings, hospital discounts and social opportunities are available. The club will assist residents in having a robust discussion about advance directives.

Loveland: 970) 624-1860

Fort Collins and Greeley: (970) 495-8560

Longmont: (720) 718-1690 Visit UCHealth.org for additional information.


Eligibility requirements for the program include:

• Applicants must be 62 years of age or older

• Applicants must own and live in their home, which must be located in the Thompson School District boundary area

• Only one person per household may apply

Participants will be paid for a total of 30 hours at minimum wage, which will be applied towards their property taxes.

To apply, go to: tsd.org/volunteer or pick up an application at the 55 & Better Senior Expo on June 14.



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Better Safe than Sorry

because the companies pay us. We help you navigate the procedure. You pay the same with or without us so we can be very fair about which company you chose. We have 1400 clients, so we know it’s working well.”

What are your insurance options prior to turning 65? And is Medicare your best bet after? Ensuring you have access to insurance options both prior to age 65 and beyond means you can stress less over health care.

Health insurance as you age can be tricky. When you’re faced with a decision about how to finance the rest of your life, it just makes sense to seek out experts. The 55 and Better Guide has done the questioning for your, so you can explore your options from 55 to 65 years of age.

We’ve asked “What are some basics to look for in that age bracket?” and “When should you start looking at Medicare Enrollment so that you’re completely prepared when enrollment rolls around?” and more.

Help With Medicare Enrollment

Jack Krier has been in the

insurance business for 35 years. AmeriQuote Insurance has five agents who primarily help people when they approach the enrollment age Krier said, “You qualify for Medicare 90 days before your 55th birthday. We can help you with the whole procedure or help with the annual election period if you haven’t enrolled earlier. We have contracts with all major companies that offer those plans, and we can help with any part of it. When someone needs help or is getting close to the time to make the decision, we prepare a onepage quote form which just lists a few companies so it’s not too crazy. We can send it out, meet face to face or over the phone. There’s no additional charge for our services

On that single page quote sheet, AmeriQuote explains Medicare A and B On the same page they show different Medicare plans. Krier said, “Usually when we meet with people they start understanding the possibilities but it’s got all these confusing letters, like alphabet soup. We try to make it easy for everyone. We treat people right and provide service to them We’re here every day to help with problem. For example, questions about copay. We always answer the phone and we call back the same or the next day. You’re not put on hold a zillion times. We’re local here in Colorado so people can find us when they have a claim or billing question. We can’t always fix everything but we can work on it



(970) 787-6170

One Size Does Not Fit All

Carmen Cisneros, Team Lead and Medicare Executive at Kaiser Permanente, believes in the power of personalized care Recognizing that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work when it comes

8 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023

to healthcare, Cisneros emphasizes the need to evaluate individuals’ health requirements and financial circumstances. In an exclusive interview, she revealed her strategies for guiding patients through the complex Medicare system.

“Finding the right doctor is crucial, as doctors are not interchangeable,” Cisneros stated. “While your neighbor may adore their doctor, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best fit for you. To ensure a seamless process, I’m willing to meet individuals wherever they feel most comfortable, be it their homes, a coffee shop, or our clinics My aim is to make the experience as stress-free as possible ”

Among the primary concerns voiced by Medicare recipients, Cisneros found that cost tops the list. “Financial situations differ greatly, and that’s where a comprehensive needs analysis becomes essential,” she explained. “If individuals ask the right questions, there are numerous avenues for those facing

financial challenges to receive assistance.”

Highlighting the importance of staying informed about eligibility requirements, Cisneros cautioned, “Once you become Medicare-eligible, you become a target for numerous phone calls. It can be overwhelming. I often wonder if the informational brochures sent in the mail end up being used as kindling for a bonfire! My advice is to take things one step at a time. Firstly, we meet on your terms, ensuring you feel comfortable. I establish my credibility by presenting

my credentials. Then, we proceed gradually, starting with step one: understanding and learning about their needs. The more I know, the better I can assist Step two involves presenting the available options for Medicare enrollment, such as applying through the social security office, creating an online account, or utilizing an already-received Medicare card if applicable Finally, in step three, we dive into what matters most to you, including prerequisites, medical considerations, and network preferences. Together, we determine

the best course of action ”

For those who have missed the enrollment deadline, Cisneros offers a solution. “I make sure to mark their calendars for applying for Parts A & B in the first quarter of the following year. Failure to do so incurs a lifetime penalty. However, if a prospect has Medicare Part A and Part B, an individual can opt to enroll in a 5-Star plan any time of the year, allowing year-round health plan enrollment without waiting for the October open enrollment period. This is crucial because the penalty compounds annually. It’s better to have coverage while exploring potentially better-suited options ”

Cisneros proudly stated that Kaiser Permanente is rated as a 5-Star healthcare provider with an integrated system. She highlighted the convenience of their medical office buildings (MOBs) throughout Colorado, which house clinics, doctors, specialists, labs, X-ray facilities, and pharmacies. “As a Kaiser Permanente member, you have access to medical care across all our service

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 9

areas,” she emphasized. “Whether you prefer a doctor in Northern, Denver, Boulder, or Southern Colorado, the choice is yours. We also offer an annual drug benefit checkup, ensuring your insurance covers the necessary medications or identifying any reductions in their costs.

Information: mykpagent.org/ carmenc (970) 518-5329.

What are the Options?

Brian Carr of Humana looks at the many options open to people seeking health insurance after age 55. Firstly, he points to employer coverage if you work to 65 or linking up with your spouse’s healthcare coverage. He said for people who have lost employer coverage or are working reduced hours, there is Cobra or The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Another option is to check with your state’s healthcare marketplace. Lastly, for people of low income or of a disability, there is the option of Medicaid.

Carr said, “There are two categories that qualify a per-

son for Medicaid, either economics or physical ability. If you qualify, there are further levels of care, such as dental, vision, medical equipment and prescriptions to name a few.”

“As people approach age 65, they need to start to get things in order to file for Medicare. They can file through the Social Security Administration. There are some folks who don’t have to file. For example, they may collect Social Security already, or they’re part of the Railroad Retirement board, or they have had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for at least 24 months. Folks can register three months up to their birth month, their birth month or three months after.”

Carr said people can file for parts A (hospital coverage) and; B (doctor visits and outpatient care). Then they can look for a Medicare supplement or Advantage plan. “It depends on their needs plus their budget,” he said. “Supplemental plans (Medigap) can pair with Part D, the drug coverage plan. Some Advantage plans have premiums, some do not, and there can be a differing array of benefits in one plan versus another Some plans have higher dental or vision coverages or better

fitness programs. Medicare Advantage plans are gaining in popularity.”

“With Humana, we like to have an agent in the mix in connection with the beneficiary to act as a helper,” Carr said. “We don’t want you to have to go it alone. We have Medicare 101 workshops and seminars. In addition, someone can always get you in touch with the state health insurance program (SHIP) and get unbiased information. I provide information and education, then if you choose to enroll in one of our plans, I act as a liaison, as the point of contact so you can ask questions. Sometimes people make all their plans alone because they don’t want to be taken advantage of. I make myself available as a resource. I go to venues, I give presentations, I even call bingo! I make myself available to the community I serve from Fort Collins to Fort Lufton.” ---970-7911033 bcarr1@humana.com

Check for Extra Help

Grace Bollinger of Cigna said, “From the age group of 55-65 if a consumer does not have health insurance through an employer group plan or spouse group plan they can look at individual

health insurance options. In some cased there may be help to cover the cost of premiums and cost share. Consumers in Colorado can check with Connect for Health Colorado to view insurance options and apply for a subside. They can also work with a local health insurance broker to help navigate the options.

Bollinger suggests, “Definitely check to see if subsides are available to help offset the cost. The subsides are based on tax filings and income.” She added that the timing on applying for Medicare is important. “This is a tricky question with so many people working past age 65. If folks take their Medicare at age 65, they should start the process three months prior to their 65th birthday. If they work and have group coverage, they can choose delay their Medicare at age 65 and stay on their group plan. If they stay with their group plan once they choose their retirement date, they can apply for their Medicare two month prior to the loss of their group plan.”

10 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
Information; 800.761.6980, cignamedicare.com The strength of facts. The power of truth. Reporting stories you can trust. To subscribe, call 970.635.3660

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Chasing Away Aches and Pains Lifestyle Choices We Love

Stretching—during gym class— usually right before running laps or attempting chin-ups.

Light stretching warms up muscles and lengthens them before jumping into an activity, Stutzman said. And not just the activities at the gym to elevate the heartrate.

“If you’re gardening do a couple stretches to warm up your body so that you don’t have the extra pain at the end of the day,” he said. “It’s no more than a minute or two. Hold a position for 5 to 10 seconds and then come back to neutral.”

Familiar with StretchLab?

Ever bend down to tie a shoe and discover a twinge of pain that has you wondering just how you will get back up on both feet? When it comes to pain prevention, what we do on the daily plays a significant role in our overall quality of life and well-being. So here’s the big question: What are the best ways to stay limber and stave off pain so that you can enjoy the best years to come?

Stay active and keep moving—that’s the No. 1 tip from Jeremy Overholt, DC, licensed chiropractor with Inner Vitality Chiropractic, in Fort Collins.

“The more we move, the more it stimulates our brain and our body to help our joints get the moisture, nutrition, and minerals they need,” he said.

For older adults, the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, or about 30 minutes five times a week. Consider activities like walking, resistance training and balance activities—such as standing on one leg for 10 seconds or more.

Deliberate exercise and playing sports adds more movement to your lifestyle, said Overholt —things like hiking, hitting the gym or playing tennis. But an active lifestyle that increases daily movement also includes things like on-the-go activities—grocery shopping and walking the dog—to gardening and vacuuming.

Another fan of movement, Austin Stutzman, DC, a licensed chiropractor who runs Stutzman Chiropractic in Greeley. While it’s sometimes

tempting to indulge ourselves in sitting on the couch for an overextended bout of TV time, or scrolling handheld devices, research suggests that a sedentary lifestyle can put us at risk.

“It’s pretty common, once people retire they become more sedentary and that’s when a lot more health problems start to arise because they’re not moving as much and not doing all those things that they were doing before,” Stutzman said. Adding that without movement, there is less blood flow which contributes to pain and achiness in our joints and spine.

Stretch yourself

One of the least talked about topics to help prevent injuries is something many people learned in grade school.

These new boutique movement studios have sprung up all over the map, proving the popularity of stretching. A good stretch can take on several forms, say Sam Milbourn, MS, certified athletic trainer with StretchLab, in Fort Collins.

“Stretching is going to your end range of movement. Dancing and shimmying are some of the best things you can do because it uses more circular motions your body doesn’t normally do and it can feel like stretching,” she said.

Yoga is another popular way to relax and stretch. But it too can take on several forms—on the yoga mat and off. People who have mobility issues might want to consider chair yoga, Overholt says. It may look easy, but a chair offers a lot of options for people who want to explore these ancient forms of movement.

“As a person gets older and maybe less stable on their feet,

12 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
Dr. Jeremy Overholt, Inner Vitality Chiropractic

chair yoga is amazing because it gets you moving in a lot of different ways and it incorporates a lot

of muscles and joints,” Overholt said.

Watch what inflames you

Untreated inflammation or swelling in the joints is associated with pain and stiffness, common in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Managing inflammation through diet can help prevent the pain associated with inflammation, according to both Stutzman and Overholt.

Stutzman is a fan of the Mediterranean diet because it’s considered an anti-inflammatory diet and contains high-quality healthy foods. He also likes to supplement with turmeric.

Overholt suggests limiting processed foods, drinking clean water and adding a fat-soluble vitamin like fish oil.

Low back fix

When we sit too long, low back pain can set in and send your back into a frenzy. Prevent low back stiffness by stretching the right muscle groups, says Sam Milbourn, with StretchLab, in Fort Collins.

“Focus on hip flexors and hamstrings which is most associated with low back pain.”

Kneel down on one knee and extend the other leg in front of you to do a lunge stretch. Squeeze the glutes and rock back and forth for about 90 seconds on each side, she suggests.

Eligibility requirements for the program include:

• Applicants must be 62 years of age or older

• Applicants must own and live in their home, which must be located in the Thompson School District boundary area

• Only one person per household may apply

• Applicants cannot be Thompson School District employees (including part-time)

Participants will be paid for a total of 30 hours at minimum wage, which will be applied towards their property taxes.

To apply, go to: tsd.org/volunteer or pick up an application at the 55 & Better Senior Expo on June 14.

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 13
Dr. Austin Stutzman, Stutzman Chiropractic
2023-2024 SENIOR CITIZEN #WeAreThompson tsd.org

Ways to maintain Positive Expectancy on Aging

A positive perspective on aging can literally add 7.5 years to a lifespan, but too many people are worried about get-

ting older.

“We shouldn’t be focused on growing long. We should be focused on living long,” said Jim Riesberg, executive council member of AARP Colorado,

representing the Northeast Colorado region. “That’s a whole different frame of mind to enter. … What it boils down to is, how we age is mostly up to us.”

Riesberg will present Living Your Life with Positive Expectancy during the 55 & Better Expo on June 17 in Greeley. He wants to encourage people to change their perceptions

14 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
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Incorporating healthy habits is one way to embrace life changes.

of aging and to embrace their age, feeling good about where they’re at and where they’re headed.

“We should always be happy with whatever age we are if we weren’t aging, we wouldn’t be here,” said Riesberg, who has a master’s degree in gerontology and has been working

on aging issues for 30 years.

Positive expectancy involves looking forward to the benefits of aging with a positive mindset, instead of seeing it as something to fear as it causes deterioration and defeat

“Oftentimes as people age, they see aging as a period of decline and loss,” Riesberg

said. “In reality, aging is something you should be looking forward to.”

Positive expectancy requires changing ways of thinking that will result in changes in attitudes and then behaviors, resulting in a happier, fuller life.

“It increases your sense of wellbeing, and you begin to look for the victories rather than the defeats. You learn how to turn negatives into positives,” Riesberg said.

A positive expectancy mindset involves approaching problems in a different way, seeing them as opportunities to do things differently and get different results, Riesberg said And it involves seeing the benefits and lessons to be learned when facing adversity, he said.

“Then as you see grow, you welcome change,” Riesberg

said. “As we grow and age, we have a lot of background How can I use my background now to make a better result from the things that are happening?”

One behavior change is engaging in healthy habits, such as exercising more, eating healthy foods and avoiding smoking, Riesberg said. Healthy living helps prevent the development of chronic diseases currently, 95% of Medicare is spent on their treatment, he said

Another change is having a sense of purpose in life to increase sense of wellbeing it provides things to do and a sense of accomplishment when they’re completed, he said.

“You achieve that by reflecting on what makes you feel alive,” Riesberg said.

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 15
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Welcoming change as you age is a way to enjoy each stage of life and engage positivity.

Fun plus exercise equals a winning combination

Social networking and exercise go hand in hand! There are many opportunities locally that incorporate both. We’ve gathered together three that will keep you busy, but a quick internet search will lead you to many more

Merry Mixers Square Dance Club in Greeley

Square dancing is a fun way to get some movement into your life while being social! Whether you ’ re experienced or brand new you ’ re welcome Dances are held second Saturdays from 6 to 8 p m at the Greeley Active Adult Center, 1010 6th Street in Greeley.

For information please contact: Harriett Simpson, (970) 356-2596, d0sid0@msn com or Carl Hartman, (970) 515-5668, carl455@comcast.net

Loveland Pickleball Club

You may remember it from your youth, but pickleball has been trending for a few years now as a fun social event for all ages. Pickleball games are a low impact way to gather for some good-natured fun. All skill levels are welcome at the Loveland Pickleball Club with a wide variety of sessions to sign up for and tournaments to compete in no partner needed.

For information: lovelandpickleballclub.com LovelandPickleball80538@gmail com

PEDAL–Loveland’s Cycling Club

Who doesn’t love to bike? It’s an enjoyable activity that’s only as difficult as you want to make it PEDAL is a social “no-drop” road, hybrid, electric bike club, all ages and bike preference are welcome PEDAL offers a multitude of rides from which to choose, such as, regular weekday rides of 30-50 miles, “scheduled” rides are planned in advance to varying destinations of interest to the leaders, generally held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

For information:


pedal@pedalclub org

16 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
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Althoff Wellness Clinic

Ameri Quote Insurance

American Vein

Avenida at Centerra

Bordner Home Improvement

Brookdale Senior Living


Columbine Health Systems

Good Day Pharmacy

Good Health Will

Good Samaritan Society

Loveland Village


Ideal Dermatology

Implant & General Dentistry of Northern Colorado

Inner Vitality Chiropractic

Kaiser Permanente

Kirk Eye Center

Larimer County Office on Aging

Loveland Pulse

Luminate Home Loans

Mobility & More

Northern Colorado Rehab

Pearle Vision

Preferred Care at Home

Re-Bath of Northern Colorado

Renewal By Andersen


Reynolds Oral & Facial Surgery

Rowe’s Flowers

Seniors Helping Seniors

The Capstone at Centerra

Thompson School District

Volunteers Of America

Windsong Memory Care


Althoff Wellness Clinic

Ameri Quote Insurance

Bordner Home Improvement

Bridge Assisted Living


Dignity Memorial

Inner Vitality Chiropractic

Kaiser Permanente

Merry Mixers Square Dance Club

Moser Funeral & Cremation Service

Re-Bath of Northern Colorado

Reynolds Oral & Facial Surgery

Seniors Helping Seniors

Stutzman Chiropractic

UCHealth/Aspen Club Senior Services

Windsong Memory Care

For more information, contact Jill Stravolemos, 303.473.1420 or jill@greeleytribune.com For complete details about the Loveland Expo, visit REPORTERHERALD.COM/AGING For complete details about the Greeley Expo, visit GREELEYTRIBUNE.COM/AGING Greeley Tribune GT Weekly Loveland Reporter-Herald Loveland Weekly

Keep meds straight with a few key steps

Even with a pill box to keep medications straight, mishaps can happen from dropping in the wrong ones, taking the wrong doses or having unwanted interactions.

“One of the biggest things is to get all your medications from one pharmacy,” said Karen Price, public relations manager for Good Day Pharmacy, which has retail locations in Colorado and a long-term care pharmacy in Loveland. “A person can go

to more than one Good Day Pharmacy or to Walgreens, and within each computer system, they talk to each other about the things picked up at other locations.”

Pharmacy software, however, cannot screen for prescriptions at multiple pharmacy companies, since the computer systems are not connected and cannot screen for interactions, though pharmacists are educated and can answer related questions, Price said.

“As people age, their likelihood of developing dif-

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Good Day Pharmacy helps patients by allowing them to fill all prescriptions at the same time. (Courtesy Good day Pharmacy)

ferent conditions or disease states like diabetes and heart disease and cancer increases,” Price said. “That is going to make the number of medications they’re on increase.”

Sixty-nine percent of adults ages 40 to 79 are taking more than one prescription drug, and 22.4% are taking five or more, according to the CDC

Starting at age 50, the number of prescriptions a person is on increases at a rate of one every five years, due to factors like aging, genetics, lifestyle and exposure, Price said. The most commonly prescribed medications among all age groups in the U.S. include antidepressants, lipid-lowering drugs for high cholesterol, ACE inhibitors for hypertension and medications to control diabetes, she said

Price has several recommendations for avoiding unwanted medication interactions, including keeping an updated and legible prescription list; disposing of unused, discontinued and expired medications; and setting up a pill box. A pill box can be for one week, two weeks or 30 days and can have compartments for the day or for morning, noon, dinnertime and bedtime. The medications should be carefully

ment, avoiding letting them bounce into another slot, Price said.

“Pay attention to what you’re doing, because medication errors account for a huge percentage of hospitalizations among older adults,” Price said.

Good Day offers a pharmacy mobile app for automatic prescription refills and a program called Medication Synchronization. Med Sync synchronizes prescription refill dates so that they’re all on the same cycle, refillable on one date.

“It basically eliminates the stress of keeping track of multiple refill dates, and it also ensures that you never run out of your medications,” Price said. “It helps save time because there’s going to be less pharmacy calls and less pickups from the pharmacy.”

Good Day offers Good DAYPACKS, a medication packaging system that sorts and organizes prescriptions and over-the-counter oral medications into bubble packs based on dosage amount and time of dosage.

“It takes the place of having to either set up your pillbox yourself or having someone do it for you. It’s a great thing for a lot of

Northern Colorado 55 & Better 19
DAYPACKS prepacks your medications by day eliminating the need to set up a pill box and minimizing mistakes. (Courtesy Good day Pharmacy)

Plan now for your housing future Before it’s too late

As you age, chances are you’re going to need some support. The good news is, there are a number of high-quality facilities and organizations across Northern Colorado that are here to help. Whether you need a knowledgeable consultant to point you toward the right resources or a skilled nursing facility with a specialized memory care unit, you can rest assured, there are plenty of local and regional options available.

Active Seniors

Avenida at Centerra

3903 E 15th St.,


“We are a 55+ Active Adult community that focuses on lifestyle activities within a community of like-minded individuals,” says Charlene Brown, Sales Consultant. Located just off the Centerra six-mile trail system that’s adjacent to Boyd Lake State Park, the facility features an array of amenities, including an art studio, a fitness studio, a theater room, and a bistro area Outdoor attractions include a pickleball court, pool and hot tub, a pet park, and more.

While the facility does not provide medical assistance, transportation, or meals, it offers an unmatched quality of life. “Most of our residents have worked their entire lives and helped kids and grandchildren, and this is their time to shine and find themselves again. It is a beautiful thing to witness,” she says.

The Bridge 4750 25th Street, Greeley

If you’re a senior who needs help with daily tasks, check out The Bridge at Greeley. Featuring personalized care, they offer a variety of services and amenities, including access to three restaurant-style meals served daily, laundry, service, help with scheduling medical appointments, regular wellness check-ins, scenic views, an exercise room, a craft room, a library, and more.

Residents also benefit from a 24-hour emergency response system monitored by on-site staff, scheduled transportation, and assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and medication management.

20 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023

Continuum of Care

Good Samaritan Society Loveland Village 2101 S Garfield Ave., Loveland

Capstone at Centerra 4295 McWhinney Blvd, Loveland


Village has you covered. “We have all levels of care on one campus that respects and values diversity and inclusion,” says Senior Living Administrator Holly Turner.

They offer senior living, assisted living, rehabilitation (i.e. physical, occupational, and speech therapy, in-home services, and skilled home care for adults ages 55 and older.

With a 50-acre campus featuring stunning mountain views, residents can access ponds, walking trails, and a state-of-the-art wellness center, among other amenities.

Capstone at Centerra offers several types of care, including assisted living, memory care, and respite care. Situated on 3,000 acres, the facility is adjacent to local dining, shopping, and health and wellness services At their Memory Care program, which serves residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s, trained staff works with residents every day to help them live as independently as possible.

The assisted living residences offer a maintenance-free lifestyle with perks like three delicious meals per day provided, weekly linen service, medical management, access to an on-campus salon, and access to an outdoor courtyard, complete with a fire pit, barbeque, and resident garden.

For caregivers, The Capstone at Centerra respite program offers you the peace of mind you need, whether you’re on vacation, recovering from surgery, or otherwise indisposed. Your loved one will receive medical management, and three meals per day, as well as access to the library, social and leisure activities, and more.

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 21
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Columbine Health Systems

Visit columbinehealth.com for a complete list of locations.

Offering patio homes, independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing, as well as services including rehabilitation therapies, medical infusions, home care, and medical equipment whatever you need, Columbine has it.

Since 1971, Columbine has been serving older adults in Northern Colorado with pride. With a focus on valuing each individual’s unique strengths, interests, and values, their Person-Centered Care Philosophy respects each resident, family member and staff member, while their Dementia Care Practice Philosophy takes meaningful measures to support residents with dementia

Consultation Assisted Living Locators

Serving seniors in North Metro, Larimer, Weld, Adams, Boulder, and Broomfield Counties

Overwhelmed with all of the options? Not sure which one is right for you or what you can afford? Assisted Living Locators is here for you.

“We are a no-cost service to our seniors. We help them navigate through the system to find the right fit in their search for Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and other senior services,” says owner Maureen Walker.

She says nothing makes her and her staff happier than finding the right fit for their clients “We are best in class for Senior Living placement. We listen to our clients’ needs and support them accordingly.”

22 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023 Continuum of Care continued...
Columbine Health Systems offers a number of locations and services throughout Northern Colorado (Courtesy Good day Pharmacy)

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Staying Home Resources to Help Seniors Stay in Their Homes as They Age

Routine tasks can become more difficult as we age. Suddenly, stairs, yardwork and projects around the house can begin to feel daunting. If you or a loved one are beginning to feel the hardships of age, there are resources in the community to help.

We’ve rounded up several agencies and programs that aid seniors either by saving them money, increasing their mobility or assisting with daily tasks.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA)

The Larimer County Office on Aging, located in the De-

partment of Human Services, is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Larimer County and offers several voucher programs.

The first voucher is the In-Home Services Voucher Program, designed to provide homemaker and personal care for applicants 60 years of age or older.

The Chore Voucher Program provides funding to lowincome seniors for chore services. Services are targeted at chores that individuals cannot perform safely on their own. The Chore Voucher Program operates on a reimbursement schedule of $250 for every six months. This allows a senior to hire someone to do yard-

work or household chores and be reimbursed by the agency.

“It’s intended to help people 60 years old and beyond stay in their community and retain autonomy. These two voucher programs specifically have a high need and there is a wait list. The next six month cycle starts in July and we are accepting requests,” says Jordan Dunn, Communications Specialist for the Larimer County Department of Human Services

The other two voucher programs are for caregivers. The Respite Voucher offers a break for someone providing care to someone either 60 or older, someone with Alzheimer’s or another neural cognitive dis-

ease. This allows the caregiver to hire someone to come in so they can take a break. This voucher operates on a reimbursement schedule of up to $800 every six months.

Dunn says the newest voucher program is the Grand Family Respite Voucher. It’s for adults 55 and beyond who are grandparents, step-grandparents, and adult related by blood, marriage or adoption caring for a minor child (17 or younger) living in the household. This voucher can help cover things like tutoring, camp fees, sports fees, housekeeping, baby-sitting, anything to give the caregiver a break. This voucher covers up to $400 per family every

24 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
The Larimer County Office on Aging provides excellent resource for seniors and their caregivers such as their 2023 Resource Connections for Seniors & Caregivers forum. Watch the fantastic presentations on housing, transportation, legal services, and the Office on Aging at https://youtu.be/ yUyFaXLkqiU. (Courtesy Larimer County Office on Aging)

Good Health Will provides gently used medical equipment, that some seniors need to retain mobility and independence

(Courtesy Reporter-Herald)

six months and operates on a reimbursement basis.

Dunn says they also offer other programs and help coordinate services through partner agencies like meal service and transportation.

“If someone is like ‘I have

questions and don’t even know where to start,’ then call or email us. We have a really great team that can provide referrals and information,” Dunn says. “One of the most important pieces in being able to maintain independence is

to know what your options are before you need those services.”

For more information, call 970-498-7750, email aging@ larimer.org or visit Larimer. gov/seniors.

Good Health Will –Medical Outfitting and Recycling Store

A local nonprofit, Good Health Will collects donations of medical equipment and healthcare supplies. They have two stores, one in Loveland and one in Greeley, which are open to the public to purchase those supplies at a discounted rate.

Katie Diel of Good Health

Will says they offer supplies ranging from incontinent and catheter supplies to hospital beds, rollators, walkers and canes.

“Our prices are typically 2555 percent of the retail value. For those living on a fixed income it is super helpful. We hear all the time from people that they don’t know what they would do if they didn’t have us as a resource,” says Diel.

Because it is donation based, Diel says they can’t always guarantee what they have, but they’re happy to check inventory at both stores before someone makes the trip to them. They also offer shipping and even transfer items between stores.

The store is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. To check availability or for more information, call 970-624-6002 (Loveland) or 970-515-6935, email info@ goodhealthwill.org or visit goodhealthwill.org.

Our mission is to improve quality of life, and provide seniors with the ability to choose an independent lifestyle in their own home

Our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers support each person with dignity, respect, compassion and kindness.



June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 25

Frontier Access and Mobility

Another option for seniors looking to maintain their mobility and independence is through Frontier Access and Mobility, located in both Fort Collins and Cheyenne. They offer services, products and vehicles, such as power chairs, scooters, accessible vans, stair lifts, ramps, vehicle lifts, bath safety and more to help seniors keep their independence.

For more information, call 970-223-8267 or visit frontieraccess.com.

Luminate Home Loans

Reverse mortgages have a negative stigma, but Danelle Wardlaw of Luminate Home Loans says, “A reverse mortgage helps seniors preserve the wealth that they have and makes it so much more prob-

able that they will not outlive their money. A reverse mortgage (HECM – Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) is a home loan for people over 62 years old. It allows the homeowner to withdraw equity out of their home, whether that is in a lump sum, monthly payments, line of credit or a mixture of those. It is FHA backed loan. The homeowner still retains title of the home but it eliminates principal and interest payments.”

Wardlaw recommends getting a consultation as soon as you hit 62 years old so you know your options and can plan for the future.

“Something we talk about is who would need a reverse mortgage. There are lots of different scenarios. There’s the last-resort scenario where the retirement is gone and they’re

barely scraping by A reverse mortgage gives them access to equity in their home. Some people use the equity to buy a rental property or second home,” she says. For more information, visitgoluminate.com.

Volunteers of America (VOA) – A Helping Hand

Carrie Olenick, Sr. Director of Northern Colorado Services for Volunteers of America Colorado says they view their programs as fitting into four

26 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
Call Volunteers of America about volunteering to make a difference. Building a ramp, serving a meal, visiting a friend. Loveland older adults are making a difference every day. Find out how you can help your neighbors. 970-472-9630 STROKE CERTIFIED | BRAIN INJURY CERTIFIED NCRH.ERNESTHEALTH.COM 4401 Union Street • Johnstown, Colorado 80534 970 619 3400 Follow Us
Volunteers of America often partners with organizations like AmeriCorps, seen here, to help provide modifications for seniors to safely stay in their homes. (Courtesy VOA)

buckets of basic human needs. The first bucket is food.

“Everybody needs good healthy meals, but we know people eat better when they eat with friends,” she says.

The Smiling Spoon Lunch Program is for those age 60 and older and provides a delicious and nutritious hot lunch in a social setting. Attendees are asked to call the main office by 1 p.m. the day before for reservations. VOA also has a registered dietician on staff who can provide nutrition counseling services to anyone 60 and older in Larimer County.

The second bucket is safety. Through the SOS (Safety of Seniors) Handy Person program, volunteers provide all sorts of safety related home repairs and modifications. There is no age requirement for the program, but Olenick says when clients can donate to the cost of materials it is helpful. They can install grab bars and wheelchair ramps for example. They can even take on small plumbing or electrical jobs as long as it doesn’t require a certified electrician or plumber.

The third bucket is companionship,

well-being and respite. The Caring Companion Caregiver support program helps families taking care of loved ones in their own home. The person being cared for must be older than 60 or have early onset dementia.

“We very thoughtfully and carefully recruit a volunteer to match with the specific family. That volunteer then visits them once a week for at least two hours to give caregivers a break,” Olenick says.

The fourth bucket is purpose. “It’s a human need,” Olenick says. “At VOA we believe everybody fundamentally has purpose and meaning in their life. We’re working hard to match the community up with important volunteer work to find purpose. We’re specifically recruiting and matching volunteers age 55 and older with opportunities throughout the community. It could be with VOA or one of our 35 agencies we partner with throughout the community.”

All services are provided at no cost, but the group welcomes donations to help support the programs. To learn more, call 970-472-9630 or visit voacolorado.org/

The Affordable Connectivity Program

Internet connectivity is often integral to seniors maintaining their independence. The Larimer County Office on Aging offers access to a federal program for eligible households that contributes $30/month toward home internet service, making some plans free. To find out if you qualify and to sign up for the ACP benefit, follow these 4 steps:

Step 1: See if you qualify at GetACP.org

Step 2: Apply

Step 3: Receive confirmation

Step 4: Select internet plan

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 27
Call (720) 263-7039 for a free quote!

Don’t Let Housework Be a Pain in Your Back

Altoff Welness Clinic—Household chores can be a pain in the sacroiliac. Unless you’re careful, routine activities around the home— washing dishes, vacuuming, even talking on the phone— can strain your back, including the sacroiliac area near the tailbone, and result in debilitating discomfort.

But you can protect your back by knowing the right way to go about such activities, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Consider lifting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re picking up your child or a heavy bucket of water, you need to do it the proper way to avoid injury

How? Bend from the knees, not the waist. As you lift, hold the item as close to your body as possible. If you have to turn to place it, step in the direction of the turn. That way, you’re not twisting your body and straining your spine.

Back-Saving Tips

The American Chiropractic Association suggest the following do’s and don’ts for chores and relaxation:

When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put your foot on the shelf under the sink. Lean against the counter so some of your weight is supported in front.

When ironing, raise one foot a bit. Place it on a small stool or a book to take some strain off your back.

To vacuum, use a “fencer’s stance.” Put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum forward and back. Use the back foot as a pivot when you turn.

While talking on the phone, don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. That can lock up the spinal joints in the neck and upper back, and cause pain. Instead, hold the phone with your hand or use the speakerphone.

While watching television or relaxing, don’t use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much too sharp for your neck. Use a cold pack if your back begins to hurt. Wrap an ice pack in a towel moistened with warm water. The warmth gives way to gradual cold, which likely will alleviate the discomfort. (No ice? Try frozen veggies instead.)

If pain persists for more than a day or two or if you experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs, see a doctor of chiropractic. A doctor of chiropractic is an expert in spinal health and can help identify and treat your problem.

28 Northern Colorado
55 & Better
Altoff Wellness Clinic 1040 Walnut St., Windsor 970-686-6833 drjillalthoff.com 970-223-8267 www.frontieraccess.com 819 E Mulberry Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524 1207 E. Pershing Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82001

Do you have it? If you are searching the internet for information or treatment of peripheral neuropathy, you may have this diagnosis or are suffering from its symptoms This nerve disorder commonly affects your feet and hands, causing burning/tingling pain, weakness, sensory loss and balance problems. You may have taken medication for it and been told you have to live with it. That is not necessarily the truth. If it is identified early it can often be controlled if not corrected Don’t let

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June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 29
Peripheral Neuropathy. Come and hear our presentation at the Greeley Expo! Visit with us at the Loveland Expo! Dr. Jeremy Overholt (970) 300-2166 1112 Oakridge Dr Fort Collins CO 80525
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NeuropathyPossible symptoms include loss of feeling in the feet, restless legs, and balance issues.

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

The Mayo Clinic Minute—Peripheral artery disease affects 8–10 million people in the U.S., most over age 65. But it also affects younger people who have additional risk factors, such as diabetes, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. Also, 30% of Black Americans will develop peripheral artery disease, compared to 20% each from non-Hispanic white, Hispanic or Native American backgrounds.

Dr. Amy Pollak, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, explains how physicians identify peripheral artery disease and why an early

diagnosis can reduce the risk of amputation, heart attack and stroke.

Peripheral artery disease involves cholesterol buildup in arteries or blood vessels of the legs. The condition can restrict blood flow and lead to complications.

“Peripheral artery disease not only influences our ability to walk, but it puts us at a risk for amputation,” says Dr Pollak. “And that also ties in with heart attack and stroke because of systemic cholesterol buildup.”

Diagnosing peripheral artery disease starts by

30 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
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An ankle-brachial index test helps identify circulation problems
nonprofit organization that accepts donations of durable medical equipment and healthcare supplies, and provides low cost purchase options of those items to the public.

checking circulation to the feet.

“Taking off the shoes and socks, doing a foot exam, feeling the pulses, and then, if you have somebody who either has symptoms that are concerning or an abnormal pulse exam, the next diagnostic test is something that’s straightforward to do,” says Dr. Pollak.

An ankle-brachial index test can identify circulation issues by comparing blood pressure in a person’s ankle to that in their arm before and after exercise. Tests and time with a health care team can promote conversations about the most appropriate medical treatment.

“Not only do we typically think of cholesterol medications, such as statins or the role of aspirin, but some of the other medications to help reduce that future risk,” says Dr. Pollak.

American Vein & Vascular Institute

At the American Vein & Vascular Institute in Loveland and Fort Collins treats peripheral artery disease (PAD), the narrowing of the arteries that carry blood away from the heart, among other vein and vascular issues. According to their website, americanvein.com, if you have any of the signs and symptoms below, it may be time to give them a call and schedule an evaluation.

Signs & Symptoms of PAD:

• Leg or buttock pain that worsens with activity

• Discoloration/pain in the toes

• Diminished pulses

• Muscle weakness

• Skin is cool to the touch

• Ulcers near the toes


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June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 31
LOVELAND 4848 Thompson
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What are Funeral Celebrants?

Dignity Memorial, dignitymemorial.com

As funeral services break away from tradition, it’s becoming more common to include personal touches, such as special favors, music or foods that honor the unique life of a loved one. However, it’s not always easy to know just how to make the service reflect the life it’s honoring. This is where a qualified funeral celebrant or officiant can help.

What is a celebrant?

In a broad sense, the term “celebrant” simply refers to


People today can spend nearly half their lives over the age of 50. That’s a lot of living. So, it helps to have a wise friend and fierce defender like AARP in your community.

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32 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
Resthaven Memory Gardens Funeral & Cremation in Fort Collins

one who celebrates anything. In the case of funeral planning, a funeral celebrant is a trained individual who works with a family to create a personalized memorial tailored to the beliefs, lifestyle and preferences of a loved one.

Oftentimes, people think of a celebrant as a secular role— someone who will plan and conduct a funeral that isn’t religious in nature. However, this isn’t always the case. Funeral planning has become more personalized to the unique wishes of loved ones and their families. It’s possible for a pastor, priest or funeral officiant to conduct a funeral service, while a celebrant helps the family incorporate personal details into other aspects of the memorial service.

In some situations, a pastor or priest may not be involved, and a celebrant will oversee scripture readings or lead the attendees in singing a favorite song or hymn. A funeral celebrant will work with the family to plan a funeral that adequately reflects the passions and beliefs of the individual it honors.

Why should I hire a funeral celebrant?

In general, services planned by a celebrant differ from traditional funeral services. While many traditional funeral services focus on religious customs and traditions, funeral celebrants often turn the focus to the person whose life is being honored.

Consider hiring a celebrant in the following situations:

• You need help personalizing a funeral service and you’re not sure how to do it.

• You want someone who is more flexible and expe-

rienced than a traditional minister to guide the service.

• You are looking for someone to act as an officiant and as the main speaker at a memorial.

A funeral celebrant will meet with you and your family to help to plan a gathering that feels more like a celebration of a life rather than a traditional funeral. This approach emphasizes how someone lived their life—including their favorite hobbies and passions. For example, a celebrant may ask about stories from your father’s life and share those at the service, or tell your mother’s favorite quote or speak about your spouse’s memorable vacations around the world.

Celebrating each life

It is our promise to celebrate each life like no other. Our network of Dignity Memorial® directors, planners and celebrants understand that no two lives are the same—and a funeral service should reflect that.

Our celebrants and officiants are trained to help you create meaningful and memorable services that reflect the beliefs and passions of your loved one and your family members.

Learn more by visiting Resthaven Memory Gardens Funeral & Cremation, 8426 S. Hwy 287, Fort Collins, (970) 667-0202, dignitymemorial. com/ funeral-homes/ colorado/ ft-collins/ resthaven-funeralhome/8254

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 33
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Bathroom Remodeling Options for Safety and Style

You don’t have to sacrifice style to achieve safety in one of the most fall-prone areas of the home: the bathroom. One of the simplest upgrades - a thoughtfully-positioned grab bar - might bring to mind a hideous, enormous silver piece that stretches all the way around the room. But that’s not how it has to be. “When you walk into a really beautiful hotel, you don’t realize there’s a grab bar,” says Krysta Pearson, design consultant at Rebath of Northern Colorado and CAP (Certified Aging-in-Place) specialist. “It’s there for safety, for all guests of all ages. We’re aging in

place from the moment we’re born. We have a misconception that you’re aging because you’re over 55 The reality is we’re all aging.”

There are several simple, stylish upgrades you can make to your bathroom to reduce fall risk and ensure not only greater safety, but also greater comfort. Properly positioned grab bars can reduce your energy use, allowing you to get up from the toilet more easily, and also help when you’re cleaning your bathroom. These accommodations are useful for people of any age. “Everyone wakes up with a certain amount of energy in their banks and reserves and simple things like getting

yourself off the toilet when you have core stability issues can deplete a lot of your energetic reserves, just from a simple task of going to the bathroom,” says Pearson. We all want to use our energy for more exciting things, and a subtle, secure grab bar installation can help us do that.

A low- or zero-threshold shower is another simple way you can remodel your bathroom to support agingin-place. “Traditional tubs are a huge safety hazard,” says Pearson. These sleek, contemporary additions can feel like a luxury upgrade. “We’ve gotten away from those big chunky shower pans that look like mini baths,” says Pearson.

“Our low and zero threshold showers are nice and streamlined, with smooth, clean edges and a very low profile.” Aesthetics aren’t the only benefit of hiring a remodeling company rather than taking the DIY route. Pearson implores anyone looking to make safety upgrades to leave it to the professionals. An installation crew knows how to ensure the bar is installed into the studs of your wall, and they also add additional wood pieces between the studs for security “If you have someone who weighs 300 pounds and they go to hit that grab bar when they’re trying to fall, it’s not going to do anything for them if the grab bar comes

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 35
Rebath of Northern Colorado makes stylish safety upgrades to make bathrooms safe for aging at home. (Courtesy Rebath of Northern Colorado)

“I Prefer Home”

are met.

crashing down on top of them,” says Pearson. “We have to build it and stabilize it behind the wall. It’s not just the aesthetics. Behind the wall, we’re taking those extra precautions and making sure it’s a craftsman build.”

Local companies like Rebath of Northern Colorado and Bordner Home Solutions can provide free assessments that help you identify stylish ways to upgrade your bathroom for better function and safety “We have professional design consultants that can help customers make decisions on what is best for their bathroom,” says John Fleenor, owner of Bordner Home Solutions “Our products are infused with Microban, so it minimizes cleaning and our products have a lifetime warranty on labor and material.”

Don’t wait to make these changes. You can’t predict when or how your mobility will change, and furthermore, making these upgrades now can save you money. “It’s never cheaper than it is today,” says Fleenor. “With inflation, things always cost more in the future.”

Learn more at rebath.com/location/berthoud and bordnercolorado.com.

36 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
Bordner Home Solutions works with clients to ensure safety and style needs (Courtesy Bornder Home Solutions)
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Galucoma Doesn’t Discriminate on the basis of age

Other measures to address glaucoma can range from laser treatment to surgery, with an end goal of draining fluid, relieving pressure and creating new drainage pathways in the eye.

Patients in northern Colorado have plenty of options when it comes to safe, effective and convenient treatment. The Kirk Eye Center has provided the area comprehensive ophthalmology and optometry services since 1991, and Pearle Vision’s (pearlevision.com) locales in northern Colorado are part of a nationwide network that’s been offering the latest in eye treatments for decades.

Glaucoma, a group of eye disorders that impacts the optic nerve, affects more than three million people in the U.S., and millions more worldwide. Despite conventional wisdom, many of those who suffer from its earliest and most common forms are under the age of 50. Glaucoma, caused by pressure in the eye that can ultimately lead to optic nerve damage, is most commonly associated with people over 50, but its first stages can strike at any age.

Indeed, while glaucoma tends to be an age-related disorder, it can also stem from hereditary factors or everyday

life choices. What’s more, early detection can be difficult, so those with the first stage of the disorder may not even know.

According to the Kirk Eye Center (kirkeyecenter.com), which serves Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley and other areas in northern Colorado, the consequences of ignoring the disease at any stage can be disastrous. “When left untreated, this eye disease will cause blind spots in your visual field and eventually lead to a complete loss of vision,” the Kirk Eye Center notes on its website, “It is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., with more than 200,000 new cases diagnosed every year.”

That’s why it’s so critical to

take a proactive approach to eye health. Regular, annual eye screenings can ensure early detection. While there is no definitive cure for glaucoma, effective and simple treatments can make a huge difference. Easy-to-use eye drops can address the root cause of the disease, and stave off its worst consequences.

“Glaucoma is a blinding disease, but it is very treatable, often with the use of prescription eye drops,” notes the Kirk Eye Center, helmed by Estes Park native Dr. John Kirk. “The goal of treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure. With careful monitoring and treatment, we can often prevent noticeable vision loss.”

Any of these providers will be able to offer effective treatments, but it’s critical that treatment comes at the right time. Don’t let misconceptions about age stop you from getting regular eye exams, and don’t assume you’re free from the risk of glaucoma just because you’re under the age of 50.

You can also pay attention to tell-tale signs and act accordingly Seek treatment if you experience any of the following: the development of blind spots in your peripheral vision, decreased or blurred vision, seeing halos and rainbows or excessive and regular redness in the eye. These can be the first markers of a bigger problem, and can help you treat glaucoma before it permanently damages your ability to see.

June 2023 Northern Colorado 55 & Better 37
As with many medical conditions, Glaucoma benefits from early detection.

Screening For Skin Cancer As We Age

When should you start skin cancer screenings? Today! As you age, it’s important to pay attention to the signs and risks.

Am I at risk?

Cumulative exposure to

Turning 65 or new to Medicare?

sunlight and ultraviolet radiation can cause mutations in skin cell DNA that lead to cancer. A history of sunburns, especially of blistering sunburns in childhood, raises the risk of skin cancer, of which there are two types: melanoma and nonmelanoma (the latter includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma).

Other Factors

Your risk of having skin cancer is increased if your skin burns easily; if there is a history of cancer in your family; if you have many moles; if

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you’re fair skinned; and if your parent, sibling or child had or has skin cancer.

Protect Yourself

At a minimum, please schedule an annual full-body skin examination. The dermatologists at Ideal Dermatology in Loveland (lakelovelanddermatology.com) are experts in identifying and diagnosing skin cancer and preparing the best course of treatment. Ideal’s on-site lab allows for quick biopsy results. So if treatment is needed, it can begin right away.

Be liberal with sunscreen! You can wear clothes and hats to block the sun, but remember that even on an overcast day, sunscreen with a minimum 15 SPF is essential protection.

You should also be looking regularly for new skin growth and changes in your moles. Noticing a change helps you find potential skin cancer at the earliest possible stage. Ac-

Quick Tip:

cording to the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov), in the United States, about three million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and rates have likely been increasing for decades but have recently stabilized. Greater public awareness has led to higher rates of screening exams, self-exams, and detection of nonmelanoma skin cancers.

If your doctor sees an area of skin that looks symptomatic for skin cancer, they’re likely to perform a biopsy. The doctor removes as much of the suspicious tissue as possible with a local excision. A pathologist then looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. Because it is sometimes difficult to tell if a skin growth is benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer), you may want to have the biopsy sample checked by a second pathologist. - cancer gov

The ABCDE of Moles:

• Asymmetry (one half of the mole is shaped differently than the other half)

• Border irregularity (the edges should be smooth, not blurred or jagged)

• Color (moles should be all one color)

• Diameter (moles larger than a pencil eraser are suspicious)

• Evolving (any change in size, shape, or color may signal cancer)

38 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023
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40 Northern Colorado 55 & Better June 2023 hedule a t ne living y is es living opti needs with assist and respite car residents are independenc knowing our fessionals provide to get a firstha amenities a standard of Call us today to schedule a tour! ) 34 8 Loveland’s newest senior living community is now open! Our community features living options to fit all residents’ needs with assisted living, memory care and respite care accommodations. Our residents are able to maintain their independence with the comfort of knowing our highly trained professionals provide 24/7 support. Visit us to get a firsthand look at our resort-style amenities and experience the highest standard of care. 4295 McWhinney Boulevard, Loveland, CO 80538 | CapstoneCenterra com Loveland’s newest senior living community is now open! Our community features living options to fit all residents’ needs with assisted living, memory care and respite care accommodations. Our residents are able to maintain their independence with the comfort of knowing our highly trained professionals provide 24/7 support. Visit us to get a firsthand look at our resort-style amenities and experience the highest standard of care. Call us today to schedule a tour! (970) 344-9558

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