Aging at Altitude Spring 2024 Expo

Page 24


Dr. Gronseth’s talk at the Aging at Altitude Expo: Staying Active. Staying Shar p. Strategies for Muscle, Bone, Brain, and Nerve Health.

Tr ust • Care • Excellence Boulder 5387 Manhattan Circle, Suite 200 Boulder, CO 80303 Steamboat 1475 Pine Grove Road, Suite 108 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 Wheat Ridge 3555 N Lutheran Parkway, Suite 210 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST MEDICAL FACILITY 7 YEARS IN A ROW! • 303.494.7773 Come see us at the Aging Expo! 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2024 More Than... Back Pain • Neck Pain Shoulder Pain • Hip Pain Knee Pain • Sciatica Ar thritis • Numbness In-office ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, treatments and procedures in our hyperclean, safe office. Don’t Miss

The Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory at CU Boulder is looking for volunteers for a cardiovascular study on the effects of heat therapy (hot water immersion) on blood pressure and vascular functions.

Must be 40+ years of ageand willing to undergo water immersionsessions about 3times a week fora 3-month period. Total durationofstudy will require about 88hoursoverabout 7months.Receive compensation and valuable health information.

For more information, please HotTubStudy@colorado edu or call 970-460-8970

SPRING 2024 AGING AT ALTITUDE 3 To sign up, call or email us at the info listed on each flyer. For general info, visit: University of Colorado Integrative Physiology of Aging Lab
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for Research Study!
and over needed for aphysiology studyofthe effects of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), aformofvitamin B3. Must be willing to undergo 3months of NR or placebo supplementation. Total durationofthe studywill require16hours over 4months. Alltesting is performed on theUniversityofColoradoBoulder main campus locations Therewill be monetary compensationfor your time IntegrativePhysiologyofAging
University of Colorado Boulder IPALab,354 UCB Boulder,CO80309
For more information, please email or call (303) 492-2485 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
University of Colorado Boulder Department of Integrative Physiology IPA, Lab, 354 UCB Boulder, CO 80309


Brittany Anas,Darian Armer

Linda Thorsen Bond, Emma Castleberry, Kathleen Duff, Adam Goldstein, Sarah Huber,Luanne Kadlub, Julie Kailus, Emily Kemme, Ross Maak, Wendy McMillan, Matthew VanDeventer

/GRAPHIC DESIGNER Greg Stone ADVERTISING SALES Julie Casper,Pete Christiansen, Ruth Garfield, Thais Hafer, Jim Koppel, Keith Kratochvil, Abbie Lance, Billy Magrini, Jeri Martinez, Dale Sekuler, ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Jeanine Fritz PUBLISHER Jill Stravolemos HEALTHY AGING 6Eating nutritionally balanced meals 8Holistic health approaches 10 Navigating the golden years: Acomprehensive guidetovision and hearing wellness 12 Back, knee, joint andfoot pain: Expert tips on how to move better and reduce age-related pain 15 Tips to protect your brain health SMARTPLANNING 16 7things you should do to avoid assisted living, and5things to do if you can’t 18 Senior living communities andhow they empower seniors to live the life they choose 23 Balfour Senior Living celebrates 25 years 24 Want to make the best of your transitions as you age? Start planning now 27 Estate Planning 101: Whatyou need to know 29 Medicare:How to access morefederal assistance for your prescriptions 30 Medicaid: Assisting individuals to obtain long-termbenefits 31 Reverse Mortgages:Aviable option for seniors 34 Organize your life andease the burden on loved ones with Nokbox 36 Exploring eco-friendly afterlife options 38 Innovations in hospice care ACTIVE LIVING 40 Enhancing your connectivity,health and daily life 41 Travel andadventurefor active agers 42 The impact of Seniors Helping Seniors
Amy HarrisVan Vranken, Kristen White, Shelley Widhalm EDITOR
Aging at Altitude is amarketing featureofthe Boulder Daily Camera, Broomfield Enterprise and Colorado Hometown Weekly.©2024 Prairie Mountain Media. CONTRIBUTORS Affirminglifeatevery step of your journeywithillness andloss. (303)449-7740 TRUCommunity Care provides innovative,meaningful care forthose livingwithillness andloss. Discover Palliative Care, Hospice, PACE (Program of AllinclusiveCarefor theElderly), GriefServices, andour unparalleled Tele-Care platform. Sara Oclassen 8z Realtor® |Partner p: 303.818.1998 e: w: Whetheryou’redownsizingor rightsizing, work with an agent youcan trust. Call me todayfor a complimentaryhomevaluation

FREE SEMINARS! (No Registration Required)


9to9:20 a.m.

Aging Eyes: Dry Macular Degeneration

PresentedbyGeeta Lalwani, M.D

Cataract Surgery Options, Lenses &Technologies

PresentedbyHeather Gitchell, O.D.,InsightVision Group |Rocky Mountain Retina Associates

9:25 to 9:45 a.m.

The Aging Foot:APedorthic Perspective on Foot Comfort

PresentedbyAaron Anderson, C.Ped, PTIOrthotics &Foot Resource Lab, LLC

9:50 to 11 a.m.


•9:50 to 10:10 a.m.

Taxing Times: Mastering the Trio of EstateRelatedTaxes

PresentedbyDiedreBraverman, BravermanLaw Group

•10:15 to 10:35 a.m.

Fiduciary,Medical or Financial Agent: Responsibilities,Pitfalls

PresentedbyRebecca Blazquez, Jorgensen, Brownell &Pepin, P.C.

•10:40 to 11 a.m.

Avoiding Estate Planning Disputes: Why Professional Fiduciaries areoften the best choice to serveasyour trustee /personal rep/ agent

Presentedby Susie Germany, The Germany LawFirm

11:05to11:25 a.m.

When is the RightTime forSeniorLiving?

PresentedbyMarcia Klassen, Brookdale Senior Living

11:30 to 11:50 a.m.

Exercise forSeniors& HowtoGet Started: What

• AAA Auto Club Group

• Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness

• Amira Choice

• Balfour Senior Living

• Braverman Law Group

• Brittany Bailey Mutual of Omaha Home Mortgage

• Brookdale Senior Living

• Chefs for Seniors

• Clear Spring Healthcare

• CU Boulder, Department of Integrative Physiology

• Family Hearing

• Flatirons Terrace, Dial Senior Living

• Frasier

• Gabe Bodner, The Bodner Team; One Trust Home

Types, HowOften and Demonstrations

PresentedbyEdgarOrtiz, DirectorofWellness,Frasier

11:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Staying Active,Staying Sharp.Strategies forMuscle, Bone,Brain andNerveHealth

PresentedbyCliff Gronseth M.D., SpineWest Physiatry & Sports Physicians

12:20 to 12:40 p.m.

The SpeedofSound: Hearing Care to Keep YouinTune With Life’s Moments

PresentedbyPaige Andrade, Au.D., CCC-A &Chelsea Walters, B.D., BC-HIS,FamilyHearing

12:45 to 1:05 p.m.

PillarsofBrain Health and Resilience: Preventing Alzheimer’s&Thriving Emotionally PresentedbyIlene Rusk, PhD, The Brain andBehavior Clinic


9:25 to 9:45 a.m.

Downsizing Your StuffBefore Downsizing Your Home

PresentedbyBethBlacker,Chief of Chaos to Calm, It’sJust Stuff

9:50 to 10:20 a.m.

UtilizeYour Equity StrategicallytoLivea More FruitfulLifeDuring Your Golden Years

PresentedbyGabeBodner, The Bodner Team:One Trust Home Loans

10:25 to 10:45 a.m.

EstatePlanning –Protecting Your Legacy andHonoring Your Wishes andDignity

PresentedbyDan Kapsak, Kapsak |Estes LLC

10:50 to 11:10 a.m.

Knee Care Protocol to Avoid Surgery

PresentedbyDr. Andrew Allne, DC, Spruce Health Group

11:15 to 11:35 a.m.


PresentedbyNatalie Lyle,D.C., Terry Chiropractic Boulder

11:40 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Eco-Friendly Choices at the End of Life

PresentedbySethViddal, COO | Co-Owner, The Natural Funeral

12:05 to 12:25 p.m.

SevenThings YouShould Do to Avoid Assisted Living & Five ThingstoDoIfYou Can’t PresentedbyRandy Bulow, Owner,Oasis Senior Advisors

12:30 to 12:50 p.m.

Who Runs the Show When You’re Gone?

PresentedbyMaria Fraietta, The NOK Box

SPRING 2024 AGING AT ALTITUDE 5 FREE EVENT! NOREGISTRATION REQUIRED AgingAltitudeat Join us foran abundanceofaging tipsand localadvice! SAT.,APRIL 27 8:30 a.m. to 2p.m. BOULDER JCC, 6007 OREG AVE., BOULDER
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Greenlight Mortgage Group / 8z Real Estate
Greenwood & Myers Mortuary
Holiday by Atria Senior Living, Longmont Regent
Horizon Neuropsychological Services
Insight Vision Group / Rocky Mountain Retina Associates
It’s Just Stuff
Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C
Kaiser Permanente
Kapsak l Estes LLC
Little Duck Planning
Mary Hansen –Licensed Advisor/ Medicare Solutions
Murphy Funeral Directors
Oasis Senior Advisors
OsteoStrong Boulder
PTI Orthotics & Foot Resource Lab, LLC
Rain Garcia, Keller Williams
Relay Colorado
Renewal by Anderson
Seniors Helping Seniors
Spine West Physiatry & Sports Physicians
Spruce Health Group
Terry Chiropractic Boulder
The Academy
The Avenues Crofton Park
The Brain & Behavior Clinic
The Germany Law Firm
The Natural Funeral
The NOK Box
The Pearl at Boulder Creek
TRU Community Care / PACE
Vivage Senior Living / Beecan Health Colorado
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Eating nutritionally balanced meals is essential for healthyaging

Aging can affect your ability or interest in preparing healthy, nutritionallybalanced meals. Apartner who enjoys cooking may have health issues or has passed away,it’shardfor seniors with lessened mobility to shop for fresh ingredients, and cooking for one is tough. Other factors are decreased appetite or foods taste different as we age.

But good nutrition is important at any age, and more so if you have special dietary requirements related to chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis,

according to thepersonal chef service, Chefs for Seniors.

“We’ve found that seniors eat less because they aren’t as active. As calorie intake

decreases, our clients don’tget enough protein or vegetables in their daily diets,”said Darren Rabie, owner of the Denver Metro franchise Chefs for


CFS providesServSafecertified chefs who prepare 10 to 14 servings in two hours in your home for $165, plus grocery costs. Chefs bring cooking equipment and clean the kitchen after preparing meals; all you need are functioning appliances. Meals are packagedfor the refrigerator or freezer with reheating instructions.

“The program takes the worry out of meal-planning and grocery shopping,”Rabie said. “Clients can select from over 150 meal ideas on the CFS website or custom menus based on dietary preferences or health needs.”

Choose from menus that

Photos courtesy: Chefs for Seniors
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incorporate powerhouse superfoods like dark greenleafy vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and avocados to boost wellness, enhance cognitive function and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, according to CFS.

Other menu options follow healthy diet trends, including the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, or ones with keto, paleo, kosher or vegan standardsto

meet client’shealth needs. There are also diabetic, lowsodium, renal,gluten-free or dairy-free options.

Rabie finds that many CFS clients appreciatethe social factoroftalking with apersonal chef while they’re cooking. The programreduces stress on the elderlyand their caretakers while allowingseniorstoenjoy healthy meals at home.

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Holistic health approaches

Like so many things, the approach to all things health –including exercise, diet and mental health –often changes with age. Experts know how important it is to keep active, both physicallyand mentally,asyou get older,which is perhaps why holistic health practices appeal to seniors.

Whether it’sdaily stretching, meditation, herbal remedies, yoga or other activities, there are ahost of ways to keep your body and mind strong and healthy through the years. As they hit their 50s, 60s and beyond, many people realize that finding enjoyment in their health activities is of top importance, so honing in on those favorites can make abig difference.

“The best activity is one that asenior wantstodo,”saidTracy Lippard, MD,a Kaiser Permanente internal medicine doctor.“Enjoyment

and consistency arekey.Having a combination of physical activities that involve aerobics, like walking, swimming or dancing, and resistance training such as theuse of resistance bands, hand weights or machines at the gym, as wellbalance and flexibility such as TaiChi or yoga, is the best approach.

“Importantly,the social aspect of many physical activities provides added health benefits in additionto ensuring you stay consistentwith your scheduled exercise dates.”

Jennifer Klaas, SeniorProgram Director of Health andWellness at the YMCAofNorthern Colorado, agreed with the social aspect of health and wellness, notingthat people over 50 often really enjoy workingout in a community setting.

“They’llbejoined by friends in whatever activity they choose,”Klaas said. “Activities that can easily be done in agroup settingfeel like a bonding or social experience. Physical activities for older adults areexcellent

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Yoga class at YMCA inLafayette. (Photo courtesy: YMCA of NorthernColorado).

ways to continue alevel of independence andprovide a foundation forcardiovascular health, bone density strengthening and joint health. These activities alsoimprove overallmental health as well.”

The physical/mental connection is very important as people age. It’ssomething that’s been studied at the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory at the CU Boulder Integrative Physiology Department. There, experts research the efficacy of interventions, both lifestyle and pharmacological (including natural compounds) for reversingadverse changes in cardiovascular function that are seen with age.

“Wetend to seereductions in cognitive function with aging,” said Dr.Daniel Craighead, Research Assistant Professor. “Webelieve that someofthis is due to decreased health of the blood vessels in thebrain with aging. Therefore, we believe that interventions that can improve cardiovascular health (like aerobic exercise) can have positive impacts on brain blood vessels and improve cognitive function or at least slow the decline.”

As many older people know full well, physical activity can get harder with age as stamina and flexibility decrease. There are experts to help with those issues too.

The Stretch Lab is aone-onone assisted stretching studio. Owners Trey and Andrea Schott said understandingwhy someone walks through their door for help is veryimportant,

whether it’sfor mobility and flexibility, pain, recovery after workouts or stiffnessfrom older age.

The team at the Stretch Lab helps customize aplan for clients to helpthem meet whatever their goalsare. Forpeople aged 50 and up, flexibility is often abiggie.

“When yourflexibility decreases as youage, it affects yourmuscle strength, balance and more,”saidAndrea Schott. “Weworkwithpeopletohave better mobility and they’re often surprised at how much it carries over into their daily lives. Maybeit’sgetting on the floortoplay with the grandkids orpulling up aleg to put on a sock, we can help improve onthat.”

Schott again noted the physical/mental connection, adding, “When you’re stiff or have an injury,you stop moving. Life stops moving. And that affects our mental state. So helpingpeopleimprove their mobility through the stretching process meansthey’re living their life to the fullest.”

Kaiser Permanente believes in awhole-person approach to health andwellness, offering acupuncture andchiropractic options at several offices, as well as mindfulness-based stress reductionand cognitive behavioral therapyfor improvingsleep

At the YMCA, there are alot of activities popular with the 50+ crowd,including pickleball, racquetball, yoga, water aerobics,walking, cycling and more.

Yoga class at YMCA in Lafayette.
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Navigatingthe Golden Years

A comprehensive guideto vision andhearing wellness

Let’sface it: there is no magical fountain of youth. There are, however, paths to living our golden years with youthful vibrancy, beginning with your optometrist/ ophthalmologist and audiologist offices.

Hearing and vision are intimately connected when it comes to how we experience, interpret and communicate with the world

around us. Further,maintaining eye and ear health is shown to help limit cognitive decline and generally promote better quality of life. We talked with local experts about ever-growing options when it comes to caring for vision and hearing health.


“Vision changes are arguably some of the most challenging issues we all face,”says Dr. Heather Gitchell, OD,ofInsight Vision Group. “From the seemingly simple loss of focusing to visually devastating diseases, navigating these changes can be difficult to say the least.”

Among the myriad of changes

we may experience, some are preventable and some are just a normal part of aging, Gitchell says. Good news, we have more knowledge and options than ever.

Normal aging changes include presbyopia, ageneral loss of focusing ability,and cataracts, when the eye’snatural lens loses clarity.Also common are changes to the quality of our tear chemistry and production. Much like brushing and flossing, Gitchell says, simple daily activities can promote healthy tear production, such as blinking, screen breaks and gentle cleansing.

Adilated annual eye


examination from age40 allows your eye doctor to look closelyatall parts of the eye and evaluate for conditions that may not have any symptoms. Glaucoma,for instance, is referred to as the silent thief of sight, typically remaining asymptomatic until late stages when vision loss is permanent. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people ages 55 and up,isaprogressive condition threatening to obscure vision in two primary forms, wet and dry.“As with most conditions in medicine, early detection typically leads to a better outcome,”says Dr.Geeta Lalwani of Rocky Mountain Retina,adding that treatment for many ophthalmic conditions has evolved significantly over the years. In fact, new treatments are now available for both dry and wet macular degeneration, glaucomaand cataracts. Additionally,interventions such as dietary supplements, lifestyle modifications and regular monitoring play acrucial role in minimizing impact on daily life.


New research is continually emerging demonstrating the health impacts of untreated hearing loss, says Family Hearing audiologist Dr.Paige Andrade. Untreated, hearing loss is linked to higherincidence of cognitive decline and dementia, depression, balance issues and social isolation. Simply put: hearing changes of any degree can have enormous impacts on health, communication and relationships. Whatcan we do to stem this? “Get your hearing checked annually to monitor for changes,”Dr. Andrade says.

“With hearing, it’simportant to be proactive rather than reactive!”

The human sense of hearing is incredibly intricate, changing as individuals age, particularly in pitch ranges that affect our ability to understand speech clearly.These changes can result from many things, Dr.Andrade says, including medications, genetics, noise exposure and illness, making it critical to partner with your hearing care professional and medical team to help you manage your hearing and overall health.

Fortunately,changes to hearing need not simply be accepted as inevitablenor insurmountable. For instance, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Dr.Andrade suggests wearing earplugs at concerts, sporting events or other venues with noise levelsabove 85 dB. If possible, reduce the distance between you and the source of the noise.

When hearing loss does occur, available devices are now more reliable, compact,discreet, comfortable and automatic than ever before. Modern hearing devices can provide

rechargeability,Bluetooth connection to your phone, Smartphone remote control apps, and automatic soundprocessing features for ease of listening even in noisy places. “Weknow that high-quality hearing technologyisanessential ingredient for hearing your best,”Dr. Andrade says, “but it is not the only important part of the formula. Working with a skilled, knowledgeable hearing care professional who relies on the latest research to guide

them in the way that they treat hearing loss is agame-changer, and anon-negotiable for the best hearing possible.”

Heather Gitchell, OD,of Insight Vision Group,Geeta Lalwani, MD,ofRocky Mountain Retina and Dr.Paige AndradeofFamilyHearing will give more information on their respective topics and will be available to answer questions at the Aging at Altitude event on April 27th.

Dr.Heather Gitchell, Insight Vision Group Dr.Paige Andrade, Family Hearing Dr.Paige Andrade at Family Hearing. (Photo courtesy: Family Hearing). Dr.Geeta Lalwani, Rocky Mountain Retina

Back, Knee, Joint andFootPain

Expert tips on how to move better and reduce agerelated pain

Asweage, ourmuscles and joints stiffen and it gets harder to move …unless you start to move and let your body get used to the motion.

“One of the primary thingsI would recommend to anybody is to just get started,”saidDr. Andrew Allen,a chiropractor and co-ownerand vice-president of business development for Spruce Health Group inGolden. “Stretch or mobilizeyourjoints or muscles,soyou’re getting more pliability andrange of motion, so youtolerate the


exercise better.”

Spruce Health Group offers integrated health careatits four locations in Lakewood, Thornton, Aurora and Littleton.The careincludes traditional physical therapy services, at-home exercises, bracing, nutritional guidance, chiropractic spine treatments and along list of osteoarthritis programs from total joint care and aknee care protocol to medical weight loss.

The practice takes a supportive approach by identifying what thepatient wantstodoand why,such as playing with their grandchildren or going for arun.

“Wehave aprotocol to help people live healthier lives:live, move, feel better and avoid surgery,” Dr.Allen said. “People don’t want to be sick. They want to feel better,look better, loseweight andlive life the way they want.”

The knee care protocol program, for example, is a nonsurgical treatment approach for osteoarthritis of the knee that involves medical procedures and exercises. Joint pain can result from osteoarthritis,when the cartilage that protects bones breaks down or wears away, caused by physiology and activities of life.

One of the medical procedures is joint injections delivered via aneedle to an

injured or damaged knee or other joint to help ease painand stiffnesscausedbydamage to the cartilage or soft tissue. The injections contain hyaluronic acid, which helps lubricate the joints for smoother motion. Treatment followsa continuum from injections to plateletrich plasma injections (of platelets and plasmafrom the blood), tissue supplementation regenerative therapy and tissue transplants.

“If we can take people through the entire process, it has huge results,”Dr. Allen said.

As treatments areprovided, Spruce Health Group acts as an informational source and guide for patients, helping them set realistic expectations for their healing.

“Get moving, get stretching and get mobilizing. To get started, all you need is some motivation and discipline,” Dr.Allen said. “It really comes down to helping (patients) psychologically understand that you can do this –it’snot rocket science –you justneed alittle push.”

Some patients may experience foot pain and need orthotics to be able to improve their movement if over-the-counter arch supportsdon’twork. The two most common causes of foot pain are excessive pronation or supination, with the foot rollingtoo much to the

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The knee careprotocol program at Spruce Health Group is anonsurgical treatment approach forosteoarthritis of the knee thatinvolves medical procedures and exercises. (Photo courtesy: Spruce Health Group).
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inside or the outside, which can throw off gait and lead to back and other joint pain.

“It’shard to stay healthy if you can’tstay active,”said Aaron Anderson, aboardcertified pedorthistand owner of PTI Orthotics &Foot Resource Lab in Boulder and Longmont. “If foot pain is keeping you from exercising,it affects your overall health.”

PTI Orthotics &Foot Resource Lab designs, manufactures and fitscustom arch supports, prescription foot orthotics, ankle foot orthotics, shoes and related devices to address painful conditions of the foot and ankle. The orthotics are made from amyriad of materials ranging from foam, gel, plastics, thermoplastics and carbon fiber composites using plaster casts or 3D scans. Theyredistribute pressures, redirect forces and induce amore normal function of the foot and lower extremity.

“Orthotics are molded to the individual’sleft and right feet and go in place of shoes’factory

insoles,”Anderson said.

Anderson recommendshis patients exercise to supplement their treatment. They can stretch their legs and calves and strengthen the muscles in their feet, doing exercises that focus on the intrinsicfoot muscles, the arch and muscles with tendons that support the ankle.

“It’svery important to have healthy feet, which affect state of mind and other activities,” Anderson said.

Aging better is all about prevention, saidDr. Cliff Gronseth, founder of Spine West, which specializes in physiatry with locations in Boulder,Wheat Ridge and Steamboat Springs. Physiatry is non-surgicalcare for painful joints, back, neck and muscles, as well as addresses numbness and weakness.

Gronseth recommends proper shoes with awide toe box, rocker bottoms and stable soles; proper exercise, vitamins and supplements; and, when needed, proper assistive devices. Other preventative steps include

supportingjoints with muscle strengtheningand bracing, building bones with pressure and load,and understanding how,when and why falls can occur.

“Careful identification of the pain sources is paramount, including ‘red flag’ dangerous conditions,”Gronseth said. “Identify the intrinsic factors (body structures and biomechanics) and extrinsic factors (environmentand activities) that may create or worsen the pain.”

Gronseth conducts apatient diagnosisbyhistory,careful physical exam and diagnostic imaging to help definethe factors that cause, relieve and amplify painfor each individual he sees. He might correct biomechanics and body asymmetries and strengthen key supportive muscles. Or he might use modalities like ice, heat, electricity or oral or injectablemedications to reduce pain, as wellasadvanced pain managementprocedures like ablating nerves and

orthobiologics that include stem cells and platelet-rich plasma to rebuildtissue.

“Look at thewhole body, not just asingle body part,” Gronseth said. “Everyone is unique although there are commonalities in all of us.”

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Tipstoprotect yourbrain health

Our brainschange with age. Some risk factors are unmodifiable, but other risk factors for cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease,and other dementiasare remarkablymodifiable. What can you do now to maintain your cognitive longevity? Dr Ilene Naomi Rusk of the Brain &Behavior Clinic emphasizes six pillars of brain health: nutrition, movement, restorative sleep, meaningful social connection, cognitive stimulation and stress management.

We all could use agood night’ssleep: that’s at the base of good cognitiveand mental health. Seek treatment if you’re not sleepingwell or suspect sleep apnea. An excellent diet is important too. Dr.Elliot Good of Amavi IntegrativeMental Wellness points out that science doesn’tcompletely understand howdiet affects the brain, but we do know that eating plans like the Mediterranean diet decrease inflammationand lead to ahealthier brain –and body! The Mediterranean diet is centered on veggies, fruits and whole grains. The primary source of fat is extra-virgin olive oil. Avoiding excess alcohol, toxins and pollutants is important for cognitive health, as is maintaining good dental, sinus and cardiovascular health as well as maintaining good vision and hearing

While some factors like sleep

and nutrition are important for us all, you can also enjoy creating abrain health plan that’spersonalized to you. Since stress accelerates immune aging, spend time doing stress-busting, brain-building activitiesyou enjoy! Pickleball, hiking with friends, playing an instrument: anything you enjoy that gets you moving, using your hands or challenging your brainin ways that are creative or social is ideal. Trynew things that are fun and challenging without being stressed. (Play cards with friends? Learn calligraphy? Sign up for aqigongclass?) Dr.Rusk emphasizes that “moving your body is especially important as it increases bloodflow to thebrain and improves cardiovascular health and mood, which are all important for brain health.”

Dr.Good points out that taking care of your mental health is as important as ever: “You don’thave to accept depression

or anxiety as anormal part of aging.”Our mental healthaffects our cognitive function. Maintain agood support system, whether that’sthrough afaith community, asenior center,classes, or family connections. Avoid self-isolation. We all need guidance and support, and that can also look

like seeing aprofessional to get a thorough assessment and create apersonalized treatment plan to maintain your cognitivehealth.

Cognitive decline can present differently in different individuals. One person might have visual-spatial difficulties, while another might have problems with memory.It’scrucial to work with professionals who are knowledgeable about older adults. The professionals on staff at the Brain &BehaviorClinic and Amavi Integrative Mental Wellness can thoroughly assess and diagnose you or your loved one and create apersonalized, targeted approach to help you maintain brain health.

There’sgood reason to be optimistic. As Dr.Rusk says, “Wecan realistically make changes in our brain health. Neuroplasticityisthe way forward. It’sthe hope.”

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LEFT: Dr.Ilene Naomi Rusk, TheBrain and Behavior Clinic. RIGHT:Dr. Elliot Good, Amavi Integrative MentalWellness.

7ThingsYou ShouldDoToAvoid AssistedLiving …and 5things to do if you can’t

Moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t have to be adeath sentence for seniorsand, in fact, can be anew lease on life.

“For an elderly person, it often allows you more independence than being at home,”said Randy Bulow, Certified Senior Advisor and owner of Oasis Senior Advisors in Superior,a free service for seniorsthat helpsthem navigate decisions related to senior living. “They still receive every freedom, and now they have the support they need.”

Some seniors may not want

to take that stepand instead remain at home. To do that, there are seven practical things they can do.


Abig problem in the senior population is insulin resistance, stemming from too much sugar and processed foods, which can lead to dementia, diabetes and heart disease.


Statistically,20% of seniors who fall and fracture ahip end up dying within ayear.They can reduce fall risks by getting rid of ladders and rugs and installing grab bars and justavoiding things they know they shouldn’tdo.


Flexibility for seniors can be areal problem because they quit moving and end up unable to handleactivities of daily living. It’simportant for them to get involved in some kind of exercise program and to stretch and keep their muscles and joints in shape.


Strokes and other heart conditions can be serious or fatal,soseniors need to be sure they get regular health checkups.


Ignoring the heart and mindbody connection canlead to dementia. Seniors can help maintain their cardiovascular health by usingtheir mind, being active andavoiding abusing alcohol.


Strength and conditioning are relative to age, with some seniors believing if they can’t do alot, they shouldn’tdo anything. The key is to be consistent with grip andoverall body strength exercises in order to maintain as much muscle mass as possible.



One of the best ways to avoid assisted living is by moving into an independent living community.Seniors can face falls and other risks living independently,while asenior community can provide them with nutritional and social outlets.

“This is pretty obvious, but take careofyourself. Alot of people don’tthink they have control over that,”Bulow said. “It’sjust avoiding alot of the bad things and practicing some veryimportant health routines as well.”

If assisted living can’t be avoided...

If assisted living can’tbe avoided, thereare five things seniors can do to prepare.


Create abudget,establish medicalpower of attorney and awill, and have a conversation with support networks.


Put everythinginone place, including copies of insurance cards and driver’slicense and lists of prescriptions and health and other providers.


Remain close to family members, or at the least appoint somebody who can help out.


Socialization at any age is important, and in asenior community, there are at leastthree times aday when seniorshave an opportunity to make friends.


Have some kind of goals that areobtainable, even if they are modest, suchasdoing crafts or painting.

Finally,makeplans with expertguidance, such as with the help of an attorney, certified financial advisor or certified senioradvisor.

“The overall key is to make plans and communicatethem,” Bulow said. “Understanding your options beforeyou need them can bring peace of mind to youand your family.”

Ila Bulow,Randy Bulow’smom, lived inamemory care community until she passed earlythis year at 91.
3083WalnutStreet,Boulder (303)440-0500 Welookforwardtoseeingyou attheAgingatAltitudeexpo! De ePai ndIn Fu ti HelpingBoulderCountyAge GracefullyForOver40Years.
(Photo courtesy: RandyBulow/Oasis Senior Advisors)

The Front Range of Colorado is blessed with communities that enable seniors to maintain a healthy,active, social and thriving lifestyle. Aging at Altitude interviewed some of the best in Boulder,Longmont, Broomfield and Arvada.


Vickie Stotler-Smith, Executive Director,said Flatirons Terrace in Boulder is different right from the arrival. She said, “Our community has awelcoming committee to welcome and orient new residents. They don’tjust meet them when they first move in, they encourage a

longer relationship and support network. In addition to escorting them to meals and activities, they orient them to the community and programs and offer support. In addition to this committee, welcoming occurs organically as all of our residents are extremely warm and welcoming to newcomers. Our small size (54 apartments) creates agreatsense of community where everyone gets to know each other providing opportunities for lifelong friendships and support. One program that we feel is unique is our Tech Support. In addition to monthly livestreamed classes, each resident receives 20 minutes of 1:1 virtual support at no charge. We also offer live 1:1 tech support monthly with two instructors.

SMARTPLANNING Senior living communitiesand
how they empower seniorstolive the life theychoose
Call to Request an Info Packet! 720.744.3990 or visit IndependentLiving| Assisted Living Memory Care |Enhanced Care BROADLAKE W63RDAVE KILMERLOOP W64THAVE WESTWOODS SHOPPINGCENTER BROAD LAKE PARK MCINTYREPKWY MC I NTYRE ST MC INTYRE ST W63RDAVE AmiraChoiceArvada Colorado’s Newest Senior Living Community! OurArvadacommunity empowers seniorstoliveoptimistically, confidently andwitha senseofpurpose.Weprovide supportive services andindividualizedcarewithina community whereeveryonecan flourish. Weofferavarietyoflivingoptions alongacontinuumofflexible supportandcareofferingsthatcan becustomizedaccordingtothe needsofeveryindividual. Boasting beautifulviews of theNorth Foothills, ourcommunity is just minutesby foot to walkingtrails, shopsand restaurants. 6260McIntyreStreet,Arvada,CO80403
Raised gardens at Fraiser (Photo courtesy: Fraiser).

Our community also does agood number of outings to lunch, the theater,movies,CU-Boulder performances,etc. What really makes it unique is that different staff members accompany the residents on theseexcursions. In agiven month you mayfind the Executive Director helping solve clues in an escape room, the MaintenanceDirector donning a fun costume, the Executive Chef giving out free hugs, the Lifestyle Director providing relaxing chair massages and facialsor the Office Managerbundling up for the Gaylord Ice Show or all the ladies going Redfor Women to support heart disease and stroke awareness. We encourage all staff and residents to get to know each other as fellow humans. It strengthens our sense of community.”


The team at Amira Choice Arvada strives to createan environment where seniors can flourish and experience the best of every day on their terms, supported by caring staff and awelcoming community atmosphere.

Engaging community: Amira Choice provides avibrant and pet-friendly environment where residents can connect with one another and with staff, fostering asense of belonging and companionship.

Bright and spacious private apartments: Residents can enjoy comfortable and inviting studio, one-bedroom,ortwo-bedroom apartments, providing them with asense of home and privacy within the community.

Extensive amenities and programming: Residents have access to awide range of amenities and programs designed to enhance their quality of life and promote active engagement.

Individualized care and supportive services: The community recognize the unique needs of each resident and offers personalized care plans to support them in living their best lives.

Convenient location: Situated in Arvada, the community offers residents easy access to shopping, dining and other neighborhood

amenities, allowing them to remain active and connected to the local community.

Flexible living options: The community offers avariety of living options along a continuum of care, ensuring that residents receive the support they need while maintaining their independence and lifestyle preferences.

Amira Choice Arvada offers arange of unique amenitiesand programs that provide residents with acomfortable, engaging, and convenientlifestyletailored to their preferences. This brand-new buildingfeatures refined interiorspaces,adorned with thoughtful details and cozy lounge seating, fostering an inviting atmosphere for relaxation and socializing. Residents can enjoy their meals according to their preferences, whether it’sindulging in restaurant-style dining from our in-house culinary team or enjoying acasual biteat our Bistro. The community boasts ample amenitiestokeep residents entertained, including afitness studio to stay active, atranquil library forreading and relaxing, and agame room for socializing and friendly competition. For those craving fresh air and scenicviews, the outdoor patio provides a picturesque setting, overlooking the North Foothills -ideal for gatherings and relaxation. Under the guidance of our Life Enrichment Director,residents can participate in adiverse array of daily activities designed to stimulate the mind, body,and spirit, ensuring there’salways something exciting happening within the community. Conveniently located in Arvada, residents have easy access to nearby walking trails, golf courses, shops and restaurants, allowing them to explore and enjoy the local area. Centrally positioned, Amira Choice Arvada offers proximity to Denver’s attractions, shopping centers, and medical facilities, ensuring convenience and accessibility for residents. With major thoroughfares like Highway 72 and I-70 nearby,getting to important appointments,or

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Marcia Klassen is theExecutive Director of Brookdale Meridian Boulder.She said, “Webelieve in empowering our residentsto live life on their terms, fostering independence, autonomy,and agenuine sense of purpose. From adiverse menu featuring requests and favoriterecipes to apacked calendar of fun and engaging activities, our residents enjoy alifestyle designed to cater to their individual needs and preferences.”

poetry club and writing clubs.


Opened in 2015 and situated between Denver and Boulder, The Avenues Crofton Park in Broomfield is a55+ community offering 70 apartmentsand 20 cottages. But what makes the community unique?

courses,”she adds. “And we have residents who like to travel. For them, we offer aturnkey lock-and-leave lifestyle, free from home ownership concerns.”

having friends and family visit is hassle-free.

Located in the foothills of theRockies with breathtaking viewsofthe Flatiron Peaks, Brookdale MeridianBoulder is convenientlylocated near Table Mesa Drive andHighway 93, with quick access to the DenverBoulder Turnpike (Highway 36). The community features itsown library,transportation, concierge service, café/bistro,parking, emergency alert system, walking paths, theatre, greenhouse, courtyard with garden, business center and more. There are also several resident-runactivities, including gardening, book club,

“Atthe Avenues, we let our residents drive the amenitiesand programs that they want. We ask residents what amenitiesand activities they prefer,then we try to adjust our slate of social, wellness and educational events and activities to make themfeel at home,”said Property Manager Melissa Martinez.

“What we’ve seen in recent years, especially with seniors moving to Colorado to be closer to their adult children, is that our residents are very active. Many take advantage of the nearby Metzger Farm Open Space for walks and bike rides, others are regulars at Broomfield’sPaul Derda Recreation Center,and some like to golf at two local

Martinez said offering residents relaxing common areas and amenitiesoutside their residences is important. “Our residents enjoy socializing or relaxing by the fireplace in our hotel-like lobby and comfortable common areas throughout the community,” Martinez said.

“Our billiard lounge and game room is apopular destination for arts and crafts activities and competitive games of chess. There is an open demonstration and catering kitchen and aprivate dining room for special events. We offer awide range of reading materials in our library and host weekly Mimosa &Mingle events. The back patio is equipped with a fire pit, grill, outdoor kitchen, fountain,and comfortable sitting areas where residents can unwind, host friends and play games like croquet, ladder ball and cornhole. The events

Animals visit at Longmont Regent. (Photo courtesy: Holiday LongmontRegent).

room provides space to host presentations like ourTech101 talks and Armchair Travel Series. For our green thumb residents, we have abeautiful, shared community garden. It’saplace where residents walk, gather and if so inclined, get their hands dirty.”


General Manager Bonnie Ochsner explained that the goal of the Holiday by Atria Senior Living /Longmont Regent is to do things that give residents the best living arrangements possible. The remodel is agood example.She said, “Weare doing afull remodel and our goal is that our residents are comfortable and happy.We don’twant anything that feels institutionalizedhere.”

The full remodel is still in construction but the lobby is already beautiful and shows how exciting the community will be when they are finished. Bonnie has been working with the Enhanced Life Coordinator to create events and activities that are based on the needs of the residents. She said, “We are refreshing all thecommon areas, repainting, puttingnew flooring and modern lighting in the diningroom, and even all new furniture throughout the building. There’sanew bistro and pub going in downstairs, adedicated fitness center,a business centerand an activity room. It’ssonice to see the coordination of projects that allow us to put in things that are best for our residents and help them feel at home.”

Garry Durling, sales manager Holiday Longmont Regent added that this is avery friendly community that provides lots of opportunities for the residents to get together and make friends. Along with “tons of social activitiesincluding bingo and poker,” there are three full meals aday,a tea and coffee bar,snacks, outings into the community,and outside performers broughtinto entertain


Julie Soltis, Frasier’sdirector of communications, talked about what makesthe facilityunique.

“Our community boasts an array of unique amenitiesand programs designed to cater to diverse preferences. Notably, we offer two musicstudios and two art studios (one “dry” and one “wet” for pottery). Our wellness center features fitness classes, Pilates equipment,and two pools –one for therapy and another for laps –while our two art galleries, one of which hosts exhibits from theBoulder Museum of Contemporary Art, cater to art enthusiasts.

Additionally,residents can enjoy upscale dining options, beautiful gardens and courtyards, abocce ball court, alibrary,a movie theater,salon and spa services, awoodshop and aresident-operated ‘brew room’. Furthermore, our expansive 20-acrecampus, which encompassesindependent living, assisted living, memory support, and skilled nursing/ long-term care communities, ensures residents can maintain cherished relationships regardless of their care needs.”


The HoverFamily made an amazing difference for seniors in Longmont and theHover Senior Communitycontinues that difference.The 15-member unpaid board members are invested in the Hover family legacy.

The three facilities of the Hover Senior Communityare mission-driven,according to Lisa Bryant, Campus Engagement Director of Development.She said, “The alternative principles we use are about thewell-being of those who live here and creating ameaningful lifefor them. All staff members have intense core training to give them adifferent way of care that is all about person-directed care.

We don’tstop living just because we need help, and this is elder-centered heath. What residents do here is decide when they want to wake up, what theywant to eat, and if


Locatedinthe bustling University Heightsneighborhood near theUniversityofColoradoBoulder,our vibrantcommunity is within walkingdistanceoflocal shopping anddining. Themodern, multi-storybuildingoffers both independent andassistedliving, anda worry-free retirement experience forseniors.Joinusand discover chef-preparedculinary experiences, afull-servicebar,livelysocialhours,a robust fitness programwithcertified, onsitetrainers, aspa and varietyofother services.Comesee theadventuresthatawait youatThe Pearlwhere ourgoalistoensureyou Love The WayYou Live todayand everyday.

they’re going to eat breakfast in theirpajamas intheirroom or the dining room. We base this on everything we need as humans to create aharmonious life. We have seven domains of well-being, with autonomy the highest, and security and making our own decisions.”

She added, “Everything we do is about creating ‘home’ for the residence. In the Beatrice Hover Assisted Living area, aresident is never placed in thesame room with anyone else unless they want to be with them. There are private bathrooms inthe apartments. The greenhouses are homes for 12 elders who eat at one tableand have shabazim who cook, clean and care for them. There is arobust engagement team that provides outings very regularlytoplaces they want to go such as Rockies games, car shows or the theatre. We have trishaws, which are like bikes with bench seats, and a staff member rides theresidents out innature. The resident committees talk about where

they want to go and that is the basis for the activities.”


According to Senior Living Advisor Christian Shahmardian, The Pearl at Boulder Creek in Boulder takes on avery dynamic approach to aging and values each person as an individual. Christian said, “What makes us unique is our ‘aging in place model’where residents can live in our licensed Assisted Living apartments independently until they need care. This means that couples do not have to be separated or displaced from theirloved ones due to different needs. We also have resident-led committees and activities so they are directly involved in the community as away to honor collaboration for decisions that impact their home. Residentled activities include Art Club, Choral Group, Playreaders, Welcome Committee and presentations/performances.”



25 Years of Care

Balfour celebratesaquarter century of award-winning seniorcare living

Even as Balfour Senior Living celebrates 25 years of delivering top-tier senior care this May,the communities of Balfour continue to be guided by their founding question:“Is this something we’d want for our loved one?” That’sbecause Balfour was built by Michael K. Schonbrun with his mom in mind, noted Carrie Gray, vice president of sales and marketing at Balfour.

In the late 1990s, when Schonbrun was seekinga “FourSeasons-style” senior living experienceinColorado that his mother –afashionable New Yorker who thrived on cultural events, beautiful spaces and late nights –would appreciate, he came up empty time and again. In fact, he was disheartenedtodiscover

that some senior communities wrapped up social activities before4pm, while others were unfamiliar with the salon and wellnessfeatures that brought hismother both joy and comfort. So Schonbrun decided to redefine retirement forever,said Louise Garrels,Balfour Senior Living marketing consultant.

In 1999, Schonbrun opened Balfour Retirement Community inLouisville, with assistedliving, skilled nursing and memorycare alongside the perks he knew his momwould adore: Achef-led restaurant, concierge services and an enrichment program packed with artistic, intellectual and fitnessactivities from morning to evening. Even more, since Schonbrun’smom was used to taking taxisaround New

York,Schonbrununderstood that Balfourneeded to offer convenientand safe transportationtoresidents to shop,visit friends and family and frequentlocal restaurants. “Fromthe beginning, the philosophy has been that we hold ourselves to ahigher standard,”Gray said.“We go above andbeyondand take no exceptionwhen it comes to safety andcare.”

Today Balfour Senior Living includes nine senior living communities in Coloradoand oneinAnn Arbor,Michigan Acommitment to comfortable elegance andpersonalized care remainscentral to “the Balfour Way,”explained Garrels, as Balfourlooksto “operational excellence and exceptional design to provide an all-inclusive lifestyle to the

nextgeneration of seniors.” She added that Balfour hasa “track record of staying at the forefrontofthe industry and settingstandards for careand innovative design.”

Although all Balfour communities offer an attentive healthcare presence and theindividualized care that has earned Balfour repeated recognition as one of the“Best” senior living experiences in the nation by U.S. News &World Report, Balfour welcomesresidents to bringtheir own preferences and desires to their new home. “Our residents design the services in thecommunity; they tell uswhat they want and what’simportantto them,”Gray said. As an example, the restaurant menus at the Louisville campus are entirely different from the menudesigned by the chefs at BalfourinDenver.Fitness classes mayvary depending on residents’ requests, and clubs and enrichment events, such as wine dinners or musical concerts, are communitytailored. Moreover,thanks to Balfour’s“unparalleled continuum of care,”residents may “age in place” from independent and assistedliving to memory careorskilled nursing, as needed. The end goal, said Garrels, is enriching thelives of our residents and honoringtheir individuality.

The Lodge at Balfour in Louisville. (Photo courtesy: Balfour Senior Living). LEFT: Fitness activities. RIGHT: Entertainment lounge. (Photos courtesy: Balfour Senior Living). Balfour’schef-led restaurant. (Photo courtesy: BalfourSeniorLiving)

Want tomakethe best of your transitions as you age? Start planning now

Asuccessful transition for those who are seeking to downsizeor create aging-friendly homes comes down to one word: planning.

People who take the timeto create an intentionalblueprint for where they want to be and how they want to live as they age are often rewardedwith a sense of peace, say local real estate and service experts.But the journey takes patience, introspection and someresearch.

For many,the first step can be deciding what to do with their possessions. Beth Blacker, chief of Chaos to Calm for It’s Just Stuff,has seen too many situations where belongings

become aburden, not only for those who are gettingolder but also for their loved ones.

Blacker and her team members at the home-organizing and move-management company help guide clients using a deliberate and compassionate process.

“Wetry to come in as far in advance as possible to help give our senior clients timetoreally process what will need to be accomplished. We recognize the older we get, the harder it can be to let go of your things,”she said.

Blacker said she is someone who grew up with amazing and respected grandparents, so she is keenly aware of the importance of giving aging residentsspace with grace

“It takes time. Ican walk into

a4,000- or 5,000-square-foot place with 50 or 60 years of stuff that has never been edited and truly see the finish line, but most people can’tget past the first pile without getting overwhelmed,” she said. “Wegothrough the process slowly and honor the memories without keeping all the physical stuff.”

For example, she may help clients take photos of much-

Asuccessful transition for those who areseeking to downsize or create aging-friendly homes comes down to one word: planning. SMARTPLANNING AGING TRANSITIONS SAVE TIME •SAVEMONEY AFTER! BEFORE DON’TREPLACE...REFINISH! Fightback inflation!Saveup to 70% over replacement! Commercial Buildings, Schools, Offices, Colleges,Hotels and more. Call foraFREE Estimate! We AlsoRepair and Refinish: • Bathtubs • Tile Showers & Walls • Countertops • Sinks & Vanities • Fiberglass Tubs & Showers Miracle Method Surface Refinishing make your kitchen or bath beautiful again!

loved items and create digital albums. Artworkfrom children canbescanned and made into abook and put onto acoffee table or made into acollage. Travel memories can be kept on computers.

“Weremind them they are movinginto asignificantly smaller space and the walls can’tbeexpanded. Somepeople can get very stressed as they recognize their mortality is ending. That can take atoll,” Blacker said. “Really,what we try to impress upon our clients is that you have to give yourself some time.”

Of course, time isn’talways available. Health crises and financial challenges may require quicker moves. Blacker said homes can be packed and moved within short timeframes as necessary,but those who plan ahead by editing and organizing their items in adeliberate manner may save themselves and their families from anguish.

It’sJust Stuff doesn’ttell clientswhat to keep and what

to let go. Rather,Blacker and her team members show residents that retaining so many belongings can come at the expense of enjoying what life and the future has to offer.

“They should be enjoying the rest of their lives, not worrying about taking care of things,” she said.

And it’sareality that younger people may not value items such

as furniture, crystal, china or silver the same way theirparents or grandparents once did.

She often tries to be the voice of reason when it comes to conflicts between adult children and aging parents. Adult children can’tspend alarge amount of time deciding on each item. But approaching those conflicts with compassion and empathy can go along way to smoothing

out the process of letting go of possessions.

And every situation is unique. Blacker has some clients who have health issues but want to remain in their own homes, so she has helped clear items to make homes more maneuverable. She also resets spaces periodically for memory care residents to make their living spaces safer.

Fees for It’sJust Stuff depend on factors such as the size of the home, volume of items and services. Blacker said she tries to set the price point based on individual budgets.

“I understand this is an expense,”she said. But residents also can turn to friends, volunteers, churches and nonprofits to help navigate the process. Blacker said she would like to see Medicare cover the service because it is so essential.

Beyond reducing belongings, homeowners may need to make some adjustments in their living spaces, whether they choose to age in place or eventually sell,

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It’sJust Stuffrecently assisted asenior client who hasaphasia andwanted to age in place. The company decluttered her entire home and visited every two weeks to keep things in order andhelp with any morepersonal assistant type tasks.

The company,which serves the Boulder and Longmont areas, specializes in professional surface refreshing, primarily for bathrooms and kitchens. Miracle Method also installs age-friendly safety and grab bars as well as non-slip floors.

One of its most popular services is its Easy Step conversion, where cutouts are created in the sides of existing tubs, making them accessible and safer for older residents to step in. The conversion can be thousands of dollars less than installing walk-in tubs.

Weber saidhis services can save homeowners up to 70 percent over replacing items such as countertops and bathtubs

“Weuse existing products. The nice thing is that it’sgreen. We aren’tthrowing these things out. And we can make tubs look brand new,” Weber explained. Outdated colors such as green and gold can be refinished into clean white fixtures.

“Wehave alot of business


from all age groups, but Iwould say alot of our peopleare 50 are older.Seems like their money just doesn’tgoasfar these days. If they want to sell their homes, we can update their homes at a lower cost,”hesaid. “And all of our warranties are transferrable between homeowners for five years.”

Thefamily-run business relies on its own employees rather than contractors. Mostresurfacing projects are completed within acouple days with no upfront deposits required. Weber said his company can refinish akitchen and bathroomsfor an entire house, often at acost less than acontractor would charge fora single bathroom.

That word “planning” becomes even more critical when residents decide they are going to sell their homes and look for anew space, said Dale Pearson with RE/MAX of Boulder,via email.

“Make sure you have aplan! Are you going to purchase another home right away; are you going to rent;are you going

to move closer to family? Plan out your goals on what you want to achieve is thefirst step if you’re planning on downsizing.

Will you need astorage unit? Almost always, there’sa need to clear out what you’ve accumulated over theyears, and downsizing is theperfect opportunity to start anew.”

Pearson, in real estate since 1988, speaks from personal experience.

“I’ve experienced downsizing first-hand when we became empty nesters. Wemoved from our five-bedroom home where we raised our family for18years to atwo-bedroom loft/condo to make life simple.”Headded, “We’ve never looked back, but it took some getting used to the smaller space, and we needed a storage unit for acouple years.”

He recommends contacting Realtors first to tellthem what you are looking for, what goals you want to achieve and preferences in the home search.

Considerations include home size and type (singlelevel living, condo, townhome

etc), maintenance, availability of amenities such as trails and fitness centers and location of grocery stores and shopping. Individual factors such as client health and mobility and proximity tomedicalfacilities also should be weighed.

Pearson said anumber of homebuilders are now focusing on offering low-maintenance homes. “I think builders are catching on that this is an importantpart of the market and tailoring their services to that need.”

He said, “The most significant change we’ve seen in the real estate market is the rise in interest rates. The higher rates have made qualifying for new financing more difficult for many seniors wanting to make amove. However,seniors can still benefit from the years of appreciation if they’vebeen in theirhomes for some time and can use that equity to assist them if adownsizing move is in their future plans.”

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Estate Planning 101: Essentials youneed to know

Knowing the essentials of estate planning will help with securing yourlegacy and ensuring your wishesare respected. We reached out to local experts for tips and insight to prepare acomprehensiveand effective estate plan.


Owner and principle of The GermanyLaw FirminErie, Susie Germanysuggests using an attorney or firmwith aminimum of 10 years of experience in estate planning or elder law to assist in preparing appropriate estate planning documents like aWill or atrust They should be well known in the legal community,maybe they’re in aleadership position with the Bar Association,or teach programs to other lawyers or community members.

For financial care planning someone could seek advice from afinancial advisor or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to plan their financial needs and goals as they age.

Future care planningincludes making decisions about how someone wants to age, such as whether or not they want to live inanassisted living facility or havein-home help when it’sneeded. Germanysaid professionals such as geriatric care managers usuallyhave a background insocial work and canhelp with care planning.

“Pre-planning is really helpful in the sense that it does help give you moresay in yourcare plan inthe future,”Germany said. Planning should include how to pay for the care, such as long-termcareinsurance.

Not surehow to go about finding some ofthese professionals to assist in estate planning? Askaround Germany recommendsasking professionals you are already working with such as afinancial advisor,CPA or primary care physician for areferral.


Acomprehensive estate plan covers avariety of directives over several documents, including aWill, Durable General PowerofAttorney, HealthcarePower of Attorney, and Advanced Directive, which combined helptopreserve

yourlegacy according to John Estes, apartner with Kapsak |Estes, LLC in Longmont. TheWill dictates who receives what assets, as well as who is entrusted with handling everything after an individual’s death as the Personal Representative forthe estate.

In making these decisions, Estes said it is best to take a holistic approach to ensure that a“blessing doesn’tturn into acurse.”Estes continued, “Weset up loved ones to thrive and remember youwell.” This involves understanding uniquefamily dynamics to avoid foreseeable tensions or divisions, and understanding the specific needsand circumstances of intended beneficiaries. For example, abeneficiary of an estate whoisreceiving Medicaid may lose those benefits uponreceivingan outright inheritance. Or perhaps abeneficiary is tooyoung or inexperienced to appreciate a large inheritance, orstruggles with complicatingfactors like drug addiction oradifficult relationship. Language in the Will can protect beneficiaries with specific circumstances while simultaneously preserving thedecedent’sdignityand honoringtheirwishes.

Durable General and Healthcare PowersofAttorney

allowthe client to authorize an agenttomake financial andmedical decisions on their behalf in the event of temporary orpermanent incapacity, ensuringthat the client remains as autonomous as possible for as longaspossible

These documents work in conjunction with an Advanced Directive, or “Living Will”, which givesthe client the dignityofdecidinginadvance what their wishes for treatment would beinthe event of a terminal condition or persistent vegetative state,and the peace ofmindofknowing that their wishes will be honored and carried outshould the need arise. “Advanced Directives may also be used to take the burden off the agent, since the clientalready made the choice. Theagentdoesn’thave to worry aboutbeing the onetomake an endoflife decision, or carry guilt of removing their loved onefromlife support, for example,” explained Estes.



Managing attorney of Braverman Law Group, Diedre Wachbrit Braverman has been planning estatesfor 24 years. She said there are four major taxes to consider when planning

Susie Germany, The Germany Law Firm John Estes, Kapsak |Estes, LLC DiedreWachbrit Braverman, Braverman Law Group RebeccaBlazquez, Jorgensen, Brownell &Pepin, P.C.

an estate. The giftand estate tax of 40 percent is imposed on all assets bequeathed over $13.6 million. In 2026 that exemption decreases by morethan half to $6 million. There’salso an $18,000 annual tax exemption per beneficiary as of 2024.

The generation skipping transfer tax (GSTT) is also a 40% tax on gifts directed to anyoneone generation younger than the donor, with the same $13.6 million exemption and $6 million starting in 2026. “The most common situation is grandchildren,”explained Braverman. However,donors can choose to useany of their estate tax exemption to make lifetimegifts; that will reduce the amount they can leave at death. They also have agift and estate GSTT exemption equal to $13.6 million. If both exemptions are completely used, the grandkids’ gift could get hit with an 80% tax. “That’swhy we attorneys are employed,” said Braverman. Both of these

are justfederal taxes in some states including Colorado. There is an unlimited exemption from gift and estatetax between spouses

The capital gains tax of 15 or 20% is imposed onthe value of assetsaccrued after the client has passed away.Any unpaid taxes accrued on the assets appreciation during the individual’slifetime are erased. Finally,the income tax ranges from 10%-37% is imposed on appreciated income accrued after the individual passes away. Both of thesetaxes applyata federal and state level.

Braverman said, “There are lots of techniques to lessen the burden of taxes.”For example, someone can double the exemption. Amarried couple who has $10 million can put half of it in an irrevocable trust when the first spousedies.The husband passes away,but the wife can still use the $5 million in the trust for almost whatever she wants. Now thereare two

separate estates that have their own exemptions.

As for major pitfalls, Braverman said the number one mistake is procrastination. Over half of Americans don’thave an estate plan. Another one wouldbeselecting the wrong individual to administer the estate. Braverman encourages peopletohire someone with “the highest integrity and a reasonableknowledge of how to work with assets. There are professional options, too.”She also recommends that people revisittheirestate plan every three to five years to update the plan because family dynamics and assets change as well as laws and regulations, requiring updates to the plan to make it work the waythe creators want it to work.


Seniors looking to appoint

medical or financial fiduciaries are on the righttrackwhen it comes to estate planning, said Rebecca Blazquez, associate attorney with Jorgensen, Brownell& Pepin, P.C. “Life is unpredictable,”she added. Afiduciary “hasanethical and legalduty to actinthe other party’sbest interest,” Blazquez explained. Medical and financial fiduciaries are appointedtomanage the affairs of an individual under apowerofattorney Blazquez recommended asking trustworthyfamilymembers or longtime friends to serve as fiduciaries, or seniorscan appoint professional fiduciaries from alaw firm. Potential fiduciaries shouldconsider meeting with an elder law and estate planninglaw firm to understand theirrole and any possibleliabilities,such as comingles personalassets with the principal’s assets.



Howtoaccess morefederal assistance foryour prescriptions FindingSeniorCare Financial Solutions

For those withMedicare Part Dprescription coverage, there is a federally-based Low Income Assistance Program that is separate from the state’s Medicaid assistance. This program, alsoknown as Low Income Subsidy (LIS) and Extra Help, helps people afford their medication and coverage.

If you are enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, you’re automatically enrolled in the Low Income Assistance Program. But there are plenty of people who qualifyfor the assistance who aren’tautomatically enrolled, especially this year. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) expanded eligibility for Medicare Part Dprescription coverage, so more people will be able to qualifybased on new low-income thresholds.

Mary Hansen is alicensed agent at Broomfield’sAging At Altitude insurancebrokerage, apartner of Bridlewood Insurance.

“People just don’tknow they have this resourceavailable to apply for or they assume they won’tqualify,” says Hansen, who specializes in Medicarerelated plans.

Medicare beneficiaries can apply at anytime, either online or by calling Social Security at 1.800.772.1213. Youcan also find moreinformation at the online resource hub created by The Department of Health and HumanServices:

While accessing these benefits can be done independently, it can also be useful to have the help of aprofessional.

“The assistance program pairs with Part Dinsurance programs available in each

state,”says Hansen. “That’s where Icome in and help determine which Part Dplan will best fit your needs.”

The Low Income Assistance Program has also been restructured this year to offer the same out-of-pocket limits for all who qualify.Anyone in the program will have a$0 premium, a$0deductible, and areduced amount for both generic and brand-name drugs.

Part Dplans and prices for the year 2025 are not available until October1,2024. During the Annual Enrollment Period from October15toDecember 7, any Medicare beneficiary can change their Part Dprogram.

“In the meantime,”says Hansen, “those who qualify for LIS/Extra Helpoftenhave year-round enrollment to be able to change Part Dcoverage before the fall’senrollment period. Ifyou qualify for the Extra Help program, reach out to your local agent to help you empower this change.”

Hansen also recommends a few other ways to lower your prescription drug costs. “Check if the company that makes your drug offers help paying for it,” she says. “Find out if your state offers help with drug costs. Ask your doctor if you can take ageneric drug, or acheaper brand-name drug if one’s available. Check costs for mailorder pharmacies. Sometimes using amail-order pharmacy is cheaper.”

While the ins and outsof healthcare and prescription coverage might not be a thrilling topic, it can be massively useful–plus, who doesn’tlike to save money? “It’s aboring subject,”says Hansen, “but somebody’sgotta talk about it.”

>Contact Mary Hansen at 303.548.2841 or visit

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Medicaid is alot more complex than asingle word. Jennifer Hanson, owner of Helping Hands Consulting, is careful to stress thefact that awide array of services fall under the umbrella term of Medicaid, the federal and state program thatoffers health coverage to those with limited resources. Indeed,it’sa complex system, especially for seniorslooking to secure longterm care benefits.

“Medicaid is oneword but it’snot one thing. It’sabunch of smaller programs,”Hanson said. “We’re talking about longterm care Medicaid, which is the hardest one to get. When we submit this packet to Medicaid,

we areineligibleuntilweare proven eligible; that’sone of the biggesthurdles.”

For that reason, Hanson stressed that it’sessential to enlistthe help of a professional in navigatingthe ins and outs of the program.Coming up with adetailed plan is acritical key to success in securing long-term careoptions, andthat’swhere a

range of professionalscan help. “Hire aprofessional.If it’snot us, let it be someone else, some kind of Medicaid consulting firm or elder care firm. It’svery complicated,”she said, adding that professional consultation will help come up with aprecise plan. “I think the first thing for us is that we do afull analysisofan

applicant’scurrent situation. We like to know exactly where they are today financially and functionally so we cancompare it to where they need to be.”

All of this preparation is essential, she added, as Medicaid officials regularly check in to make sure that individuals are still eligible for assistance

“Medicaid is goingtocheck in with individuals once ayear; they’re going to lookatthe case and makesure that they’re eligible. That’sdependable,” she said. “Theyhave to do everything necessary to stay eligible.”

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Home equity being at an all-time high makesreverse mortgages aviable option forseniors

Rising inflation, longer life spans and hefty medical costsall have the potential to create financial headaches for seniors 62 years and older

An increasingly viable solution is the reverse home mortgage.

“If Dad is spending $2,000 on amortgage payment, over the next 10 years he’ll spend $240,000 to live in the house. With areverse mortgage, he’ll be able to save that $2,000 every single month,”said Gabe Bodner,producingbranch managerand reverse mortgage planner with The Bodner Team at One Trust Home Loans in Boulder

“Oftentimes older adults are in aposition where their retirement isn’tquite what they pictured it would be,”

noted Brittney Bailey,a reverse mortgage adviser with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage in Wheat Ridge. “Sometimes they are housing wealth rich and income limited, or they feel their quality of life is being decreased by not quite having the monthly incomethey need.”

But with the reverse mortgage coming from asomewhat shady historywhen fraud was common, is it safe, even wise, to consider areverse mortgage today?

“Many peoplebelieve reverse mortgages arealoanoflast resort,”Bodner said. “What I have found andthe mathproves this as well, is that the sooner homeownersaccess home equity the better off they’ll be because they can protect other assets to last longer.” Homeowners can borrow between 33 and 55 percent of the equity in the homebased on age and interest rates,hesaid.

Brittney Bailey consults about Reverse Mortgageoptions. (Photo courtesy: BrittneyBailey)

FHA reverse mortgages limit home value to $1,149,825 million while homeowners whose homes are as high as $10 million can tap into anon-FHA reverse mortgage.

Interest rates on reverse mortgage loans currently hover around 7.25 percent and include the usual fees: closing, appraisal, etc. The amount of money you can borrow is based on how much equity is in your home. The lender will pay you either a lump sum or monthly payments, or you can createagrowing line of credit or acombination.

In addition, you must live in the property most of the time, have paid off asubstantial amount of your mortgage, and have enough funds to continue paying expensesrelated to the property,according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Both Bodner and Bailey said it’simportant to include family membersand anyone else with aprofessional interest in your finances, such as an estate attorney,financial adviser,etc.,

It’salso advisable to work with alocalloanofficer who specializes in reverse mortgages.

“It’sacomplex loan where alot of experience is needed, and specializationcan really avoid problems before and after closing,”Bailey said.

“Wehave found in our years oforiginating loans with seniors that trustisoften built based on handshakes and warm smiles. When you work with alocalfirm, theadviser can cometoyour home to answer

questions and help pour over the documentation.”

She added, “There is an abundance of national lenders who work over the phone only,and while that works for them, it never results in the best experience for the borrower and important things can be missed. When they promise the lowest fees and rates, there is often a catch.”

Noel Bennett, partner/senior loan officer with the Greenlight Mortgage Group in Boulder,

added that “with the complexity of the reverse mortgage program, and with the many options that areverse mortgagecan offer, and with the fact that these mortgages can generate alot of revenue for the loan originator (which can attract unscrupulous people into the business of originating reverse mortgages, as happened years ago), it is best to seek out areferral from atrusted person in aborrowers life.”

Red flags to watch out for include:

Brittney Bailey, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage Gabe Bodner, The BodnerTeam at OneTrust HomeLoans
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•Feeling like you’re not gettingthe whole story when discussing the program, including upfront costs;

•A loan originator who talks more than listens;

•A loan originator who has low ratings on online reviews.

That’sright, today’sreverse home mortgageisdifferent from years ago.

“The short versionis,”said Bennett, “that in the early 2000s, HUD started to clean up and heavily regulate the HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) program. They put in place protectionsfor non-borrowing spouseswho may remain in thehome after the qualifying spouse passes away,they established the requirementsfor every person on title to the home to go through HECM counseling and with an approved counselor

beforeinitiating areverse mortgage, and they started doing adeeper financial assessment for all borrowers to ensure that borrowers still had means to pay theirproperty taxes,property insurance and any HOAdues.”

When you dieormove out of the home, the estate repays the loan, which has accrued monthly loan interest and thereforethe amount owed will be higher than the original loan amount.

Bennett concluded, “As the Baby Boomer and Gen X generationsstart to approach theage of62, and with home equity at an all-time high in the US, the reverse mortgage is an amazing program that more people should know about.

Reverse mortgages are not for everyone, justlike any financial product or tool,but for those that it is right for it is lifechanging.”

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Dealingwith thedeath of aloved one is difficult. It’seven more painful when hours are spent diggingthrough old file cabinets, tryingtohack into their laptop,orrummaging through stacksofbills. We reached outtoNokbox (Next of Kin Box) for tips to organize all youraccounts, possessions, social media presence, communities, kids, pets, personal history and estate plans.

Having awill or trust in

place might give you or your loved ones some peace of mind when it comes to getting your affairs in order,but that’snot whereitshould end. Nokbox creatorMariaFraietta, says it’s more than just awill. When her dad passed away,she and her brothers were left searching for passwords, bank account information and even physical items.

“Itmade me think that if my brother,who is my trustee, had to come and run mylife without me andshutthislife down, he wouldn’tbeableto,”she says. “It’salot more than just the

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legal stuff. We didn’tneed this product 30 years ago. It wasn’t quite as complicated because we didn’thave everything online. We have digital subscriptions to everything from Netflix to Hello Fresh. Part of planning forthe end is removing the perception that it’sjust for old people.It’s for anyone who wants to get organized.”

When it comes to gettingyour affairs in order,Fraietta says the best time to do so is now.

“Once you move out on your own and have aplace you can start planning. Who will call the landlord or take care of your billsifsomething happens? Even if you don’tthink you have anything to prepare, you likely do.”

Getting things in order is also agood way to takestock of goals and where you’re at in meeting them.

“The younger you are, the easier it is. Maybe you lookatit and go, ‘Wow,I don’thave any investments. Maybe Ineed a 401k.’You can add things over time. The Nokbox issuper easy

to update.”

When thinkingaboutwhat yourfamily or friends would need to know if something were to happen to you,include all yourpasswords andaccounts.

“The internet is infinite,and people don’tknow what you do or don’thave,”Fraietta says. “Everything is digital. You’re just accountingfor it.”

TheNokbox includes 66 folders, each with adetailed andspecificchecklist inside. The checklists tell you exactly what to putineach folder on one side andhave instructions for what yournext of kin should do with the informationonthe other. Frompet recordstoinsurance, studentloansand vehicles, Nokboxcovers every area of life so youcan gathereverything yournext of kin will need in one place.

“The box accounts for everything, big andlittle, and really helps youmanage your life,”she says.

For more informationabout Nokbox,visit

Theborrowermustmeet allloanobligations,including living in thepropertyasthe principalresidence andpayingpropertycharges,includingpropertytaxes,fees,hazardinsurance Theborrowermustmaintainthe home.Ifthe homeownerdoesnot meet theseloanobligations,thenthe loan will need to be repaid. This is nottax advice.Consult atax professional Thesematerials arenot from HUDorFHA andwerenot approved by HUDora government agency.This is an Advertisement. Allproductsare notavailable in allstates. Alloptions are notavailableonall programs.All programs aresubject to borrowerand property qualifications.Rates,terms andconditions aresubject to change withoutnotice. Formoreinformation on ReverseMortgages,visit: Gabe Bodner Mo rt ga ge Pl an ne r- NM LS #2 35 374 GABE BODNER 720.600.4870 Free seminarat9:50aminthe Lobby Retire Rightwitha ReverseMortgage Spacious homes,great amenities, friendly staff, all-inclusivepricing and lovely neighborsina safe, comfortablecommunity That’s our versionof senior living. |720-336 6| 12431KingCourt, Broomfield Schedule a Tour Today! | 0-33 66 | 12431 King Court,

Exploring eco-friendly afterlife options: Beyond traditional burial and cremation

When people hear the terms “environmentally friendly,”“carbon footprint”and the like, it typically inspires thoughts of wind and solar farms, electric cars and livingoff the grid.

Howwelive, however,doesn’t have tobethe end of preserving our environment.Wecan also make smart environmental choices from “beyond the grave.” As it happens, atraditional cremationcan have adetrimental effect onthe environment. Surprisingly aconventional burial can, in some ways, be even worse.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but all are better for the environment than the traditional means.

The option considered the most environmentally friendly is terramation, also known as natural reduction, according to Mike Reagan, CEO of The Natural Funeral, 102, W. Chester Street in Lafayette

“Terramation involves placing the body in avessel with organic materials like wood chips, alfalfa and straw,” Reagan said. “Over two to four months, anatural microbial process transforms the body into nutrient-rich soil, whereas aconventional flame cremation uses as much energy as an average 500-mile car trip

and also releases smoke into the air.Terramation also avoids the use of toxic chemicals and nonbiodegradable materials often used in conventional burial.”

Another option would be water cremation, also called alkaline hydrolysis.

“Water cremation uses water and an alkaline solution to accelerate the natural decomposition process, breaking down the body into its chemical components,”Reagan said. “The process avoids the emission of pollutants associated with conventional flame cremation and uses 80% less energy, making it amuch more sustainableand eco-friendly option. Furthermore, water cremation produces aliquid

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essence that is anutrient-rich and natural fertilizer whichcan be used to foster new life in plants.”

And finally,there’sagreen burial. According to John Greenwood, owner/funeral director for Greenwood & Myers in Boulder and Frederick:

“Generally speaking,a green burial would not use embalming fluids or would use certain fluids that wouldn’tcause any harm to the earth after burial,” Greenwood said. “Green burials may alsochoose not to use backhoes and powered equipment when digging the grave, but some “green” cemeteries may still use heavy equipment, just not requiring burial vaults that are often required in larger cemeteries.”

Reagan continued, saying “This method allows the body to decompose naturally, contributing to soilhealth and conserving natural habitats. Green burials can be performed

in cemeteries that allow for it, on private land or nature preserves designated forthis purpose, supporting ecosystem conservationand biodiversity.”

There are some pitfallstoeach of these options.

“Weoffer composting and alkaline hydrolysis but bothare quite abit more expensive than atraditional cremation so we very rarely have families opting for those options,”according to Greenwood.“Composting takes several months which can be adrawback for some. Boulder does not have atrue ‘green’ cemetery,sowedon’tdoalot of that locally.”

Still, for those who choose to take their final step toward helping the environment, it’snice to know there are options.

“They offer meaningful alternatives for those wishing to leave alighter ecological footprint in death as in life,” Reagan said.

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Hospice carecan be one of the most important, most challenging and most emotionaltimes during a person’slife –and sometimes even more so for the families.

Hospice care providers, meanwhile, are always challenged by emotionally charged circumstances and an infinite array of situations, personalities and family dynamics. Hospiceagenciesare always evolving, trying to keep up with the latest technologies and seeking new ways to help.

That’show,in2019, TRU Community Care came up with anew standard –True Telecare. The concept is simple and the effects have been impressive.

“Weare integrating aprogram now called TINA, or True Immediate Nurse Access,”said


Innovations in hospice care

Chad Hartmann,director of access and palliative services with TRUCommunity Care. “It has really given patientsand families immediate access to nurses. We have one TINA nurse support three nurses in field.”

This means anytimea patient or family member has aquestion, rather than waiting for anurse to stop by or having to reach out and calltheir nurse in, they’re instead able to jump online and hook up witha qualified staff member within moments.

“Wedoin-person visits on average two or three timesa week,”Hartmann said. “But then aTINA nurse is availablein between visits to get phone calls, make medication changes, etc. A TINA nurse can take care of that patient at that time.”

Starting the program in 2019 turned out to be areal advantage when, in March 2020, the pandemic hit.

“That helps us through that process so much,”Hartmann said. “And since then we’ve really built the program.”

TINA has helped reshape the way TRUCommunity Care works. Customer satisfaction has gone up while patient and family anxiety has dropped. Families now know anurse is aclick away at any time of day or night.

“There’ssomeone there all the time,”Hartmann said. “They have alerts for videos and chats. It’saneasy way to communicate when someone in crisis needs someone there right away.”

And Hartmann said the system is secure, ensuring private information doesn’tget out.

“It also helps withbetter symptom management, it’smore effective and peoplecan contact nurses even when there’sonly aslight change,”Hartmann said. “A lot of times symptoms and changes can escalate fast. If apatient or family member

Howard Amiel, MD

HeatherGitchell, OD

Shipra Gupta, MD

Starck Johnson, MD

KettyLee, OD


experiences achange, many times they’ll wait until the next time anursecomes by.Then either they forget, or it’salready changed again.

“By being able to reach out right away even when changes are slight, this helps us while also decreasing anxiety with the patient and family.”

TINA also takes alot of pressure offthe nurses in the field.

“One of the hardest parts of being an RN case manager in the field is when aperson’sphone is blowing up because of other patients’ needs,”Hartmann said. “It gets distracting.Once they’re done with avisit they immediately have another visit scheduled, but they also need to handle phone texts and messages.

“The TINA nurse can take on so much of that stuff, allowing the nurses to focus on the patients and their families.”

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Enhancingconnectivity, health anddaily life

Technology doesn’thave to be dauntingfor seniors.

Forget all thetalk aboutAI, the latestsmartphone models andself-drivingcars. Those facets of new technology may feel overwhelming and even frightening, but there are plenty of tech innovations that can be awelcome and approachable additiontoeveryday life.

Whether it’sconnectingto loved ones, finding newways to track physical activity or taking part in activities designed to keep up one’smental acuity, technology has the potential to change seniors’ lives for the better.What’s more, there’sa host of organizations dedicated to connectingseniors with the tech solutions best designed for

their lives

For example, RelayColorado,, offers free resources to the deaf and deaf-blind, tools that include captioned telephone services, relay conference captioning and assisted voice devices for those with speech issues.All of these technological options canmake communicationaccessible, easy and stress-free.

“Dialing 711 automatically connects to aCommunications Assistant which is easy and fast,”Relay Colorado officials said on their website. “The Communications Assistant reads aloud your typed message to the other partyand types the other party’sspoken message for you to read.”

The specialized services offered by Relay Colorado are only the tipofthe iceberg when it comes to ways seniors

can better their lives through targeted tech. According to the Pew Research Center,67percent of adults ages 65 and older say they regularlygoonline. That access is akey to finding ways to keep mentally sharp, whether it’sthrough daily

puzzles, or aroute to tracking and establishinghealthy workout and exercise routines. Smartphones and smartwatches only make these tools more accessible and useful for seniors looking to add to their everyday routines.

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Travel and adventurefor activeagers

Retirement offers a unique opportunity to get out and see the world without worrying about how many PTOdays you have in thebank.

“Welive in such afascinating world, and [seniors] have worked hard to gettothis point,”says Teri Beaver, a Longmont-based franchisee with Expedia Cruises. “Now they don’twant to miss athing.”

In fact, Beaversaid, she’s seeing some seniors embark on world cruises that last anywhere from 100 to almost 300 days, renting out their homes while they’re off at sea to help offset their travel costs.

Whether you’re looking to take atrip close to home or are looking for an adventure

abroad, vacationiscalling. Ahead, Beaver shares some top trip ideas for seniors, ranging from active adventures to getaways centered on relaxation, and she also relayssometop travel safety tips that sheshares with her clients.



Europe is ahuge draw,and there are three main ways seniors choose to travel there: Ocean cruise, river cruise and guided tours (or acombination of all three), Beaver says.

“The beauty of an ocean cruise is you get to see many countries in one vacation, only unpacking once,”she says.

“On ariver cruise, you get to experience the iconic landmarks of these countries more intimately when these small riverboats dock right in the city center.And with aguided tour, you’re able to see the parts of the country that are inaccessible by water.”

Alaska is anearby favorite, especially the Alaska cruise tours, she says. Travelers on these trips are treated to a beautiful cruise to see glaciers and the coastline, but they also get an additional guided tour via train and coach inland to see the breathtaking Denali National Park or Katmai Peninsula.

The engineering marvel of the Panama Canal is also atop draw for seniors, as is aluxury train

Europe is ahuge draw,and thereare three main ways seniors choose to travel there: Ocean cruise, river cruise or guided tours.

tour right here in Colorado and neighboring Utah.

Of course, she says, destinations like Asia, Australia, or the South Pacific are also high on traveler’sbucketlists.


Expedition travel has become attractive to seniors because there are several guided, safe ways to explore the parts of the globe that have simply been unreachable to mainstream travelers until recently, Beaver says.

“Seniors are now able to visit places like the Galapagos, Arctic Circle, Greenland, Iceland, and Antarctica to experience the world like naturalists, marine biologists,orgeologists would,”she says.After aday of exploring, travelers can still enjoy luxury accommodations they’ve become accustomed to on past trips.


Several travel partners have an education focus, Beaversays, and someevenpartner with

universities and organizations like National Geographicand Smithsonian

For many trips, the learning begins long before the tripdoes, with suggested videos and book titles, and then continues on the trip with group talks and daily activities.

“Travelers can learn everything from nature to culture by visiting wildlifereserves or UNESCO sights, as well as pursuits like cooking, wellness, fishing, scuba, climbing, wine and beer tasting, and more,” she says.


Cruises are great forrelaxation, no matter where they go, Beaver says.

She also recommends all-inclusive resortsand spa vacations, which are availablein places like Mexico, Costa Rica or the Caribbean islands, and there are afew cropping up in other countries more recently


Using atravel agent can make

your trip seamless, as it gives you one person to contact, no matter how many segments compose your vacation.

“They can help you select the best way to travel, guide you throughout your planning, and even answer questions or solve problems mid-trip,”Beaver says.

Here are some safety tipsshe provides to her clients before they embark on trips.

•Purchase travel insurance

Younever know what will happen between booking and travel, and you need to protect your investment, she says.

“If you have an illness or death in the family,oreven if a flight delay causes you to miss a departure, getting some of that investment money back will help when you decide to rebook,”she says.

Even if you do make your departure, you need to protect yourself, especially since many medical policies (including Medicare) do not cover illnesses or injuries that happen outside the United States.

•Choose reputableguides

Make sure any exploring is done with areputable host or guide so that you can relax, knowing you will not be in foreseeable dangerous situations, and so that you can learn as much as you can from local experts, Beaver says.

•Prepareanemergency contact list

It’sagreat idea to have a passport with you, even if it’s not required, and have access to acopy or photo of it in an additional location, as well as an emergency contact list with phone numbers for your family, travel agent, travel insurance, medical professionals, and banking institution, Beaver says.

•Buy atravel-safe clutch

This may be apouch to wear under clothing, or it may mean atravel-safe purse with lockable zippers, cabled handles, slashfree sides, and at least asection that is RFID protected, Beaver suggests.



The impactofSeniorsHelping SeniorsinBoulder County

Anestimated 55.8 million people in the U.S. are over the age of 65. Many are realizing the importanceand dignity of aging at home. Seniors Helping Seniors® may resonate with people looking for help during this phase of life.

“Knowing that our caregivers will be someone asenior can relate to and create aconnection

with is importanttoloved ones and seniors as they consider in-home care,”ColleenElliott of Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) for Boulder County, Broomfield and Brighton says. “The essence of Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) lies in its commitment to making life easier for seniors.”


Offering everything from daily tasks to companionship, SHS caregivers provide invaluable support that can be tailored to individual needs. “Whether it’sassistance with household chores, meal preparation, transportationtoappointments, and even help withpersonal care needs, seniors can rely on a helping hand, easing the burdens of aging,”says Elliott.

Seniors Helping Seniors also focuses on supporting families

of seniors and integrating the caregiver into the overall care plan. “It is so important for families to have atrusted partner who they can share concerns and ideas with, and who they can rely on so they can take amuchneeded break,”Elliott says.


Seniors Helping Seniors hires older adults who still want to work, be apart of their community and make real connections every day. Caregivers range from retired clinicians looking fora different way to provide care, to people who have never worked professionally as acaregiver, but who have some personal experience and the heart forthis work.

“The impact of SHSextends beyond the individualsdirectly involved. By fostering a

culture of mutual support and intergenerational connections, it strengthens the fabric of the community as awhole,”Elliott says. “It challenges stereotypes about aging and demonstrates the inherent value and wisdom that seniors bring to society.”

In aworld that often overlooks the elderly,SHS shines as abeacon of compassion and empowerment. “Itchampions the belief that age is not abarrier to living afulfilling life but an opportunitytoembrace new connections and experiences,” Elliot says. “It reminds us all of the importance of extending ahelping hand and sharing smiles, regardless of age or circumstance.”

>Tolearn more about SeniorsHelping Seniorsin Boulder County and along the Front Range, visit:


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