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A Special Publication of

The Punxsutawney Spirit and Jefferson County Neighbors

February 2013

Š2013 The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors

Grace Place – A new way of life for seniors

Banishing the chills Do you find yourself wearing a sweater when it’s 75 degrees outside? Are you unable to tolerate the air conditioning on a steamy day? If you’re always cold it could be a sign that your body is changing or it may be a symptom of illness, such as an underactive thyroid. Older people have less subcutaneous fat stores and muscle mass, both of which can insulate a body. Therefore, they may have trouble regulating body temperature. But there are ways to feel warmer. • Gain weight: Putting on a few extra pounds can help aging men and women who feel cold all the time. Consult with a doctor as to what is a healthy weight for your age. • Wear a vest: The body sacrifices heat in the extremities (hands and feet) to warm the core. Wearing a vest can keep your chest warm, and thus, the rest of your body. • Get physical: Moderate exercise can get the blood pumping and speed up metabolism. • Visit the doctor: Get a checkup to ensure you’re not cold due to a medical condition.

residents are nestled in an area that is within walking distance of downtown. Powered by solar panels and geo-thermal heating, the beautiful three story structure is saving energy and costs thus lowering the rent. Grace Place is a modern facility with 24 spacious apartments for seniors 62 and over. There are one and two bedroom apartments and additional common areas. Each apartment has individual heating and air conditioning and a full kitchen including dishwasher and garbage disposal. There is a laundry room with adjoining sitting area to relax, watch TV, and wait for your laundry should you choose to do so. It also has a library/entertainment room; a comfortable sitting room with a TV, fireplace and reading area to entertain guests; and a community room with complete kitchen area that residents can reserve for family parties, speakers and other types of entertainment. The adjoining grassy area and porch are perfect for lounging, picnics and outside entertaining. The parking area is well maintained, and there is additional parking for guests. Residents’ comments have

been very positive: “I love it here;” “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else;” “Someone is always ready to help if you need it”; “It is so beautiful here…”; “Everyone looks out for each other.” Support services help seniors connect to the appropriate resources to meet residents’ various needs. The Area Agency on Aging Senior Center located next door offers meals and various activities. However, the residents are encouraged to create their own activities and entertain their guests in the spacious sitting area, then dine and party in the community room. Grace Place welcomes book donations to add to the library/ activity room, another area where residents and guests can relax and have fun. The building can be seen by appointment, and applications can be picked up or mailed. Call (814) 938-3008 for details. The effort has been so successful that JALSM is planning new sites in Jefferson and other counties and is launching a Caregiver Suite Program that provides coping strategies for those caring for elderly friends or relatives and teens who are living with the elderly or want

NOW LEASING New apartments for adults 62 years or older


to become part of the caregiver team. For information, please call JALSM at (814) 938-3200. For

tours of Grace Place or applications for an apartment, please call Kathy Stamler at (814) 938-3008.

Don’t let the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee keep you down COSM has a solution:

Viscosupplementation commonly known as injections that can reduce or stop pain and improve mobility

Isn’t it time you found out more about it?

Call the Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to learn more about this procedure.


General Orthopaedics Sports Medicine Pain Management Total Joint Replacement

DuBois Vision Clinic

Dr. Wendy Strouse Watt


Adults • Children • Contact Lenses (All Types) Vision Therapy • Sports Vision • Low Vision Treatment of Eye Diseases Including Glaucoma • Treatment of Eye Injuries • Treatment of Macular Degeneration


814-371-2020 FAX: 814-371-7532


Drive-Up Window For Your Convenience

17 Beaver Dr., DuBois

720 West Mahoning Street • Punxsutawney, PA 15767

SpaciouS 1 & 2 Bedroom apartmentS 105 north Gilpin St. punxsutawney


Professionally managed by NDC Real Estate Management. Income Guildelines Apply • Section 8 Vouchers Welcome

Phone: 814.938.0740 Human Motion Institute

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Phone: 724.465.2676 1.888.990.2676

2 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

The dedication, determination and drive of many people with a hope and a dream of service to the seniors of Punxsutawney have given birth to a community within Punxsutawney that works for and takes care of each other. It took Jefferson Area Lutheran Social Ministry (JALSM) five years from the conception of an idea discussed around a kitchen table to the opening of Grace Place in Punxsutawney. Supported by a network of businesses that deliver groceries, prescriptions, food, medical supplies and more, the

Why you shouldn’t let diabetic nerve pain go untreated (BPT) – The prevalence of diabetes continues to increase significantly, and is expected to affect 53.1 million Americans by 2025, an increase of 64 percent from 2010. One of the most common complications of diabetes is diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), a form of nerve damage. More than one in five people with diabetes experiences painful DPN, also known as diabetic nerve pain, as a direct result of this nerve damage. But despite its prevalence, there are many people who go untreated and do not realize the pain they are feeling is related to their diabetes. Dorothy is one of the millions of Americans who has diabetic nerve pain. Dorothy was a nurse in the obstetrics and gynecology department of her local hospital for more than 30 years, but her diabetic nerve pain made it difficult for her to continue working with patients. “I had so much pain that I had to get off my feet and moved into a desk role instead of regularly seeing patients, which was a tough sacrifice to make,” she says. “Driving also became difficult for me since the diabetic nerve pain made

my feet numb and I couldn’t feel the accelerator. Now, I have hand controls in my car, which enables me to drive and have some independence.” Diabetic nerve pain can include the following common symptoms: burning or shooting pain, pins and needles, stabbing or jabbing pain, painful tingling, numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature, and extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch. These symptoms may go unmentioned during a doctor visit since many people are unaware of the connection of this pain to their diabetes. For most people like Dorothy, diabetic nerve pain affects the feet, and is sometimes referred to as a sock pattern, as symptoms may be felt at the tips of the toes and then move along through the feet. It can also progress to other extremities, including people’s fingers and hands. “At first, my feet just felt numb. I had a burning and tingling sensation that progressed to a horrible, stabbing pain. It got so bad I felt like I was walking on glass and I couldn’t even stand to have sheets over my feet at night,” Dorothy says.

Dr. Nathan C.

StebbiNS New Beautifully Remodeled Facility!

E ve n a s s o m e o n e w h o worked in the medical profession for so many years, Dorothy did not realize that the pain she was feeling was different from other types of pain, such as a muscle ache or sprained ankle. She assumed her pain was a result of her working on her feet on a daily basis for so many years. It wasn’t until eight years later, after cycling through a number of doctors, that Dorothy received the correct diagnosis of diabetic nerve pain. “After talking to my doctor, I found a treatment that’s

helped me manage my diabetic nerve pain,” says Dorothy. The pain Dorothy felt may be similar to the experiences of many other Americans who also have diabetic nerve pain. According to results from an online survey of people living with Type I and II diabetes who experienced symptoms of diabetic nerve pain and characterized their pain as seven or higher on a scale of zero to 10, their pain is frequent and intense. Of those, 67 percent reported experiencing symptoms most or all of the time and

nearly half said their symptoms were always painful. Nerve damage due to diabetes is not reversible, but it is important for people to know there are management plans available for diabetic nerve pain. If you think you might have diabetic nerve pain, now’s the time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Make sure your doctor knows that your pain is the reason for your visit. For more information about diabetic nerve pain, visit www.DiabetesPainHelp. com.

Take a Look Inside AM/PM Personal Care Home! Private and semi-Private Rooms and Two-Room suites

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easy Access bathrooms

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 3


Personal Care Home, Inc. For the latest technology in eyecare and the most advanced diagnostic equipment • Contacts Specialist • Pediatrics • Developmental Vision • Diabetic Eye Care • Infant Eye Care • Special Needs Patients • Ocular Disease • Emergencies

Open Daily; Wednesday Evenings and Saturday By Appointment

(814) 938-5920

S. Findley Street, Punxsy

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Ask for Connie Giroskey, AM/PM Manager. She will handle all of your needs. Located 3 Miles North of Punxsutawney, Off Rt. 310 in Adrian, Next to St. Adrian’s Church

When the nest is empty and the kids no longer need financial support, many men and women find themselves with some extra money in their budget. Fewer mouths to feed and no more college tuition bills can give parents a sense of financial freedom they may not have had since before starting their family. But that freedom can also lead to overspending, something that can put retirement in jeopardy if people are not careful. Though it’s understandable for men and women to splurge on a well-deserved getaway once the kids have finally left the house, it’s important for adults to ensure that such splurging does not become routine. The following are a few ways men and women with some newfound disposable income can avoid overspending and putting themselves in financial hot water as they get closer to retirement. • Pay with cash whenever possible. Swiping a debit card or credit card is certainly a convenient way to shop, but it can also be dangerous. Many people find it difficult to keep track of their spending when they use debit cards or credit cards to make their purchases. Using cash to make purchases, especially daily purchases like a morning cup of coffee, reduces the likelihood of overspending. This can help you get a better idea of how much money you’re spending and if there are any steps you can take to curtail that spending. An effective way to use cash is to withdraw money from the bank once per week and use that as your weekly supply of money. If you find yourself frequently running out of money each week, then you’re likely spending more than you should. • Keep a financial journal. Men and women who must adapt to having newfound disposable income may find it is not much different from younger men and women learning to manage their money when they first start working. Some of those lessons,

like saving more than you spend, might need to be relearned. One way to get a grip on your spending is to keep a financial journal to track your daily and monthly expenses as well as larger purchases like a new television. Write down the monthly expenses you know you have each month, such as a mortgage payment or a car note, and each and every purchase you make, including how much you spend on dining out each month. Do this for at least a couple of months. When you have logged several months’ activity, examine your journal to see if there are any expenses that can be trimmed to save money. • Don’t go overboard rewarding yourself. Once your last child has left the nest, the temptation to reward yourself with a luxury item or two might prove overwhelming. After all, raising a family and paying for college tuition has no doubt required substantial sacrifice on your part, so it’s well within reason that you want to reward yourself after all these years. Avoid overdoing it so your finances aren’t stretched too thinly. A vacation with your spouse is reasonable, but buying a villa overseas might be a little over the top. Luxuries can be nice, but they can also drain a budget. Your monthly expenses once the kids have moved out should be lower, so if you find your cost of living has increased now that your nest is empty, you might be forced to determine which of your expenses are luxuries and which are necessities. • Take advantage of your “experience.” Though accepting a “senior” discount might be a blow to your pride, it also can be a boon to your bottom line. Many establishments, including gyms, restaurants and movie theaters, offer discounts to men and women age 55 and older. This can help you save a substantial amount of money over time, and no one has to know you’ve started cashing in on your experience.

Why Choose

Mahoning Riverside Manor? Caring trained staff with emphasis on treating residents with kindness, respect and dignity. • Private Rooms, Handicapped Accessible • Call Bells In All Rooms • LPN on Staff • Day to Day Manager • Activity Director, Fun Activities • Home Cooked Meals • Doctor & Home Health Visits • In Home Beauty Shop Call • Hospice • Respite- Short Term

Connie Sunderland, Administrator & Tonya Shirey, Med./Caregiver

s h o rt t e r m a n d long term care

Connie 938-1745 or visit www. mahoning riverside .com

938-1745 • 98 Foundry Street, Punxsutawney

4 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

Simple ways to avoid overspending

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 5

DRMC marks opening of Funeral Planning... The Need Arises Joint Replacement Center Before Shop & Compare

Why Choose Fait Funeral Home? Home-Like Atmosphere Discrete, Personal Service, Spacious Visitation Area. A full service funeral home with a clean, comfortable facility where family and friends can gather to comfort each other. We offer choice, options, compassionate service and the value of easy choice.

Richard L. Fait Funeral Home (814) 938-8200

Kathy Welsh, physical therapy assistant, (left) and Sarah Huffman, R.N. (right) walk with Amy O’Donnell who is demonstrating a walker in the new Joint Replacement Center of Excellence at DuBois Regional Medical Center. The Joint Center opens this month on the fifth floor of DRMC West. with teaching the patient and family what they will need to know before surgery,” Harry said. “The program is aimed at giving patients the knowledge and the tools to make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible.” To make the process smooth, it does take a little time. Before surgery, patients attend a pre-operative class where they receive information on what to expect before, during and after a joint replacement. They are encouraged to have a friend or fam-

ily member act as a “coach” as they go through the joint replacement process, beginning with the pre-op class and continuing through the recovery process. For the surgery itself, patients have the choice of two DRMC orthopaedic surgeons – Dr. Robert Armstrong of West Penn Orthopaedics with offices located at 89 Beaver Drive, DuBois, and 18 Sportsman Drive, Clarion, and Dr. Charles Spingola of DRMC Orthopaedics located in the Medical Arts Building, DuBois.

Are you worried about utility costs or a loss of income?

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Punxsutawney Community Health Center Drs. Elder, Kernich & Witherite-Rieg Medical Arts Bldg., 83 Hillcrest Drive Punxsutawney, PA 15767 814-938-3310

Rent is adjusted to your income and includes utilities or a utility allowance. Apartments in Punxsutawney, Reynoldsville, Sykesville, Brockway and Brookville – Punxsutawney Office Reynoldsville Office 201 N. Jefferson St. 1039 Grant Street 814-938-7140 • 800-585-5303 814-653-7804 TTY/TDD 711

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Stop in for our Monthly Give-A-Ways!

Tuesday is Senior Discount Day! 10% off all day.* excludes Rx Copays, PA Lottery & Sale Items.


Locally Owned & Operated • Gifts & Yankee Candles • Seasonal Items • First Aid • Full Line of Diabetic Care • Private Consultation Room • UPS Shipping Most Insurances Accepted • FREE Delivery Nickolas A. Kernich, PharmD • Gary Bowers, RPh In the Groundhog Plaza • 938-9150 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

6 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

Maybe you can’t golf, bowl or even walk like you used to because of hip or knee pain, and you have tried all the exercises and medications that are available. The time may come when knee or hip pain may lead you to think about having one of those joints replaced. But what do you do after you’ve made the decision that something needs to be done? That is when you ask your primary care physician about surgery and recovery in the newly created Joint Replacement Center of Excellence at DuBois Regional Medical Center. The Joint Center opens this month on the fifth floor of DRMC West. It is adjacent to The Rehabilitation Center. The Joint Center is an area comprised of four semiprivate rooms designed to accommodate and promote healing and wellness for patients who have had knee or hip replacements. But it is not just the space that makes the Joint Center what it is. “We have created a special program that brings together a team of experienced and expert surgeons with caring and specially trained nurses, therapists and technicians,” Karen Harry, director of The Joint Center, said. “Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care. “The Joint Center team sets the expectation that patients and families become fully engaged in their surgery, recovery and rehabilitation through comprehensive education, group support, practical advice and enjoyable activities. Our program begins

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 7

From hydrotherapy to massage, home therapies can help ease arthritis pain your health care provider for simple tips on self-massage. Besides pain relief, massage offers another benefit that may be particularly helpful to people living with chronic pain: relaxation. Hydrotherapy – Soaking in warm water has been a viable home therapy for muscle and joint aches for centuries. Your arthritis may also cause mobility issues, making you wary about climbing in and out of a traditional soaking tub. A walk-in tub may be a viable alternative. Premier Care in Bathing, makers of walk-in tubs, offers its Hydrovescent Therapy system designed to help ease aches and pains but with gentler water motion than you would find in a traditional jetted tub. The company has earned the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use commendation for its easy-to-enter tubs that feature extra-wide, low-level entry, left or right-hand door openings, contoured and slip-resistant seats and backrests, and leak-free design. Remember to consult your doctor before beginning any home therapy, as hydrotherapy may not be appropriate for all types of arthritis or with other health conditions.

Lifestyle – As important as it is to work with your doctor to manage your arthritis, selfmanagement is also essential. Lifestyle habits such as staying active and watching your weight can help reduce the pain of arthritis and improve function, according to the CDC. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week; it’s OK to break that time into 10-minute intervals, the CDC says. Carrying excess weight can make your arthritis worse, and losing just 11 pounds can improve mobility and reduce pain. It’s important to manage your weight as part of your overall arthritis treatment. The CDC estimates that the number of people with arthritis will increase to 67 million by 2030. As more people struggle with arthritis’ debilitating effects, simple, cost-effective home therapies may help millions more find relief. For a free brochure including more information about walk-in bathtubs and other solutions for making living at home more convenient, visit, or call 888-378-7953.



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8 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

(BPT) – About one out of every five American adults has been diagnosed with arthritis, and it is the most common cause of disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pain and stiffness caused by arthritis – and the high cost of arthritis medications – prompt many people to seek effective home therapies. While you should always work with your doctor to manage your arthritis, you can also do a lot at home to help minimize symptoms. Home remedies like hydrotherapy, massage and simple exercise have been shown to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with multiple forms of arthritis. Here are some common home therapies to discuss with your health care provider: Massage – Recent studies indicate that massage can help people with arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation reports on its website Simple massage of painful joints such as in the hands, elbows or knees, may help your arthritis pain. You don’t need to pay for a professional massage to find relief. Talk to

Mahoning Hills Social Center: Where every day is a celebration

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 9

Mahoning Hills Social Center, located beside Longview Elementary School on Route 119, just outside of Punxsutawney, is a place where area residents can always find plenty of fun-filled activities to occupy their time. The Mahoning Hills Social Center, under the auspices of Aging Services, Inc. of Indiana, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Mary Beth Wilson is the manager of the center. Wilson emphasizes that the center’s programs are very important to area seniors. They offer social contact, companionship and the experience of learning something. The center provides a support system that gives seniors a chance to become involved. Wilson added that, “This place is for the young at heart; it’s a motivator and gives a feeling of belonging and caring. Our seniors leave the center every day with a feeling of being part of something.” Activities offered at the center include, but are not limited to, crafts, games, crocheting, parties, low impact exercise, bowling, trips, computer classes and so much more! Each month scheduled speakers talk on various topics of interest regarding health, wellness and life skills. Free blood pressure screenings are offered monthly. One of the monthly scheduled speakers is the APPRAISE Counselor from Aging Services, Inc., Lisa Gazda, who assists the older adults with serves and information on health insurance benefits, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, claims filing, benefits counseling, telephone assistance, consumer protection, referral to other resources and advocacy. For information

on when she will be at the center, call (724) 286-3099. Celebrating special dates and events are always on tap with monthly birthday parties and holiday celebrations. When there is no holiday, we create one just for fun! Covered dishes, snacks and all kinds of special treats help to make each of these days something to look forward to. Don’t miss our upcoming music with Nashville recording artist, Pastor Paul Thompson, on March 14 at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Paul always provides us with inspiration and entertainment. Also scheduled on March 18 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon is an Open Acoustic Jam Session. Weekly activities feature Breakfast and Bowling on Mondays, on Wednesdays Crochet Class is offered as well as a free “Fitness for the Mind & Body” class taught by certified Seniors at the Mahoning Hills Social Center celebrate their annual Mardi Gras party. From instructor, Carole Zicha. Every left to right are Elenor Huber, Alice Sprankle, Liz Benson and Roxy Doty. other Wednesday, an ongoing Computer Class for those 60 for 35¢ per issue or is available economical. Indiana County (Mahoning Hills). For more information on any and over is offered for begin- by subscription. Call the center residents age 60 to 64 pay just ner to experienced computer or visit the agency website at $1.00 each way; passengers of these activities or how you 65 and older ride for only 30¢ can get involved at the center, users. Computers are internet Home delivered meals are each way. Arrangements to ride call (724) 286-3099 (Mahonaccessible and available for use by any senior while the center available for Indiana County se- must be made 24 hours ahead of ing Hills) or 1-800-442-8016 is open. Water Aerobics will nior residents. Anyone needing time by calling 1-800-442-6928 or (724) 349-4500 (Aging Serresume on May 3, and you do meals should call Aging Ser- (IndiGO) or (724) 286-3099 vices, Inc.). not have to know how to swim. vices, Inc. for details at (724) Please call the center for more 349-4500 or 1-800-442-8016. Door to door transportation information. Let’s not forget lunch! Each is provided for senior residents day at noon a balanced meal of North, South, East and West is served which is provided Mahoning townships, plus by Nutrition, Inc. Suggested Montgomery, Grant, Banks donation for the noon meal is and Canoe townships. Friendly, $1.75 for those 60 and over. If helpful van driver, Pam Hanyou’d like to come and have kinson, takes seniors to shop(Beside Longview Elementary School) lunch with us, call one day in ping destinations and doctors’ advance to reserve your meal. offices. The van is wheelchair Featuring Exercise for the Mind & Body Not sure what’s on the menu? accessible; as always, Pam A monthly menu and activity provides personal service and schedule appears in the monthly gladly helps riders any way newsletter, “The Spotlight,” she can. Rates for the van are truly which is available at the center


These foods may help prevent cancer

Cancer is a potentially deadly disease that does not discriminate based on a person’s age, sex, ethnicity, or social status. Though anyone can get cancer, the National Institute on Aging notes that a person’s risk of getting cancer increases with age, even if that person has no family history of cancer. That reality highlights the importance of routine cancer screenings for men and women age 50 and older. While screenings are an important part of detecting and treating cancer, those over 50 should know they can take certain measures to possibly prevent the onset of cancer. For example, including certain foods as part of a regular diet may be effective at preventing cancer. Though there’s no way to guarantee a person won’t get cancer, the following foods may help lower the risk. • Blueberries: Blueberries may help prevent the onset of neck and mouth cancers. That’s because blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which the American Institute for Cancer Research notes can protect cells from being damaged. • Coffee: Though studies about the efficacy of coffee as a potentially preventive agent against cancer are ongoing, some studies have found that both caffeinated

and decaffeinated coffee can lower a person’s risk of developing colon, endometrial and prostate cancer. • Whole grains: Whole grains can help men and women control their weight, as they are lower in calories than more traditional options. But studies have shown that whole grains, which can be found in whole-grain and whole-wheat pastas, can also reduce your risk of colon cancer. • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a carotenoid that numerous studies have indicated can reduce incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. These studies have based their findings on tomato consumption and not on the use of lycopene supplements, which may or may not be effective at preventing cancer. Cooked tomatoes can improve the body’s ability to absorb lycopene, further enhancing its ability to protect the body against cancer. • Fatty fish: Fatty fish, including salmon, that is full of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to a host medical benefits, including lowering a person’s risk of cancer and heart disease.

Breakfast EVERY Monday 9:30-11 a.m.

Bowling EVERY Monday at 1:30 p.m.

FREE Fitness Class: Wednesday 1-2 p.m. “Exercise for the Mind & Body”

QUESTIONS? Call the center at (724) 286-3099

Fall prevention strategies boomers can fall in love with styles to ensure they can continue to enjoy safe, healthy and independent lives. If you are part of this demographic, you’re likely thinking, “Not me. Not yet.” But did you know that one in three older Americans falls every year, ac-

Digestive Health Center of Indiana recognized by national organization The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has recognized Digestive Health Center of Indiana, P.C. as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality and safety in endoscopy. The ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program honors endoscopy units that follow the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscopy reprocessing and CDC infection control guidelines for the safety of the patient. To date, 166 endoscopy units have been recognized by ASGE throughout the United States. Digestive Heath Care of Indiana, P.C. is the only facility/ hospital certified by ASGE in Indiana and the surrounding counties. Digestive Heath Center of Indiana, P.C. works hard every day to provide high quality care to their patients in a safe environment. Located in the 119 Professional Center, Digestive Health Center of Indiana, P.C. is a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center dedicated solely to gastrointestinal endoscopy. Featuring stateof-the-art equipment to treat all aspects of digestive disease, the center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and certified by Medicare and the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).

cording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65 and older. Don’t worry – protecting yourself from falls does not mean using a walker or wearing an alert siren. Try these simple tips to protect yourself from becoming a fall statistic, while improving your home and lifestyle. Get moving It’s no wonder that 50-yearsplus is the fastest growing segment of the fitness population. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise improves your leg strength and balance both of which are important in reducing falls. Experts at the National Institute of Health recommend that seniors enjoy a combination of four types of exercises: endurance, such as walking, cycling or swimming; flexibility, which includes stretching before and after endurance workouts; balance, such as walking on a line or stepping over small objects, and strength, which is using resistance or weights to target core muscles. Prepare your home According to the Home Safety Council, more falls occur in the bathroom than any other room in the home. But don’t fear, adding safety to your bathroom can add exquisite styling as well. Grab bars are the most com-

mon bath safety product installed, and brands such as Moen Home Care offer stylish Designer Grab Bars with Accessories, which combine the safety benefits of a grab bar with common bath essentials. Options include a towel bar, a paper holder, a straight shelf and a corner shelf, making each item functional and fashionable. Plus, each is available in popular finishes such as Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Old World Bronze, to coordinate with the rest of your bath. Next, add style and peace of mind in the shower by adding a Fold-Down Shower Seat. Unlike traditional bath seats that can be intrusive, this wall-mount design from Moen Home Care folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls - yet folds up for a thin, compact profile when not in use. Plus, the teak wood and stylish metal trim will accentuate the look of even the most upscale shower. For more information about Moen Home Care products, visit www. For the final step to your safety-upgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Researchers have found that by the time a person is 60 years old, he or she needs up to 15 times more light than when that person was 10 years old. Add higher-wattage bulbs or even additional lamps to the room for improved illu-


Assess your medications Since boomers buy 77 percent of all prescription drugs sold, chances are that you take more than one medication daily. However, these remedies may have been prescribed by different doctors - and could unknowingly cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falls. Speak with your physician to ensure that your medications will not interact with other drugs. Programmed pill boxes are also a great idea to keep your prescriptions organized and help you remember what to take and when. Eat right You are what you eat ... which is why a healthy diet is very important to older adults. In fact, healthy eating can reduce the risk for many conditions, including anemia, confusion, hip fractures, hypotension and wounds. Experts note that older adults generally require fewer calories in their diet than other age groups – but need more nutrition. Especially important to reduce falls is to increase foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk and dairy, which help keep bones strong. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper eating is also essential, as added weight can cause instability, leading to falls.

10 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

(BPT) – You’re only as old as you feel, which is great news for today’s baby boomers, as 61 percent report they feel younger than their true age. But despite feeling great, the reality is that adults may need to make minor changes to their homes and life-

Things to consider as your retirement approaches Though many people are delaying retirement, the day will still come when they leave their jobs behind and retire. Retirement can be a difficult adjustment that takes some getting used to, but it can also prove an exciting time, especially for those who planned ahead to ensure their retirement was a time to be cherished and not feared. Whether retirement is right around the corner or still a decade or so away, men and women should consider several factors to make sure their retirement years are an enjoyable time that allows them to live life to the fullest. • Income: Just because you’re no longer working doesn’t mean you won’t have income. Government benefits, retirement accounts and perhaps even some light consulting work are just a few ways retirees can earn an income. Though your retirement income will likely pale in comparison to your income as an adult working full-time, estimate what that income will be so you can get at least an idea of how much will be coming in each month. • Monthly expenses: Once you have an idea of what’s coming in, estimate how much will be going out each month. Certain costs associated with working, such as the cost of commuting and maintaining a professional wardrobe, can be removed from

the ledger. But other expenses, including utilities, car payments and possibly even a mortgage payment, will still need to be made. Once you have an idea of your projected income and your expenses during retirement, you can get to work on a prospective budget to show you what you will need to live on during retirement. • Employment: Many people now look at retirement as the end of one career and the beginning of another. As retirement draws closer, men and women might want to consider turning an interest or passion into a second career. Such a move might make retirement more exciting while removing some of the fear of finding enough things to pass the time that many people have with regard to retirement. • Relocation: Where to spend your retirement years is another thing to consider before the big day arrives. Do you, like many retirees, prefer to stay in your own home?Do you want to relocate to a warmer climate or move to another country? Do you want to move closer to your children and grandchildren? Do you want to split your time in separate cities? Is a retirement village something you might be amenable to? Each of these options is different, and each requires a different financial commitment, so carefully consider where you want to spend

your retirement and then consider how you can make those wishes a reality. • Medical costs: Private insurance or government-sponsored programs likely won’t cover all of your medical costs, which typi-

cally increase as a person ages. There are various ways to prepare for the medical costs that might arise during retirement, and the earlier you start that preparation the less stressful paying for medical care as you age figures

to be. Retirement should be an exciting time for men and women, especially for those who have spent years planning their retirement to ensure it’s as enjoyable as possible.

Visiting Nurses provide hospice care What is Hospice? Hospice is for any person who has a life threatening or terminal illness. Hospice utilizes a team approach of expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support for the patient and his family. The care is tailored to meet the patient’s and family’s needs and wishes. Hospice treats the person, not the disease, focuses on the family, not the individual, and emphasizes quality of life, not the duration. The care is primarily home-based, allowing terminally ill patients to remain with their families in the comfort and dignity of their homes. Hospice care can be provided in a skilled nursing facility or a personal care home. Services are provided on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Who pays for Hospice Care? Hospice services are covered under Medicare and Medicaid programs. In addition, hospice

care is a covered benefit under most private insurance plans, HMOs and other managed care organizations. Since Family Hospice of Punxsutawney is a non-profit service, community support helps to fund unreimbursed hospice services for patients without the ability to pay. Hospice patients over age 65 are entitled to services under the Medicare Hospice benefit. This benefit covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with little out-of-pocket expenses to the patient or family. As a result, the financial burden of caring for a terminally ill family member is minimal. Covered hospice services include: • Regular home visits by a registered nurse • Physician services for the medical direction of the patient’s care • Home health aide for bathing and dressing

• Medical equipment such as hospital beds • Medical supplies such as bandages and catheters • Medications for control of pain and symptom relief • Volunteer support to assist patients and loved ones • Physical, speech, and occupational therapies and diet counseling • Inpatient services for acute or respite care • Social work and counseling • Bereavement follow-up Family Hospice of Punxsutawney provides the full range of hospice care in Punxsutawney and southern Jefferson County and is part of the Visiting Nurse Association of Indiana County. The local staff consists of Dottie Jekielek, R.N., Brenda Smatlak, R.N. and Barbara Certo, R.N. For more information about Family Hospice of Punxsutawney, call 800-272-7943.

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 11

(BPT) – When a person is in pain, he or she will seek options to attempt to reduce or eliminate the pain. For minor pains like headaches, muscle aches and small wounds, often over-the-counter drugs can help reduce suffering. But people with chronic pain may have to search for other solutions. More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, at a cost of $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) started paying providers without formal training in pain medicine to diagnose and treat chronic pain. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) advises against receiving care from providers without training in treating chronic pain because patient safety can be seriously compromised. In addition to jeopardizing patient safety, untrained providers lower the quality of health care and can increase the

risk for fraud and prescription drug abuse. Untrained providers lack the sufficient education and training needed to properly prescribe opioids, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Clifton Phillips, 44, of Bowie, Md., has pain throughout his body. He suffers from osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, a herniated disc and a pinched nerve in his lower back, which causes discomfort and burning in his foot. For three years Phillips worked through the pain before he sought help from an orthopedic doctor who prescribed opioid pain medications for him. However, Phillips soon became dependent upon the medication and suffered significant side effects. Treatment of chronic pain is complex and can be associated with significant complications. This is due to the potential for severe side effects from some of the medications used to treat pain and the anatomy and delicate structure of the spine and nerves upon which many chronic pain interven-

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tions are performed. Knowing that he couldn’t sustain a successful lifestyle while taking the highly addictive opioid meds, Phillips looked for alternative treatment options through his neurologist who referred him to a highly trained anesthesiologist pain medicine physician. “I encourage others suffering from chronic pain to do your due diligence, research your options and don’t be afraid to ask questions about treatments,” Phillips says. “I feel safe knowing a physician who specializes in pain not only safely administers my pain treatments, but also is able to diagnose and work with me to develop a customized and effective pain treatment plan.” Specialized pain physicians have the education and training to accurately diagnose, evaluate and treat chronic pain patients using a comprehensive approach including medications and pain procedures. Treatments can range from medical management, physical therapy and psychological therapy, to interventional therapies and other alternative medical treatments. These therapies can be risky and require the skill of anesthesiologists or other physicians who possess the training and knowledge to provide safe, competent and appropriate care. These physicians complete a oneyear multidisciplinary pain fellowship in addition to their post-doctoral training, according to ASA. A pain physician, like an anesthesiologist, is a patient’s best solution to finding a well-trained provider to treat chronic pain conditions, similar to what Phillips was experiencing. Dr. John F. Dombrowski, an anesthesiologist pain medicine physician and executive director at the Washington Pain Center in Washington, D.C., began giving Phillips steroid injection therapy for a month. Today, Phillips is completely off opioid pain medications and reports the burning in his foot subsided, making him a happier person. “I look forward to being more spontaneous and enjoying my life – I believe with these treatments, this could become a reality,” he says. To learn more about pain treatment, visit

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12 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

Chronic pain sufferers urged to seek safe relief with help from pain physicians

Protect yourself from medical identity theft (BPT) – With millions of Americans slated to gain access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, many may find themselves unknowingly at risk for medical identity theft, a crime that costs the country $41.3 billion annually. In the United States, an estimated 1.5 million people have their ID stolen each year. “It is a cruel twist on the traditional crime of personal identity theft,” says Jo-Ellen Abou Nader, senior director of Express Scripts’ Fraud, Waste and Abuse program. “When a person’s medical identity is stolen, they may find that false information is added to their personal health record such as a change in blood type or inaccurate allergies.” Stolen medical identities often fuel another crime: prescription drug fraud and abuse. Thieves can use stolen information to illegally obtain prescription drugs and sell them on the secondary market. Illegal drug diversion costs the nation $73.5 billion each year, and prescription drug abuse is responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Abou Nader offers the following tips to consumers to help fight against medical identity

theft and fraud: labels or black out your personal • Be privy to privacy poli- receive from your health plan • Guard your card: Protect information so it is illegible. cies: Before agreeing to the pri- after treatment to make sure your medical identification card When throwing away documents vacy policies of anyone you do the services listed are accurate. at all times and keep it in a safe containing protected health in- business with, read through their Review the name of the provider, and secure location. Some health formation, shred the documents policies in detail to completely the date of service and the service care companies, like Express instead of discarding them in the understand how your personal provided. If it includes informaScripts, have Fraud, Waste and garbage. information will be used. If you tion that does not look familiar, Abuse programs in place to iden• Protect your personal have questions, request more be sure to immediately report it tify fake or forged prescriptions information: Be alert to imper- information. to your health plan provider. and other signs of fraudulent sonators or email phishing scams • Lock up your bottles: Keep For more information about activities. If your card is lost or asking you for your personal your prescription bottles hidden how to protect yourself against stolen, immediately alert your information and never give out or locked away. medical identification theft, insurance company. your passwords over the phone, • Read your EOB Statevisit Express Scripts’ Health Don Pallone, C.R.N.P. M.D. Cecelia Groman, P.A.-C • Toss with caution: WhenGeorge internet orCherian, via email. If you are ments: It is important to care- Care Insights blog at http://lab. throwing away prescription unsure, call the company directly fully read any explanation of Family Practice bottles and vials, remove the to inquire about the request. Family benefitsPractice (EOB) statements you Gynecology

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How to find the best Medicare Advantage plan (NewsUSA) – Did you know Medicare has a rating system that evaluates health plans based on dozens of quality measures and patient experiences? Very few plans receive the top Medicare rating. Out of 563 Medicare Advantage plans for 2013, only 11 plans with prescription drug benefits earned the top five-star rating. Six of those 11 were

plan, Kaiser Permanente offers The highest-rated plans feature 4. Seniors can choose 5-star four tips. well-coordinated, patient-cen- excellence almost any time 1. Know your health plan’s tered care. When seniors suffer of year through Medicare’s star quality rating. The Cen- from chronic illness or require Special Enrollment Period. ters for Medicare & Medicaid hospitalization, high-quality Seniors who become eligible for Services assign an overall star plans initiate best practices and Medicare as they turn 65 should rating to each Medicare plan for treatment to deliver excellent enroll during the three-month how well it performs. The Medi- follow-up care. period prior to and after their care ratings range from one 3. Look for customer ser- 65th birthday. After this initial star (lowest rating) to five stars vice and responsiveness to enrollment period, they may (highest rating). The system your needs. The very best be subject to higher premiums rates plans on preventive care, health care plans give patients or late penalties if there has managing chronic conditions, support systems that include been a gap in their coverage. member satisfaction, customer making online appointments, To find out the latest 2013 ratare leaving these consumers in service and pharmacy care. getting lab results electronically ings, visit the lurch. Although boomers 2. Use the Medicare rat- and providing secure email to find-a-plan. account for 49 percent of total ings to find a quality plan. their doctors. sales of consumer packaged goods, Nielsen estimates that less than 5 percent of advertising dollars are targeted toward adults ages 35 to 64. Overcoming the learning curve as well as the lack of attention from marketers has shown just how much boomers value the latest technology developments. But for those who don’t yet have their hands on the latest gadgets, organizations like AARP are making it easier for boomers to get connected. “AARP’s goal is to provide value to its members, and our research has shown that many AARP members are early adopters of technology,” says Angela Jones, senior vice president of Business Development and Lifestyle Products for AARP Services. “Through AARP’s relationships with retailers and manufacturers, our nearly 38 million members receive discounts on their favorite technolWe honor pre-arrangements made at any other funeral homes. ogy products.” One of the many ways we can serve you better is to accommodate For example, members can get discounts of 5 to 12 percent special situations... which includes transferring pre-arrangements. on a range of HP products, 10 percent off Amazon’s Kindle e-readers, including the popular tablet Kindle Fire, and even discounted phone service from Vonage. For more information about discounts available to AARP members, visit

Kaiser Permanente plans. Part of staying healthy is having a health plan that covers all of your medical needs. For seniors selecting a Medicare plan, this means finding one that has the right doctor and provides the care, treatment and pharmacy benefits you need. To help Medicare-eligible beneficiaries select a high-quality

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14 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

(BPT) – Even though they’re still common, jokes about clueless baby boomers calling their kids to figure out how to use technology are starting to feel outdated. While today’s youngest generations are practically born with tablets, smartphones and laptops in their hands, grandparents are also adopting technology at a startling pace. Boomers’ enthusiasm to consume new technology is growing and changing as fast as the field of new products available. In fact, a 2012 Forrester Research technology survey found 78 percent are online, and of those, 54 percent own laptops. Tablet use among boomers is growing too; 11 percent already own one and another 15 percent plan on buying one soon. While the boomers’ generational trait of progressiveness helps to explain this tech rush, more practical reasons demystify it as well. Many among the generation are at the peak of their earning power, with more money to spend on technology than other age groups. A 2012 survey by Nielsen showed that within five years, approximately 50 percent of the U.S. population will be 50 or older, and they’ll control 70 percent of disposable income. For this generation, a forward-thinking mindset has always been a common trait, so crossing the digital divide was bound to happen. Despite their proven purchasing power, many advertisers

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 15

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InFirst reaches out with financial help during March’s Investment Day develop and execute comprehensive wealth management plans. They use a disciplined, consistent, holistic approach that addresses all aspects of the client’s status that have been identified as vital to the client’s financial success. “We offer a distinctive approach to wealth management for our clients. Having an association with a bank that has been in this region for nearly a century and having access to national resources puts us in a unique position,” said Brad Peterson, senior vice president and managing director of InFirst. “It enables us to provide a number of services that can be tailored to fit the client’s needs. Helping our clients succeed is our number one goal. “Any time life brings a change is a good opportunity to consider the services of a financial advisor,” added Peterson. “Some specific scenarios may include retirement, birth of child/grandchild, divorce, inheritance, change/loss of job, etc. All these circumstances, as well as many others, may require complex planning solutions that a financial advisor should be able to assist with

(BPT) – With so many options based on where you live and what prescriptions you need, selecting a Medicare Part D Plan can be complicated and time consuming. However, every American 65 and older or Medicare disabled who wishes to enroll must enroll in a plan for 2013 no later than Dec. 7, 2012. Alexis Abramson, Ph.D, a gerontologist and leading advocate for health and wellness issues affecting baby boomers and seniors, offers five simple tips to guide you through the process during this year’s registration window. 1. Sign up for Medicare Part D – no matter what. Even if you currently don’t take any prescription medications, you should still consider signing up for a Medicare Part D Plan. If you enroll late or when you are in need of drug coverage, you could pay much higher premiums. The only exceptions to this rule are seniors with equivalent or creditable drug coverage from an employer’s health care plan, retiree health plan or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. You can get Part D two ways, but PDPs are a more affordable option. Your first option is to buy Part D coverage as part of a private Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) that is based on the drugs you take. Your second option is to sign up for Medicare Advantage, a Medicare HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) that also includes Medicare Part A and Part B (hospital and medical). According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of Medicare Part D enrollees opt for private PDPs. 3. Plans change annually so take your time to research. Assessing all your options isn’t easy. You must weigh short-term savings in monthly premiums against long-term costs from co-payments or limited overall benefits. Consider your developing health concerns and how easily a plan will allow you access to your favorite doctor or specialist and medications you may be taking. 4. Preferred pharmacies matter. Once you’ve found a plan that fits your budget and medication needs, don’t forget about

and discuss in more detail.” Some of the specific products that InFirst offers include bonds, government securities, stocks, several types of individual retirement accounts and insurance. Susan L. Pape, a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative of H. Beck Inc. and a Licensed Agent for life, accident and health insurance, is available at the Punxsutawney branch of Indiana First Bank every Friday. A Punxsutawney native, she enjoys working closely with individuals and businesses to assist them with their investment goals. If you have questions for a financial advisor or would like more information about InFirst Financial Advisors and their services, call the Punxsutawney branch of Indiana First Bank at 938-2355 to schedule an appointment for our next Investment Day on Thursday, March 14.

Securities and Investment Advisory services are offered through H. Beck Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. Bradley L. Peterson, Susan L. Pape, and Anthony J. Lang are registered representatives and investment advisory representatives of H. Beck Inc. Jody L. Claypool is a registered representative of H. Beck Inc. H. Beck Inc. is not affiliated with InFirst Financial Advisors, LLC. or Indiana First Bank.

Demystifying Medicare Part D enrollment convenience when filling your prescriptions. A pharmacy accepted as “preferred” by a Medicare Part D Plan is a network pharmacy that offers covered drugs to plan members at lower out-of-pocket costs than what the member would pay at a non-preferred network pharmacy. For example, Walmart is a preferred pharmacy on multiple plans including the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan. People with high blood pressure or who are concerned about heart health also should know that Humana and Walmart just announced that members of the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan will have access to 10 hypertension drugs for a penny each when filled at one of the 4,400 Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy locations. 5. Medicare plan finders are your friend. There are so many options out there, so it can be hard to keep them all straight. Try one of the simple online search tools that source the most costeffective plan for you. Walmart. com/RxPlan is easy to use and compares all available plans for you based on your zip code and medications you take.

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16 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

InFirst Financial Advisors, LLC soon will be offering a unique service at the Punxsutawney branch of Indiana First Bank. Investment Day is part of InFirst’s What Matters Most program – a program designed to help clients identify financial priorities and identify solutions to suit their unique needs. InFirst, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indiana First Bank, provides investment, asset management, brokerage, trust and insurance services to complement the product offerings of the bank. Headquartered at 949 Philadelphia Street in Indiana, registered representatives are available to speak with customers and the general public at the Punxsutawney branch of Indiana First Bank located near Wal-Mart. InFirst is committed to helping its clients define and achieve their near- and longterm financial goals. What Matters Most is a customized program designed to help clients accumulate, preserve and distribute wealth by delivering a high level of personalized service. The financial advisors of InFirst work with clients to

Home remodeling tips for boomers entering their golden years

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 17

(BPT) – As America’s 77 million-strong baby boomers reach retirement age, one thing is absolutely clear – they are not going to quietly retreat into their golden years. The most active generation in America’s history wants homes that will support their active lifestyles, and homes that will accommodate the challenges boomers will face, from bad knees, to working from home, to taking on grandchildren. That’s why building and remodeling homes for aging baby boomers represents one of the biggest trends in the home improvement industry today. It’s primarily in response to how baby boomers view themselves, many of whom don’t believe “old” starts until a person turns 80, according to a Del Webb survey. While many boomers see themselves running, cycling, downhill skiing for many years to come, the reality is that aging creates physical challenges, ranging from arthritis to stiffness to balance issues that could result in debilitating falls. Expecting so much of themselves, many are starting to rethink the design of their homes to accommodate their changing lifestyles. To meet the needs of this active generation, home builders and remodelers are developing new design and building techniques that incorporate universal design principles. Universal design means creating products and designing spaces that allow the widest range of people, of varying physical abilities, to use one space, from babies to 80-year-olds. Because the typical American home is designed for an active American family whose adults are in their 20s and 30s, many do not meet the needs of boomers who want to age gracefully in their own homes. “Universal design is about balancing style with the functionality we need as we move from one stage of life to another,” says John Gardner for APEX Siding System, a manufacturer of low maintenance, high durability siding and trim. “Universal design allows empty nesters to live in their homes longer, allowing them to pursue their goals and passions regardless of the physical abilities that aging may impose upon them.” If you’re among America’s baby boomer generation, here are some tips offered by Gardner on how to design and remodel your home to meet

your needs today and in the future: Don’t wait until the lastminute – If you intend to live in your current home into your 60s, 70s and 80s, don’t wait until health challenges force you to make changes to your home. Create a master plan using universal design principles that can be implemented over time to spread out the costs of your remodeling investment. Get an expert – Seek out builders and remodelers who have earned the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) age-in-place certification. These design/build firms are knowledgeable about universal design principles and in building and remodeling homes that meet the needs of aging boomers. Plan for one-level living – As you remodel your home, create a plan so that everything you need is on one floor, easily accessible to your main entrance on the ground floor. This includes a bedroom, a bathroom with shower, washer and dryer, kitchen and dining area, and access to technology (TV, computer and phone). Low-maintenance – High maintenance projects, like

painting a home, cleaning the exterior side of windows, or sealing cracks and seams in your siding are physically challenging and time-consuming. For example, if your home needs to have the siding replaced, instead of wood or fiber cement siding, which requires re-sealing and repainting every few years, consider APEX pultruded fiberglass siding with Ultrex, a new type of siding that doesn’t need to be repainted or resealed when properly installed by a remodeling professional. Zero-step entry – Whether you’re maneuvering a stroller through the front door, carrying a load of groceries, or navigating your mother’s wheelchair, invest in a new, wider front door system, featuring a low-maintenance fiberglass door frame, door and lever handle (not door knob) for easy entry. Task lighting – Add more lighting for close-up tasks such as cooking, reading, hobbies (knitting, fly-tying) and working from home. Remodel the bathroom – Create an accessible groundlevel bathroom for guests of any age by installing a zero-

entry threshold shower base, a handheld showerhead and shower rails. Don’t forget to give the shower a non-skid floor treatment and to add antiscalding protection to the sink

and shower. For more information about universal design and remodeling for baby boomers, visit

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Is the shingles vaccine necessary?

Doctors, pharmacies and walk-in medical centers now offer more vaccinations than just the standard flu shot. People have the opportunity to get vaccinated against chickenpox as well as an offshoot of that illness known as shingles. But is the shingles vaccine necessary? And if so, why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in three people in the United States will develop shingles in his or her lifetime. Shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. This is the same virus responsible for chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox is susceptible to having shingles years later. That’s because, despite being inactive, the virus remains in the body. Although doctors are not sure why, the varicella zoster virus can reactivate, causing shingles, which have different and more severe symptoms than chickenpox. It is important to note that herpes zoster is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes. Unlike chickenpox, which is characterized by itchy pustules that spread across the body, shingles generally begins as a very painful burning rash on one side of the body or face. The rash forms blisters that will scab in about a week. Prior to the presentation of the rash, the skin may itch and men and women may feel pain and tingling feelings in the area where the rash will develop. Unless a person has a weakened immune system, the rash will usually be in one banded area of the body. Otherwise, it could be more

widespread like the chickenpox rash. Shingles is not contagious in the obvious sense, meaning a person with shingles will not give another person shingles. However, the shingles virus can be spread to another person who has never had chickenpox. Chickenpox may develop, but shingles will not. Because the shingles rash is often in areas of the body concealed by clothing, transmission to others is rare. After the shingles blisters have scabbed over, a person can no longer pass on the zoster virus. Shingles occurs later in life, primarily after a person has reached his or her 50s. Therefore, the CDC recommends the shingles vaccine (Zostavax) for individuals age 60 and older. The vaccine will protect the body against the reactivation of the zoster virus. It also may help those who have never had chickenpox from contracting chickenpox. The vaccine isn’t fail-safe, though. In some cases, even

vaccinated people will still experience shingles, although the outbreak may be less severe than if the shingles vaccine was never received. The vaccine, which requires just a single dose, transmits a live virus as a single injection in the upper arm. Redness, pain, swelling, and headaches are known side effects. The vaccine is safe for most individuals. However, those who have a weakened immune system, are receiving immunesystem-suppressing drugs, have tuberculosis, are pregnant or trying to become pregnant or have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the shingles vaccine should not be vaccinated. Even those who have had shingles before are urged to get the vaccine to prevent future occurrences. It is important for people to discuss their treatment options with their doctors and also to inquire if their medical insurance covers the shingles vaccine.

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18 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

Here at Hillsdale Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Hillsdale, we are moving forward and not looking back. We have been very busy with renovations and remodeling, from new flooring and nurses’ stations to freshly painted hallways and new lighting. Our most extensive renovation, however, is our new Therapy Gym and Rehab Suite which will be formally recognized with an Open House on Wednesday, April 24. Everyone at Hillsdale extends an invitation to join us from 3 to 7 p.m. for a tour and complimentary gourmet refreshments. For more information about the open house or a tour of the center, contact Kim Neff, admissions director, at (814) 7436613. Hillsdale Rehabilitation & Nursing Center is setting the standard for rehab care – one pa- The public is invited to an Open House for Hillsdale’s new suite on April 24. tient at a time.

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Help seniors age independently (NewsUSA) – Ask most seniors if they want to age independently in their own homes, and they likely will say yes. Surveys show 95 percent of people over the age of 75 desire to age in place, and about a quarter of seniors live alone. These numbers are just the beginning. Baby Boomers are now turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day, according to AARP. But what if you’re the adult child of one of those independent-minded seniors? What if, like Alison Jacobson, whose blog has a loyal following, you find yourself frequently worrying about your parents’ well-being? “While aging-in-place is the goal for most seniors, how do you, as the adult child, ensure sure they’re safe?” she asks. Here are some tips for dealing with the situation: • Preventing falls. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for

seniors. Like the worry Jacobson describes, a n ew s u r vey b y m a rket researchers Toluna found that a far greater number of caregivers were concerned about seniors being injured than seniors themselves were (76.1 percent vs. 33 percent). One simple first step is to remove all scatter rugs and make sure electric cords don’t extend into high-traffic areas. • Upgrading lights. While seniors sometimes may be reluctant to admit it, vision diminishes with age. So, brighten lights in kitchen work areas to reduce the risk of burns and cuts. • Tech fix. The latest technology is the answer to substantial research highlighting the importance of staying connected for both seniors and caregivers. Harvard University researchers found that the odds of mental decline doubled for seniors with no social ties, for example, while Toluna’s survey

looked at the emotional toll on those trying to help loved ones age in place. “For caregivers, ease of communication with the seniors they love relieves stress, reduces guilt and builds rich relationships,” says expert on successful aging Adriane Berg. Enter the new CareLine home safety telephone system from V Te c h ( w w w. v t e c h The product includes three individual pieces designed for optimal usability, even for those with vision, hearing and dexterity issues. The pieces are the corded base phone with photo displays for frequent contacts, a cordless handset and a very handy pendant that can also be snapped onto a belt and easily kept with the user. The pendant can make and receive calls, access voicemail, and receive automatic reminders about medications and appointments.

The aging population A benefit, not a burden

(BPT) – With life expectancy increasing, the percentage of population over age 60 is booming. By 2030, the population over 60 will be growing 3.5 times as rapidly as the total population, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). While some look at this as a potential burden on the health care industry and society, Greg Sebasky, chairman of Philips North America, looks at this trend as an opportunity. He says this is a time to connect with well-rounded, productive and intelligent people and reap what the Philips Center for Health and Well-Being calls, the “longevity dividend.” All citizens have an important role to play to ensure everyone has the opportunity to receive this longevity dividend. Here are five steps to take to help shift a perceived burden into a lasting, positive benefit for society: 1. Appreciate the contributions of older citizens. Saying “thank you” to a family member for sharing a traditional family recipe or to a neighbor for keeping a watchful eye on your home is an easy way to bring to light the every-day dividends. 2. Learn from history. Older citizens have seen more of society’s ups and downs, from a macro world view to a micro family perspective. They have the benefit of experience that can help everyone shape new approaches to challenges

faced – whether in the home, at work or around town. Ask for advice and listen to the input. 3. Plug in. Help keep citizens engaged with family and friends by showing them technologies such as email or social media, or bookmark links to helpful websites. Doing so will keep elderly residents connected while maintaining independence. 4. Offer employment. Many newlyretired citizens would benefit from the ongoing mental and social stimulation provided by a workplace, even for a few hours a week. Consider posting jobs at senior community centers so active residents can easily learn about new opportunities. 5. Be an advocate. Speak up at town meetings and keep an ongoing dialog with local officials to consider the aging population in town planning, budgeting and support services. Remind officials of the social capital provided by these important residents, and how considering their needs will help the community as a whole. By changing perceptions of the elderly’s contributions to the community, society can take the important first step to reaping these positive impacts of the longevity dividend. The Philips Center for Health and Well Being’s Think Tank on Aging Well offers solutions for citizens, non-profits and government officials at

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 19


DCCCI offers full range of retirement services

DuBois Continuum of Care Community is a not-for-profit community located on South Eighth Street in DuBois, that offers a complete range of retirement lifestyles and services – from residential and personal care to skilled nursing, respite care, outpatient therapy and Alzheimer’s/Dementia care. VILLAGE VIEW Residential Living Community provides a carefree lifestyle with the added feeling of security, independence and peace of mind. Amenities include private studios with private bath and kitchenette, comfortable community living room, dining room and activity room, two meals per day, laundry room, courtyard and private entrance, Wi-Fi and Direct TV included. Please call (814) 375-3941 for more information on independent living. DUBOIS VILLAGE Personal Care Community enriches residents’ lives by providing quality personal care and a personal interest in your overall well-being. The three-story building, with Victorian-style furnishings, presents lifestyle options close to everything you need and want to experience. Amenities include private studios and suites with private

bath and kitchenette, single and double occupancy options, comfortable lobby and sitting area with fireplace, restaurant-style dining services, housekeeping and laundry services, maintenance free living, Wi-Fi and Direct TV included. Please call (814) 375-5483 for more information on personal care. DUBOIS NURSING HOME Skilled Nursing Center delivers seamless quality professional health and medical care – including skilled, rehabilitation and intermediate levels of care – with a sense of dignity and hospitality that puts residents and families first. Amenities include semi-private rooms, private rehabilitation suites, hospice suites, comfortable lounges on each floor, several dining areas that serve three meals a day, physical, occupational and speech therapy, outpatient therapy, wound care program and IV therapy, therapeutic, recreational and social programs, and Memory Lane program with structured Alzheimer’s and memory loss care. Please call (814) 375-9100 for more information on skilled nursing services. DCCCI subscribes to a nondiscrimination policy.

(NewsUSA) – Medicare is stronger than ever with more benefits, better choices and lower costs to beneficiaries. Expanded Medicare benefits under the health care law (the Affordable Care Act) continue to be available. Whether you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan – take advantage of Open Enrollment to review cost, coverage or both for next year (2013). • More Benefits: Certain preventive benefits – including cancer screenings – are available with no cost to patients when furnished by qualified and participating health professionals. The annual wellness visit allows people to sit down and discuss with their doctor their health care needs and the best ways to stay healthy. • Better Choices: Medicare will notify beneficiaries about plan performance and use its online Plan Finder to encourage enrollment in quality plans. • Lower Costs: Average premiums for 2013 for prescription drug coverage and Medicare health plans will remain stable. People who are in the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit will enjoy approximately 53 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs and see increased savings on generic drugs. Your health needs change from year to year. And, your health plan may change the

benefits and costs each year too. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your Medicare choices regularly. Open Enrollment is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage. It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare. Medicare is available to help. • Visit find-a-plan to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change. • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) 24-hours a day/7 days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call

877-486-2048. • Review the Medicare & You 2013 handbook. It is mailed to people with Medicare in September. • If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get Extra Help paying your prescription drug coverage costs. For more information, visit i1020 or call Social Security at 800-772-1213. TTY users should call 800-325-0778. Get one-on-one help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit or call 800-MEDICARE to get the phone number. This message is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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Pharmacists: Ron Matson, Joseph Spencer, Mandi Palumbo & Lisa Barackman

20 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

Medicare is better than ever

Simplified drug packaging can prevent nursing home admissions (BPT) – Numerous factors impact a senior’s ability to live independently, such as health and memory problems, mobility issues, and care coordination concerns. Often overlooked is the fact that one quarter of all nursing home admissions are the result of poor medication adherence. Representing a loss of independence, being placed in a nursing home is a difficult milestone for both seniors and their families. It is also costly for seniors, their families and the health care system. The cost of a single room in a nursing home averages more than $200 per day and close to $200 billion for all Americans annually. About 62 percent of this cost in the United States is assumed by public, taxpayerfinanced sources such as Medicaid and Medicare. Almost half of seniors aged 65 and older take at least five different prescription drugs regularly, and one in four take between 10 and 19 pills each day according to data compiled by Kelton Research. In addition, more than half of seniors admit to not taking their medications as directed, and the adherence rate decreases as the

number of daily medications prescribed increases. “For seniors, taking one pill a day is manageable, however the complexity of taking multiple medications each with its own set of instructions, represents a real challenge that impacts their health and independence, says Ian Salditch, CEO of Medicine-On-Time. “However, the difficulties associated with taking multiple medications can effectively be addressed through customized prescription packaging.” Salditch’s company de-

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veloped Medicine-On-Time, where local pharmacists sort and organize medications into personalized pill cups labeled with the day, date and time to take them. Pharmacists provide all the pill cups to the patient organized into colorful calendar cards. It’s convenient, easy-to-use and, most importantly, proven effective to help people maintain independence and enjoy better health. A study released in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy found that seniors using Medicine-On-Time were

66 percent less likely to be admitted to a nursing home. “It is an all too familiar process – adult children sorting their parents’ medications into pill boxes,” Salditch says. “Medicine-On-Time puts this process in the hands of licensed pharmacists and in doing so helps to ensure safety and accuracy, helping seniors maintain their independence and their quality of life.”Believe it or not, research conducted by Prince Market Research shows that seniors fear moving into a nursing home and los-

ing their independence more than they fear death. The same study found that baby boomer children of seniors also fear for their parents, particularly their parents’ emotional and physical well-being should they have to enter a nursing home. Free trials and a tool to find the closest pharmacy offering the Medicine-On-Time service can be found at sortmymeds. com. Additional information on Medicine-On-Time can be found at

How physical therapists can help you stay fit after 50 activities and conditions, visit www.moveforwardpt. com/fitafter50. How a physical therapist can help “Many people think of going to a physical therapist only after illness or injury,” says APTA President Paul Rockar Jr., PT, DPT, MS. “However, physical therapists are experts in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. We understand how to help prevent injury from occurring as well as changes in the body that happen with normal aging. With the help of a physical therapist, you can turn midlife into the fittest time of your life.” Physical therapists develop a customized plan of care for each individual – there is no “one size fits all” approach. Through exercises that increase range of motion, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance, physical therapists greatly improve mobility and motion and can help reduce pain associated with age-related conditions such as frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain. All physical therapists are required to receive a graduate degree – either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate – from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. Learn more about conditions physical therapists treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at Follow Move Forward on Twitter (@MoveForwardPT) and on Facebook at

22 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

(BPT) – Most of us know that physical activity provides outstanding benefits, such as maintaining a healthy weight, reducing belly fat, increasing bone density, improving cognitive function and improving sleep quality. But remaining physically active as you age can also help guard against certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers. People who are most fit at midlife experience better health and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases after the age of 65, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. To promote healthy aging, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has launched a new initiative, Fit After 50, to provide baby boomers with practical tips and useful information to help them maintain the motion and mobility needed to engage in regular physical activity and sustain a healthy lifestyle. According to APTA, adults should engage in aerobic and muscle strengthening activities on a weekly basis. This involves at least 150 minutes of moderateintensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of the two, each week. Moderate-intensity activities, done for at least 10 minutes each time, may include brisk walking, biking on relatively flat surfaces or general gardening. Muscle-strengthening exercises that work the arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, back and legs — the major muscle groups — should be done at least twice per week. In addition, stretching exercises to ensure adequate flexibility are important. For tips and videos about physical therapy for a variety of

Focusing on diabetes in older adults (BPT) – In the U.S., there are nearly 26 million people living with diabetes and more seniors have diabetes than any other age group – 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, of all people age 65 and older. “Currently, one in four Americans over the age of 60 is living with diabetes and there is a great need for further education among older adults,” says Dr. Vanessa Jones Briscoe, Chair of the Older Adult Subcommittee and Board Member for the American Diabetes Association. In 2012 the American Diabetes Association launched its Senior Signature Series. The series looks to expand education and outreach efforts to seniors across the country. The series includes half-day educational events for individuals age 50 years and older to learn more about diabetes, numerous resources, helpful materials and health screenings. Its goal is to educate older adults about how they can reduce their risk of diabetes and its complications. Because of its great success in 2012, the series will be back in 2013, and will include even more dates and locations across the country.

“Through continuing our Senior Signature Series, the American Diabetes Association will provide the tips and resources needed to help seniors address the challenge of preventing type 2 diabetes and keeping diabetes treatment from impairing their lifestyle, or slowing them down,” Briscoe says. “The educational resources in the series are important not only for those older adults living with diabetes, but for their family members or caregivers as well.” One way to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, or to better manage it, is physical activity. Benefits include: • Improving your A1C, a test that measures your average blood glucose (sugar) control, blood pressure and cholesterol • Having more energy • Burning calories to help you lose or maintain your weight • Keeping your joints flexible • Improving your balance to prevent falls • Lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke Almost all older adults who develop diabetes have type

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2 diabetes, and older adults with diabetes often have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections that heal slowly and they are at risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Seniors with diabetes are also more likely to have memory problems and depression. Awareness and education is critical in helping seniors to lead healthier lives. For more information, or to download the “Living Healthy with Diabetes” guide for adults 55 and up, visit

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When is the right time to leave ‘home’? Few people like to admit their age is affecting them. However, as we age, certain abilities become compromised, and it may no longer be practical for aging men and women to remain in their homes, or at least live there alone. Comfortable living alone may be a signal to an older adult that he or she still has independence. Taking away a license or suggesting a move may cause feelings of animosity. But at some point in time, friends or family members of an aging man or woman might need to broach the topic of moving to an assisted living facility. Such a discussion can be difficult, but having some evidence that a change is necessary may make the news easier to process. Sometimes the older adult may have already made the decision that a move is necessary, which will make the process even easier. Moving should never be a knee-jerk reaction unless there is a sudden medical emergency that necessitates fast action. Under normal circumstances,

moving should be a gradual process that begins even before a parent, grandparent or other relative really needs to change residences. Here are some steps to keep in mind. • Make sure to develop a strong relationship with your loved one. This relationship should be consistent and keep you in frequent contact so you can best assess his or her living situation. • Talk things over with other siblings or relatives to see if others feel the same way you do. Perhaps they have a different point of view. • If there are problems at home, make your case by pointing them out. Show the elder adult how day-to-day life has grown more difficult and how certain burdens may be lifted by changing living situations. • Indicate that access to health care and a safe environment are some of the key benefits of moving to a senior community. Point out other benefits, such as companionship with similarly aged people, activities, trans-

portation, and the presence of a maintenance staff to ensure nothing falls into disrepair. • Do your research and have the names and amenities of different residences available to discuss. Request brochures from senior communities and offer to make trips to view the homes together with your senior relative. • If the idea of a “home” is not what your loved one has in mind, discuss the options of moving in with a relative and if this would be a more comfortable situation. • You may need a mediator or help with finding the right fit for a loved one. Consider hiring a geriatric care manager to help you organize your thoughts and priorities regarding a senior living transition. These individuals provide services that include helping families locate appropriate housing and care services for their loved ones. Not every senior needs to leave home, but the topic should be broached if assistance with day-to-day activities is needed.

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reducing annoying noises from the side or back. Automatic Noise Reduction instantaneously analyzes the incoming sound in order to separate important speech information from unimportant extraneous noise, enhancing the voice. For those with high frequency hearing loss, Frequency Compressing or Frequency Lowering circuits will move important speech sounds to a range where sounds are more audible. This may bring help to many who previously thought that no help was available. Reliable Hearing Solutions is your local provider for all your hearing aid needs, working with the leaders of the hearing aid industry, including Starkey, Siemens, Phonak, Rexton, and ReSound. The company’s mission is to provide quality hearing instruments and capable, friendly service at affordable prices. For more information, call 1-866-440-3277 or visit their website,

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24 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

It is estimated 35 million children and adults in the United States have a hearing loss. Sensorineural, or nerve hearing loss, is the most common type of hearing loss among adults It occurs in 80 percent of adult cases. It is not often medically or surgically treatable. Fortunately, most sensorineural hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids. Recent developments in technology are enabling many with hearing difficulties to once again enjoy the sounds around them. Many people with nerve type loss find it hard to hear in noise. There have been several major improvements in today’s hearing aids to help deal with this. Adaptive Directional Microphones automatically adjust to listening environments to improve speech intelligibility in challenging situations. By analyzing the incoming sounds, the microphone will focus on sounds to the front,

How to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 25

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people across the globe. In the United States alone, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates one in eight older men and women has the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. Few families have not been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and many relatives of those with the disease fully understand the role family history can play. Research into the disease is ongoing, and it’s already yielded valuable information that may help reduce the prevalence of this devastating disease in the years to come. One byproduct of researchers’ efforts is the discovery that it may be possible to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease through the implementation of a combination of healthy lifestyle choices. The following are a few healthy habits that may help men and women reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s. • Exercise regularly. A study conducted by Scottish researchers and published in the journal Neurology in 2012 touted exercise as the most effective way for adults to protect their brains from Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers examined roughly 700 70-year-old participants, all of whom were born in 1936, who were asked to report their levels of physical activity. Each participant then received an MRI at age 73. Those tests revealed that the participants who were more physically active showed less brain shrinkage and fewer white matter lesions, both of which are indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation reports that physical exercise reduces a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50 percent and can even slow further deterioration in those who have already begun to develop the cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer’s. Researchers continue to study the relationship between physical activity and the development ofAlzheimer’s diseases, but the evidence is mounting that regular exercise, regardless of a person’s age, is a great way to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s. • Eat healthy. What you put into your body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The brain operates at its best when it is fueled with a

healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. A heart-healthy diet is also brain-healthy, and researchers have found a potential link between heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researcher Larry Sparks of the Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona and formerly of the Kentucky medical examiner’s office studied brain tissues with a goal of finding early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. He discovered that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s disease also had heart disease, suggesting heart disease may be a forerunner of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association feels this link between the two will only grow stronger in the years to come, suggesting that a heart-healthy diet that reduces a person’s risk of heart disease may also reduce the risk forAlzheimer’s down the road. More information on a heart-healthy diet is available at • Stimulate yourself mentally. Mental stimulation can help the brain stay sharp, and

men and women who find ways to stay mentally stimulated can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Embrace activities that require communication and interaction with others, and find time for additional tasks that can stimulate your brain. These may include studying a foreign language, reading, trying your hand at mentally stimulating puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku, and other activities that emphasize organization. Such activities are essentially workouts for your brain that can help it stay sharp as you age. • Remain socially active. Staying socially active into older adulthood is important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that research has indicated the brain functions better when men and women are not isolated from others. Memory and cognition are stronger when people remain socially active and engaged in their society, so retirees should look for ways to revive their social lives as a means to protecting their brains from the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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How to talk about the difficult subject of hearing loss few steps to follow to help the process go smoothly: S t e p 1 : C o nve r s a t i o n starters Using the phrase “I’ve noticed recently...” is a great conversation starter. Give real examples that demonstrate the hearing problem: for example, explain how you’ve noticed the grandchildren don’t want to play games with Grandma or Grandpa any longer because they get frustrated they can’t be heard. Or, perhaps you’ve noticed the person isn’t talking on the phone much anymore; suggest that you’re worried about him or her becoming withdrawn or isolated from friends. Step 2: Conduct a casual hearing test After you’ve had the initial conversation, a person with hearing loss may still be hesitant to visit a hearing care professional, so an easy interim step is to go online and conduct a hearing test in the comfort of your own home. Visit and have your loved one answer five short questions and then listen to a series of tones. It only takes a few minutes and will give you both a basic

understanding of any hearing loss issue that exists. It also provides an idea of what some parts of a professional hearing evaluation might be like to reduce fears. While online, you can browse through different types of hearing aids to see how advanced technology is creating virtually invisible, easy-to-use options for anyone. Step 3: Make an appointment Hearing loss can affect a person’s ability to learn, socialize and enjoy life. It also

can affect personal safety, such as when important phone calls or alarms are not heard. Help your loved one make an appointment with a hearing care professional for an expert diagnosis so the hearing loss can be addressed. If your loved one has a trusted physician, see if there is a hearing care professional he or she recommends. Then offer to take your loved one to the appointment - this not only provides support during a difficult time, but also ensures that the appointment isn’t

missed. At the appointment, feel free to ask questions about treatments and different hearing aid options. Remember, hearing loss is cumulative. By allowing loved ones to ignore the issue and delay treatment, the problem and its impacts will continue to grow. By offering your support and helping a special loved one find a solution, you both benefit from better communication and hopefully a renewed connection.

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26 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

(BPT) – Full of festive gatherings, this time of year brings us close to friends and family. But if you know someone suffering from hearing loss, it may be hard for you both to fully enjoy time together. You can help improve your loved one’s quality of life by addressing the problem with understanding and care. With a few simple steps, you can start the conversation and help find a solution. From not being able to hear during family dinners and having grandkids disinterested in conversations due to lack of understanding to requiring the TV or radio to be unreasonably loud, a number of different scenarios can be indications of just how much hearing loss affects normal activities and communication. Rather than simply applying short-term solutions, such as speaking louder, leaving the room when the TV is on or repeating yourself constantly, help a loved one find a better solution. When approaching someone about hearing loss, remember he or she may be in denial or self-conscious about the problem. Here are a

Retirement planning? Tips for getting the most out of Social Security (BPT) – The majority of Americans support continuing the Social Security program, even if they are decades away from drawing benefits, a 2010 survey by AARP found. Nevertheless, with the program’s future financial viability an ongoing subject of political debate, many people may undervalue the role Social Security can play in their retirement planning. “For years, financial services companies have downplayed the role of Social Security in bolstering financial security in retirement,” writes James Mahaney, vice president of Strategic Initiatives for Prudential, in the white paper “Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits.” “However, considering the increased financial risks retirees now shoulder, the tax preferences that Social Security receives, and the income options that Social Security now offers, a strong argument can be made that Social Security should play a greater role in a retiree’s financial planning.” Each day, 10,000 Americans reach retirement age. With people living longer and fewer companies offering pensions, saving for retirement has become even more important for today’s workers. Yet, retirement

savings rates remain low. Social Security offers “regular income that is guaranteed to increase over time and continue for as long as you live,” Mahaney writes. “No other (retirement) vehicle can match the combination of inflation-fighting increases, longevity protection, investment risk elimination, and spousal coverage that Social Security can (offer).” With Social Security accounting for approximately 40 percent of income for the average retiree, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, it makes sense to take steps to maximize potential Social Security benefits, Mahaney advises. While most Americans realize they accrue Social Security benefits throughout their careers, many may be unaware that they can influence the amount they will receive upon retirement. Retirees can help maximize their Social Security benefits by avoiding four costly – and common – mistakes: • Don’t underestimate the real value of Social Security. • Don’t rush to collect Social Security – and then regret the reduced benefits for the rest of your life. • Don’t overlook the various ways married couples can inte-

grate their benefits. • Don’t get blindsided by taxes. Claiming benefits as soon as they’re eligible is a common mistake that can cost retirees tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetime. Although most everyone becomes eligible for benefits at age 62, delaying benefits until you reach Full Retirement Age (which varies depending on your birth year) or later may help ensure you receive the maximum amount you qualify for. “Retirees often apply for Social Security benefits early,” Mahaney writes. “Most certainly

didn’t stop to think that ... they could have potentially doubled their initial payments if only they had waited until age 70.” Another common mistake is forgetting that when you retire, the income received from IRA withdrawals often causes Social Security benefits to become taxed as well. Since Social Security income is taxed differently than IRA income, you can often reduce your taxes by choosing higher Social Security income and lower IRA withdrawals. It’s never too early – or too late – to plan for retirement, experts agree. Talk to your financial

advisor about your retirement strategy and how Social Security fits into it. You can also read the Prudential white paper, “Innovative Strategies to Help Maximize Social Security Benefits,” online at “It’s all about choices,” Mahaney concludes. “Those who understand how to evaluate their choices and optimize their decisions will be the ones to enjoy a more secure retirement. A larger amount of Social Security within a retirement income strategy may, indeed, be the golden ticket to the golden years.”

Ralph A. Cardamone M.D., F.A.C.C.

Board Certified Cardiologist Diplomate Certification, Board of Nuclear Cardiology

Specializing in the Prevention, Testing and Treatment of Heart Disease

News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013 - 27


• ICANL Certified Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory • ICAEL Certified Echocardiography Laboratory • Stress Testing • Cardiac Catheterization • 24 Hour and 30 Day Heart Monitors • Pacemaker Evaluation • Second Cardiology Opinion • Affiliations with Several Major Medical Centers

Serving the community for over 22 years

Cardiac Diagnostics

Phone 814•765•7577

Cardiac Diagnostics

10 South Second Street • Clearfield, Pennsylvania

28 - News For Seniors, The Punxsutawney Spirit & Jefferson County Neighbors, February 2013

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