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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015




during spine surgery means your future looks rosy! Using 3D imagery to guide their tools during surgery, our spinal surgeons can operate with more precision than ever before. For patients like JENNIFER, that translates into a minimally invasive procedure allowing for smaller incisions. Enhanced precision, minimally invasive and increased accuracy — that is precisely why Jennifer chose Jackson Hospital. And why you should too.

Jennifer Cox

3D NAVIGATED SPINE SURGERY Only at For more of Jennifer’s story, go to


July 2015 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015



“When leaders get better, everybody wins.”

—Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church

The Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit offers two days of Game-Changing Leadership Development for your business, church or organization, featuring a World-Class faculty of speakers, hosted by satellite right here in Montgomery at Frazer UMC. There is simply no better investment you can make in the strength of your team and the future of your mission. Speakers include: Adam Grant Wharton School Brian Houston Hillsong Church Ed Catmull Walt Disney Animation Sheila Heen Harvard Law School Jim Collins Best-Selling Author Horst Schulze Capelia Hotel Group Brené Brown University of Houston Liz Wiseman Best-Selling Author Craig Groeschel

Individual Registration $209 Significant discounts available for large teams (10+), military, faculty and students

Join an expected 260,000 leaders around the world at The Global Leadership Summit 2015. #wcagls

Frazer Church: find hope, Follow Jesus • Sunday worship 8, 9:30 & 11AM 6000 atlanta Hwy. Montgomery • • 334.2728622 •

Do you feel chained by your financial situation? Is money stress putting pressure on your marriage and family? Join Frazer as we discover God’s Kingdom Plan for Your Financial Freedom. Sign up now for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU). FPU will help you to: • Overcome Debt • Manage Wealth Wisely • Improve Relationships • Have a Secure Future • Join God’s Kingdom Plan

FPU offered to the public Wednesdays at 6pm in Frazer’s Wesley Hall. Course is 9 weeks beginning Wed. Sept. 9, 2015. Sessions last approximately 2 hours. Registration $99 per individual or married couple.

Each class includes a video lesson from Dave Ramsey followed by a friendly group discussion. Childcare available (arrive early for drop-off ). For more information contact Teri Brown,


July 2015

CLICK ON “FIND A CLASS” AND SELECT FRAZERMagazine OPTION The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage

BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


July 2015

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Volume 6 Issue 1

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 6 Publisher’s Letter 8 Exercising In Hot Weather Leigh Anne Richards 10 Where’s Your Sunscreen? with Brandt McDonald 12 Alabama Archives Summer Genealogy Workshops! 16 BOOM! Cover Profile page 24


28 Senior Sailors

24 Movies for Boomers

Departments 12 This and That

Now You’re “In the Know”

32 ALASKA’s Tlingit Country

Complete 26,000 Mile Odyssey.

Here are the movies we’re looking forward to through Labor Day.

20 Can Retirement Damage Your Health?

Ever shifting, ever-evolving, Alaska is a story of change.

44 {12} Things

Solutions for Bored Boomers

22 Beauty Buzz 26 Losing Your Marbles: Competency Issues for the Elderly, Ask an Elder Law Attorney 30 Declare Your Independence from Hearing Lost

36 Greg Budell

Get Off Your Buns, Get Some Biscuits

39 Ask Nancy: My 90 year old dad refuses help 40 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: GMO Foods


41 Local Author Shares Her Inspiration


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42 Good Grandparent Guide

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BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2015 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



Publisher’s Letter

Unchained? The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.

Publisher/Editor Jim Watson, 334.523.9510 Jim Watson, Publisher

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Tracy Bhalla Joan Brinsfield Greg Budell

Erica Curless Elisabeth Gardner Brandt McDonald Kerrie McLoughlin Bill Newcott Leigh Anne Richards Phil Scott Katie Slade Brittany Spahr Nancy Stein Raley L. Wiggins Kathy Witt

Are you unchained? Many of us are not unchained from the debt we have accumulated over the years of living the “good life” in America. One of the consequences of being chained to our debt is it limits our ability to be generous to those in need. It hurts our hearts because when we want to give more...but we are restrained by our debt. If you would like to remove the chain of debt from your life Frazer Church is offering numerous time slots for you to participate in the Financial Peace University course offered by Dave Ramsey. My wife and I will be participating and I’d like to invite everyone interested in developing an unchained life to visit and click on “Find a Class” and select Frazer Option. There you can sign up and begin your journey to becoming Unchained. See you there!

This month’s BOOM! profile is Joan Brinsfield. If you’re involved with photography in any way, you have probably done business with Joan and her family owned business, Capitol Filmworks. Nowadays, they also use the name Total Image to market many of their services from photo books, scanning your old photos, to portraits. Also, Joan and her late husband, Rene’, created a successful photo lab for professional photographers nationwide. After Rene’s death in 2003, Joan was determined to carry on and preserve the legacy her husband had built in the industry and through perseverance and a quality team of professionals, she has done just that. We hope you enjoy getting to know Joan as much as we have and if you want to preserve your lifetime memories, Joan and her team do it very well! There is plenty more to love about this month’s issue of BOOM! From Summer movies to a cruise in Alaska or sailing around the world. One interesting article is whether retirement can damage your heath, the writer calls it the new smoking issue, without the nicotine. Do you need some tips on how to be a “Good” grandparent? Well we have a few things for you to consider, written from the daughter’s point of view. There are plenty of insightful columns from our experts including exercising in this extreme heat (if you really must), sunscreen for your investments, and losing your marbles! As you have come to expect, we have many more good reads inside this month’s issue, I hope you’ll enjoy the River Region’s best reading experience for the 50+ community!

Cover Photography Kim Bethea Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080

Please continue sharing, I love to listen. And if you’re going to spend some money please consider our advertisers, they value each of you and will work very hard to serve your needs. Finally, if you sign up for our Free Digital Subscription in July you could win a $100 gift card from Central! Thanks again for being part of our BOOM! Community and allowing us to share stories with you.



Jim Watson, 334.523.9510 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

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July 2015

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015



Exercising In Hot Weather Summer is officially here and it is hot! Here in the South, we get to also experience high humidity which can lead to heat related exertional illnesses. Understanding warm/hot weather definitions is very important for people who exercise outside during this time of year. Of the many relevant heat related definitions, the heat index is one of the most important. Heat related illnesses range from mild (heat rash, heat cramps), to life threatening heat stroke. Anyone is susceptible to heat related exertional illnesses. It is very important that the exerciser understand the presentation of signs and symptoms associated with these heat related illnesses. The following are some terms that are necessary to know and understand if you exercise outside in the heat and humidity • Heat index: It is the combination of heat and humidity that gives a description of how the temperature feels. It is not actual air temperature. When the heat index is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, extreme caution should be considered before exercising outdoors. • Heat cramps: They are associated with excessive sweating during exercise and are usually caused from dehydration, electrolyte loss, and inadequate blood flow to the peripheral muscles. They usually occur in the hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. Treatment for heat cramps is rehydration with an electrolyte ( salt) solution and muscle stretch • Heat syncope: This results from physical exertion in a hot environment. In an effort to increase heat loss, the skin and blood vessels dilate to such an extent that blood flow to the brain is reduced causing symptoms of headache, dizziness, faintness, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and even possibly a loss of consciousness. Treatment is to sit or lie down in a cool environment with elevation of the feet. Hydration is very important as well.


July 2015

• Heat exhaustion: This is a shock like condition that occurs when excessive sweating causes dehydration and electrolyte loss. A person with heat exhaustion may be pale and clammy, have a rapid or weak pulse, loss of coordination, decreased performance, dilated pupils, and profuse sweating. Treatment for heat exhaustion is to immediately stop the

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne Richards

activity and hydrate with chilled water and/or an electrolyte replacement sport drink. The exerciser should be cleared by a doctor before resuming strenuous outdoor activities. • Heat stroke (Hyperthermia): This is a life threatening condition in which the body’s thermal regulatory mechanism is overwhelmed. Key signs of heat stroke are hot skin, pale or ashen colored skin, high pulse rate, high respiratory rate, decreased urine output and a core temperature (taken rectally) over 104 or 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Is to move the person to a cool area and reduce the body temperature immediately, Get immediate medical attention. If immediate medical attention is not possible or available, immerse the person in a cool bath while covering the extremities with cool wet cloths and massaging the extremities to propel the cooled blood back into the core. • Exercise Induced Hypotremia (water intoxication): This is most commonly associated with prolonged exertion during sustained, high intensity endurance activities such as marathons or triathlons. It is attributable to excess free water intake, which fails to replenish the sometimes massive sodium losses that result from sweating. Symptoms of hypotremia can vary from light headedness, malaise, nausea, altered mental status. Risk factors include hot weather, female athletes/exercisers, poor performance, and possibly the

use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Treatment advises exercisers to drink only as much fluid as they lose during sweating. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about 300 Americans die every year of heat related illnesses. Most of these deaths can be avoided if people better understand the dangers. Everyone is at risk if he or she does not stay hydrated, but there are certain people who are at a greater risk: • Those who are active, exercise, or spend a lot of time outside. • Elderly people. • People with chronic illnesses who are taking certain medicines. • People who are severely obese. • Outdoor workers such as construction workers. • Athletes who train outside in the heat • People with low cardiac reserve whose hearts are unable to quickly adjust to the changes the body goes through in extreme heat. Patients with heart failure should not exercise in the very hot and humid weather. Their hearts have less reserve capacity to transport heat from the body and their hearts can become overworked. It is very important for the body to sweat. Up to 60% of the human body is water and only about 10% of this water is in the bloodstream. A lot of water in the bloodstream can be lost through sweating. In fact, during very hot and humid conditions, we can sweat up to 3 liters, which is almost all of the water in our bloodstream. To replace the water that is lost from the bloodstream, the body takes water from its tissues or uses the fluids that you drink during exercise. In humid conditions, the body tries to cool itself by sweating even more. If you do not replenish the water that is lost, you will become dehydrated. Here are some tips for elderly people or chronically ill patients for patients to handle the summer heat and humidity while exercising • Continue your usual exercise habits but move indoor to a cool, air conditioned space. Try walking on an indoor track or a mall instead of the park The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

• Weigh yourself before you exercise or exert yourself outside. If your weight drops more than 2 or 3 pounds from your usual “dry weight”, call your Dr. to see if your medicines may need adjusting • Be cautious and take frequent cooling breaks if you must be outside. Summer weather does not have to sideline your exercise regimen. The above suggestions can help you plan and understand ways to modify your routines to exercise safely. Sources: Exercising in Hot Weather, Fit for Duty Fit for Life. U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Hyperthermia: A Hot Weather Hazard for Older People Hot Weather Exercise Tips, Texas Heart Institute Information Center Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



Where’s Your Sunscreen? Have you ever fallen asleep on the beach with no sunscreen? If not, you certainly know someone who has. When you wake up and can’t move because you’re burned to a crisp, it’s at the very moment that you realize you’ve made a major mistake. And, it’s that kind of mistake that brings about massive pain and anguish. You can apply the salve to heal your wounds but it takes time to recover. There are reasons why we have to live by rules and discipline. And, I strongly believe that from a financial market perspective we are living in a time period that requires an SPF 70 sunscreen for our investments. At the mid-point of 2015, it’s important to understand what’s really happening in the global financial markets. So, let’s look back at some key data points in the first six months of this year. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. economy grew at a negative 0.2%. First quarter earnings grew roughly 5%; however, top line revenue growth was quite disappointing. Only 43% of the companies in the S&P 500 managed to exceed revenue expectations. A strong dollar has caused major problems for U.S. multi-national companies in their international markets. Recently, it appears as if cash may have been the top performing asset class of the year through June. Here in the United States it looks as if our economy will have only grown 1% half way through this year. Yet, we continue to stay near all-time market highs, stuck in a narrow trading range. In my experience, whenever the U.S. stock market is stretched in valuation and is exhibiting this type of trading action, a big move is around the corner.

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We just don’t know which way that move will be. It all depends on second quarter earnings that will start in the first week of July. We desperately need to see a convincing upturn in revenues and earnings combined with positive forward guidance from America’s CEO’s about their business climate. Without that, I suspect a very healthy correction may be in store for the second half of this year. And, when we consider the with Federal Reserve’s Brandt McDonald potential rate hike in September, combined with a shaky European economy, the Greek dilemma, and suspect growth in Asia, we could all be in extremely rough waters. In other words, this could be a perfect storm of events that could provide massive shortterm volatility in all asset classes.

Financial Thoughts

Fortunately, here at McDonald, Barranco, and Hagen, we employ a methodology that utilizes forward thinking and proactive money management that takes into account everything that we see coming over the horizon. We use an investment thesis that is then overlaid on top of our client’s customized financial plan in accordance with their risk profile. It can be tempting to chase the crowd and dive head on into the stock market when it appears to be the only fun and rewarding game in town. In fact, it can seem so rewarding, that you lose focus and leave your portfolio on autopilot and fall into a deep sleep when it comes to monitoring your financial affairs. It’s usually right around that time that the unexpected happens

and you wake up only to find that you stayed out in the sun too long with no screen. Remember when you were a child and your parents took you to the beach? The first thing you wanted to do was charge ahead in the sand and have some fun. But, your parents made sure you had sun screen before you did anything. In the same way, we want all of our clients to enjoy the rewards of market returns. But, we desperately want to help you think through all of the things that are needed to protect you in a way that you don’t wake up one day only to find that you have been burned to a crisp doing something that you thought was so relaxing, fun and enjoyable. Happy Fourth of July from all of us here at McDonald, Barranco, and Hagen. Whether you celebrate at the beach, the lake, or the pool, don’t forget your sunscreen. Until next time, remember to never run with the herd, always be thankful, and look to the future with anticipation of what’s yet to come.

Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015




This & tHAT

Alabama Archives Offers Summer Genealogy Workshops! FIND YOUR STORY: A GENEALOGY WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS, Saturday, July 11 from 9 to 12, Led by Nancy Dupree. $30 for the public, $20 for Friends of the Alabama Archives members. This workshop is specifically designed for beginners! Get step-by-step instruction followed by hands-on research time in the EBSCO Research Room. Gain a solid foundation to craft an effective research plan and learn valuable skills to navigate the oftentimes overwhelming world of genealogical research. UNTANGLING THE WEB: FINDING YOUR ALABAMA ANCESTORS IN CYBERSPACE, Saturday, August 8 from 9 to Shackelford family reunion in Pintlala, AL, July 4, 1930 (Alabama Archives’ collection) 12, Led by Nancy Dupree. $30 for the public, $20 for Friends of the Alabama Archives members. For intermediate to advanced researchers. Gain valuable instruction on the best websites, online resources, and most effective genealogical search strategies to take your family history research to the next level! Workshop concludes with hands-on research time in the EBSCO Research Room. To register for these workshops visit or contact Sarah McQueen 334.242.4364,

Grandparents and Grandkids Make it a special date with your grandkids to see the special production of James and the Giant Peach at The Cloverdale Playhouse. The Playhouse Troupe’s 2015 production, James and the Giant Peach, stars talented young actors directed by Jason Morgan. Last year’s Playhouse Troupe show, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, sold out fast - so get your tickets now. Performance times are July 24 at 6:30 pm, July 25 at 2 pm and 6:30 pm and July 26 at 2 pm. Adults: $10. Children under 18: $5. For tickets visit or call 334.262.1530.

“Mike Jenkins Receives Distinguished Leadership Award” Each year the Association of Leadership Programs (ALP) calls for nominees for its national Distinguished Leadership Awards. This year, Leadership Montgomery is pleased to announce that its nominee, Mike Jenkins, IV, is a recipient of this award. He was recently selected along with 15 other nominees nationwide. Mike received his award at the 2015 ALP National Leadership Conference held recently in Huntsville at the Embassy Suites Hotel. On hand to present the award were Harold Boone and Dr. Cheryl Carter, both representing Leadership Montgomery, alumni members and Board of Directors. According to Harold Boone, former Program Manager of Leadership Montgomery and V.P. of Minority Business Development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, “Mike is the consummate business and community leadership professional. His footprint and positive commitment have resulted in a singular difference in the quality of life and significantly improved race relations in the River Region. He was an instrumental founder of Leadership Montgomery over 32 years ago and has recently rejoined its Board, still committed to seeing the organization remain relevant today.” Boone concluded, “He is well known for his work in both preservation of civil rights history and building bridges between community leaders. For this reason we are extremely pleased that he was selected for this award.”

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

For the Grandkids...Models & Manners, Mr. Manners Etiquette Classes Join the Capital City Club for Models & Manners, Mr. Manners Etiquette Classes during the week of July 13 – 16 from 9 – 10 am each day. Girls Ages 5 to 15 and Boys Ages 7 to 12 are invited to the Capital City Club’s 28th Annual Models & Manners and Mr. Manners Etiquette Classes. Instructor Rhea Kirk will be teaching the art of introduction, table manners, telephone greetings, personal hygiene, and many other etiquette tips to prepare your child for a brighter future. Girls will even receive fashion tips and learn modeling steps. Classes will begin at 9 am sharp each morning, and go until 10 am, Monday through Thursday, followed by the Graduation Dinner on Thursday night (July 16) at 6 pm when students of the Models & Manners and Mr. Manners class will receive their Certificate of Completion. Open to the Public. $85 per student of Members and $100 per student of Non-Members. Graduation Dinner $40 for Family Members & Guests. To sign your grandchild up, or need more information, contact Heather Logan at or call 334.834.8920.

Success After 60

The media abounds with negative views about the impact of aging on physical, cognitive, and financial well-being. In fact, there are entire industries that have emerged to counteract the effects of aging — nutritional supplements, hormone treatments, surgical improvements, lotions, potions, and the like. They all seem to underscore Bette Davis’ famous quote, “Old age is no place for sissies.” What if aging brought about, not decline but our greatest accomplishments? What if we looked at aging as Dr. Christiane Northrup does? She tells us that “getting older is inevitable, but aging isn’t.” Her book, Senior Wonders: People Who Achieved Their Dreams After Age 60 profiles individuals their greatest successes after 60. Were there any commonalities among these people? Several themes became apparent. She identifies them as the 3 P’s: Passion, Perspective on Life, and Persistence. Passion, by definition, is any compelling emotion or feeling. These individuals either had a strong belief in what they were doing, or in the case of those with an artistic bent, they couldn’t help creating, whether it was writing, painting, or acting. Perspective on life emerged as a theme when we noticed that several of our seniors commented that they couldn’t have achieved their success at an earlier age. Having lived a long life enabled them to learn from failures and successes, establish a clear focus, and develop a unique perspective. The last P is Persistence. This theme became apparent when we observed that many of our seniors faced daunting obstacles and accomplished their goals by sheer will and determination; they did not give up. You can buy the book at

FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, July 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015



This & tHAT



MMFA’s Outdoor Sculpture Garden A new feature will at The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art will be a $3 million Outdoor Sculpture Garden, an area of three acres of art and nature, that will merge with the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The Sculpture Garden will transform a vast stretch of land adjacent to the museum’s east side into an enormous, meticulously landscaped home for large pieces of contemporary art the museum could not otherwise accommodate. The Outdoor Sculpture Garden will include a walking labyrinth, a secret garden and a pool with water features. The project has a tentative completion date of spring 2016. The outdoor exhibitions will begin with temporary works by renowned American artists. Eventually, the museum plans to acquire large sculptures created by the same caliber of artists to add to its already vast American art collection. For more info visit

Retirement Thoughts I never heard of the word retirement. I know my father never heard of that word, and that’s probably why I’m not familiar with it. What exactly does that mean? I picture a bunch of old geezers sitting around playing gin rummy in rocking chairs with afghans over their laps: No, thank you. That’s not for me. I plan to get up every day and get my hands dirty until God calls me home. _ Mitzie Hagen, Wheeling, West Virginia If you’re going to retire, you need activities to keep you sharp. My plan was to open a kayak-touring business based out of a family vacation home in New Hampshire. It has been a little more difficult than I expected, but I’m doing it. And I’ve found it’s nice to have something to do for six months a year. _ Fred Miller, Place, New York The one thing that has surprised me about retirement is how many people I see not working. We’ll go to town to eat or shop during the day, and I see so many people who are retired or just piddling that it makes me wonder: Who is supporting this country? _ Jim Eyre, Jacksonville, Texas

HandsOn River Region Adopt-a-Station Program In Honor of the Anniversary of 9-11 First Responders risk their lives unselfishly for the benefit of others without giving a second thought to their own personal well-being. HandsOn River Region wants to thank and encourage these individuals by coordinating act of kindness such as visiting with a plate of cookies, offering to perform general maintenance and yard work or just dropping by to say thank you. In honor of the anniversary of September 11, HandsOn introduces the Adopt-a-Station Program and encourages families, organizations, businesses and schools to adopt stations near them in order to show appreciation for their work. Groups participating in this program have the option of serving the station year round or can oversee a one-time service event offering assistance in an area requested by the station adopted. Suggestions Include: Home Cooked Meal, Landscaping/Yard Work, Letters of Appreciation. Plan now to adopt a fire and/or police station near you! This is a wonderful opportunity to thank the true heroes in our communities. If you have questions or need further assistance, contact Leslie Martorana at 334-264-3335 or or visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

We Know She Drinks It, Now She Makes It TDS: What’s your favorite wine region to visit?

Kathie Lee Gifford and her co-host Hoda Kotb frequently kick off the segment every morning in the 10 a.m. hour of NBC’s Today Show with wine in hand. Their sipping ways are so expected that they have even been satirized for their morning boozin’ on Saturday Night Live, and by Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno among others.

KLG: I adore Tuscany but in America it’s got to be Monterey County! The region is so diverse and the wines are just so drinkable. TDS: In addition to GIFFT of course, do you have a house or favorite wine you drink regularly?

It makes sense, therefore, that Kathie Lee went into the wine business herself. She recently launched GIFFT, wine from estate grown grapes in Monterey, California, produced with the help of the Scheid family of winemakers.

KLG: Not anymore! Pretty much all GIFFT, all the time! In warm weather we sometimes enjoy a Domaine Ott Rosé for a change of pace. TDS: You have a red blend and a chardonnay now at GIFFT. Are there plans for more varietals down the road?

GIFFT wines include GIFFT Chardonnay and GIFFT Red Blend; the latter is made with mostly Merlot and Petite Sirah. Both are $19.99 a bottle. She answered a few questions from the Daily Sip in a recent interview about wine. The Daily Sip: What’s your wine philosophy--is wine part of the meal or is it celebratory? Kathie Lee Gifford: It’s a lovely combination of both with an emphasis on celebratory. It’s about friends and family being together. Our tagline for GIFFT is “Friendship, love,’s a GIFFT,” and that’s what wine is to me, a gift.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

TDS: When did you first become interested in wine? KLG: I think I come by it naturally having been born in Paris where my parents first incorporated it into our lives. I have wonderful memories of simple meals or sumptuous feasts that always included wine.

KLG: The Scheid family and I have discussed adding another varietal to GIFFT and there are some wonderful possibilities. Pinot noir would be a logical one, since the Monterey winegrowing region is known for producing truly outstanding pinots. GIFFT wines are all estate grown from the Scheid’s vineyards in Monterey County, so it’s really about deciding which wine fits best for the GIFFT consumer....and, of course, which wine I get excited about drinking! Courtesy of For more info visit

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July 2015




Joan Brinsfield, “Preserved for a Lifetime” This month’s BOOM! profile is Joan Brinsfield. If you’re involved with photography in any way, you have probably done business with Joan and her family owned business, Capitol Filmworks. Nowadays, they also use the name Total Image to market many of their services from photo books, scanning your old photos, to portraits. Also, Joan and her late husband, Rene’, created a successful photo lab for professional photographers nationwide. After Rene’s death in 2003, Joan was determined to carry on and preserve the legacy her husband had built in the industry and through perseverance and a quality team of professionals, she has done just that. We hope you enjoy getting to know Joan as much as we have and if you want to preserve your lifetime memories, Joan and her team do it very well! BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc.?

spent two weeks at the Montgomery Library and wrote down every photographer I could find in the yellow pages of every city in the state of Alabama. My research turned into the very first Capitol Filmworks Marketing Plan! I attended Auburn University in Montgomery and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and was inducted into Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology, and quickly claimed to Rene’ that I was now “Certified Smart.”

Rene’ and Joan celebrating first paper processing machine for Capitol Filmworks

Joan: I was born of Irish parents in Belfast N. Ireland. At the age of five, my parents along with my sister and two brothers arrived at Ellis Island, New York, by way of one of the sister ships of the Titanic. We settled in Canada until my father accepted a job with Lockheed Aircraft in Marietta, Georgia. Upon completing my schooling in Marietta I moved to Richmond and later Alexandria, Virginia where my two sons, Keith and

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Bradley, were born. In a few short years we moved to Montgomery and I began working as a freelance photographer. In 1980, I met Rene’ Brinsfield, a confirmed bachelor and owner of Capitol Filmworks. I convinced Rene’ to hire me part time, at minimum wage, to market Capitol Filmworks so I could be home with my sons after school and eliminate day care expenses. At that time there were about 5 photographers using Capitol Filmworks. I

Rene’, the confirmed bachelor, and I were married in 1983 and together along with several faithful employees, continued to build Capitol Filmworks into what it is today, a successful retail camera and photo printing store, a professional photo finishing lab serving professional photographers all over the United States and now offering a full service press products division and professional portrait studio, Total Image Portraits. Sadly, we lost Rene’ in a horrific accident on May 2nd of 2003.

I continue with more determination than ever, knowing that this, Capitol Filmworks, Inc. the baby we raised together, is the legacy that Rene’ meant for me and my family to carry on. BOOM!: You are the President of Total Image (formerly Capitol Filmworks), and for the past 40 years there has been major changes in the photographic industry, how has your company adapted to the many changes that have occurred in the world of photography?

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM!: How Joan: First, do you like it’s important to relax and we keep up wind down with the ever from a hard changing day’s work? world of digital Joan: photography Honestly… and second, kick back always with a glass knowing of wine! that we have delivered BOOM!: a quality Favorite Joans Son Keith, Wife Shelley, Mallory Grace & Josh product vacation of “lifetime memories” to each of our spot? Any travel dreams planned for the customers. future? BOOM!: Are you a professional photographer or a business executive? How would you describe your leadership style? Joan: Business executive who leads by example with a positive outlook. BOOM!: Many Boomers are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, new careers, especially if they’ve experienced the empty nest syndrome of their kids moving on. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Joan: After I lost my husband in 2003, I had to begin renewing myself so I picked up the leadership reins of our company with a greater sense of responsibility and commitment to make sure Capitol Filmworks continued to stay successful and honor my husband’s legacy.

BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your ambitions changed? Joan: No I really wouldn’t say they have…before Rene’ passed we talked of eventually retiring but I don’t think about that anymore…my ambitions are still the same…Capitol Filmworks…“where memories are preserved for a lifetime.” BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Joan: Determined, Compassionate and Upbeat…

BOOM!: As a busy entrepreneur, do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities?

BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention?

Joan: Yes, Montgomery Rotary International and where I am currently serving on a committee for the 2016 “Funny Raiser.” This a unique fundraiser where we will bring a comedian to the River Region, it will be a worthwhile event for good causes. I’m also, a member of the Chamber of Commerce. BOOM!: If you weren’t in the

Son Bradley his wife, Amber holding Tyler and Morgan Raen

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Joan: I love the Midtown and Downtown area and I love the fact that when I walk into a grocery store, drug store, restaurant etc. people know my name…it’s nice.

Joan: Paris was my and Rene’s last trip together…we both wanted to go back. I have traveled to Ireland, my birthplace, and to China, I would like to go to Tuscany as well.

BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Joan: My business say’s it all... Preserving “Lifetime Memories.”

BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like?

Joan with sons, Bradley and Keith

photography business, what kind of work would you be doing? Any dream jobs? Joan: Interior Design…I guess that’s part of my love for photography… the creativity of it all.

Joan: I do love to travel, read, go to the gym and golf, but I haven’t played in a while.

BOOM!: Your late husband, Rene’ Brinsfield, started Capitol Filmworks in 1974 to process football film and it remains a leading lab to photographers throughout the Southeast. Would you describe the experience of building on the legacy and vision of your late husband? Joan: At first the shock was so unbearably painful. Eventually, I began to gain my strength and will which led me to a path of even stronger determination to keep his legacy alive, continuing to thrive and build on his success. It has been my purpose.

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BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. How do you or your team use technology to better serve your customers? Joan: Our website is very important to our customers (retail and professional)so we Grandkids at Lake Martin Josh Up At Lake Martin make sure its easy to use for online ordering. Also, the software we use for the professional photographers is always updated for the best possible user experience in the industry. But the most important thing Morgan Raen Mallory Grace, The Catcher Bradley & Tyler At Turks & Caicos Highland Sword Dancer we offer is customer service. When you walk through our doors you’ll get the best customer service We want to thank Joan for sharing her story with Joan: Well, two of my grandchildren, us this month. Please share your comments with ever. Also, I wanted to contribute to the Morgan Raen, who is 8, is big into Highland Joan at and as always, “Revitalization” of Midtown and Downtown dance and competition, which I also thanks to Kim Bethea from Total Image Portraits so I decided to bring our Total Image and participated in as a young girl and Tyler, for her professional cover photo of Joan (Her Studio, located at EastChase, under the who is 6, just got his yellow belt in karate. Boss!). Also, if you need any kind of photography roof of the “Mother Ship” at 909 Forest services, call Joan. If you have questions, They live in Fredericksburg, Virginia. comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, Avenue, near Jackson Hospital, across from Mallory Grace is 12 and loves softball, plays including nominating someone, please send them Oak Park…best decision I’ve made in a long catcher and stays constantly on the run, to time! her brother Josh is 10 and is seriously into tennis. They live here in Montgomery. I am BOOM!: Would you share your “Gram!” grandchildren with us? What do they call you?

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



Can Retirement Damage Your Health? Think of it as film noir like “The Big Sleep,” “The Set-Up” or “Night in the City” – only this one is called “Death by Retirement.” The script summary: You’ve thought about, talked about, dreamed about the day you’d pull your nose off the grindstone, wave goodbye to your boss, your coworkers, your schedules and deadlines, and officially retire. Finally, for the first time ever you have nowhere to be and nothing to do. Except stare mindlessly at the television for 16 hours a day, every day, for the rest of your life. Which won’t be long, a couple of miserable years, maybe. Wait, who says? The Social Security Administration, that’s who. One study shows that men who retire at 62 die earlier than those who retire at 65 – no matter their income level. Yet men who retire later have earned higher incomes. Sounds suspicious, you say? Right you are, buddy. Especially since the SSA seems to keep pushing back the retirement age into the late 60s. But there’s also another study that shows the average life span gets shorter by 2 months for each year of early retirement. Without schedules and deadlines, stress levels go down, which, counterintuitively, causes a decline in brain function and an increase in depression. Fresh retirees who say they’re going to travel the world? After two years on the road they park on the couch, and begin physical degeneration. People whose career was their whole identity? Even if they’re now Keeping Up with the Kardashians it won’t fill the void. Yeah, retiring is the new smoking, without the kick-in-the-pants of nicotine. CAN UN-RETIRING JACK UP YOUR HEALTH EXPECTANCY? You wonder if you can rewind somehow and revise the plot of “Death by Retirement.” Maybe. It’s worth a try, anyway. If you enjoy your job, see if you can continue it part-time. It never hurts to ask. If that’s not possible but you like the work, try for work part-time as a consultant, maybe even for a competitor. (That’ll teach ‘em.) If you don’t want that, try something new entirely.

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DON’T MOTHBALL THE OLD WORK ETHIC JUST YET Plan for a second career. (You may also want to read our four-part financial tutorial, starting with Why Plan For Retirement?) You don’t even have to get paid. If you know anything about art, history, architecture, volunteer as a docent at a local museum. There’s Habitat for Humanity, where you can swing a

hammer like Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. There’s Google, which you can use to find volunteer work in your community. The most important part is having something on your schedule, some place to go to, somewhere you have to be. There can be other rewards. specializes in working with people who are looking for income from doing work that matters. GET OFF THE COUCH AND OUT OF THE HOUSE Now that you have the time, make some positive lifestyle changes. Eat well, eat better. Go for a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. You now have the perfect reason to skip the vending-machine snacks that you had to eat on the run at work, the greasy takeout at lunch and the cake for the inevitable weekly birthday party. And you also have time to go to the gym. Physical activity has been shown to lift depression as well as being good for your health. Being out of doors helps your body with Vitamin D and boosts your spirits as well. If you don’t like working out, try walking for 20-30 minutes every day. Don’t like walking? Get a dog and you’ll have company while you walk. You’ll also have a strong, even an urgent, reason to get out of the house a couple of times a day, think how good the dog’s bladder will be

for your health. You can find some new friends among the other retirees out with their dogs. BE A DRILL SERGEANT TO YOURSELF Take responsibility for your life, and control over your environment. Chose the way you want to live, don’t let others chose it for you. Studies show that when elderly nursing home residents are allowed to choose, have responsibility and control of their lives, it lengthens their lives, and slows their physical and mental decline. Wake up every day with a definite plan, a strong, specific, clear goal. You are going to read, or continue to read – that book, or you are going to repot those plants, or you are going to – well, you get the picture. Focus your energy and time on something that interests you. Take a hint from the Japanese, who have one of world’s longest, healthiest lifespans. Scientists attribute it to ikagai, the belief that life is worth living. Japanese grow older and better because they have and work on their hobbies, and their spiritual life, and their social network. You don’t have to be happy, exactly, but you need to have a purpose. THE BOTTOM LINE Look, some people retire early and die earlier because they’re already less healthy. Blue collar jobs are simply harder than white collar jobs; blue collar workers tend to have less education than white collar workers, and they usually hail from a lower socioeconomic class. Does education lead to a longer, fuller life? It seems so. And a recent Harvard study shows that while mental processing slows with age, cognitive skills – namely vocabulary – are plastic, and with time they mature and refine. Researchers attribute that partially to improvements from more education. If you simply want a healthy old age, keep that organ active; if you want a fulfilling retirement, make specific plans, and keep to them. In other words: Define your age, pal; don’t let it define you. Phil Scott is a freelance journalist, author of seven books, and a big Ernest Hemingway fan. Read more at Follow us: @Investopedia on Twitter The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Beauty Buzz

From our blog at

What is involved with a Botox® Cosmetic treatment? A Botox Cosmetic injection generally takes just a few minutes. At River Region Facial Plastics, you will be seated comfortably while the areas to be treated are cleaned with an alcohol pad. Your doctor may mark the treatment areas. We will apply a cold pack for a few seconds to chill the skin. A tiny needle is used to precisely place the medicine. This is repeated as necessary based on your areas of concern. The effects of the medicine take about 5 days to begin, but may take up to 2 weeks to reach full effect. The effects will last for about 4 months on most patients, although it can range from 3-6 months. Many patients find the medicine works longer if the treatments are continued on a routine basis.

Latisse® Who doesn’t want long, full and dark eyelashes? Most women we know desire those lashes that actually make you look younger! We love Latisse®! Latisse® was actually discovered by accident… when glaucoma patients reported their eyelashes growing so long, scientists took notice! They discovered that the bimatoprost ophthalmic solution in the glaucoma drop was the secret ingredient to eyelash growth. That’s how Latisse® was born! Bimatoprost makes the eyelashes more noticeable by causing more eyelashes to grow and making them longer, thicker, and darker. Apply Latisse® with a clean applicator brush along the upper lash line with the eyes closed. When used daily, full results are seen at 16 weeks; however, you will see noticeable growth in as little as 8 weeks. When this medication is stopped, expect the appearance of the eyelashes to return to the way they looked before starting treatment.

Don’t forget the eye cream! When you are shopping around for skin care products that have proven science behind them, you are going to run into the SkinMedica® line. SkinMedica® is medical grade skin care not sold in department stores; however, these products are dispensed by very select licensed physicians. SkinMedica® has an unprecedented reputation for standing true to researchbased science and clinical experience. Founder, Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, is a world renowned dermatologist whose body of work in dermatology during the past 30 years earned him special recognition by many popular media sources such as Allure magazine, New Beauty magazine and even the Today Show, which referred to him as a “beauty industry visionary” and one of the world’s doctors who has “most influenced the world of beauty products.” Dr. Fitzpatrick discovered the science of growth factors, which are comprised of 93.6% human fibroblasts. Although SkinMedica® offers a full line of facial care products, our focus for this article will be on those that are for eye enhancement. SkinMedica® has two treatment creams, all which work by a patented, unique combination of ingredients that improve the look of wrinkles and fine lines, improve the texture and tone of your skin, in addition to smoothing and brightening the eye area.

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TNS Eye Repair® – improves the appearance of fine lines, reduces dark circles, replenishes skin TNS Illuminating Eye Cream® – reduces the appearance of dark circles, improves skin firmness Unlike most other eye creams, SkinMedia® use a very advanced formula… “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media.” If you come across the word “TNS” in any of SkinMedica’s products, it refers to this conditioned media (Tissue Nutrient Solution). While some products claim to have this science in their products, no other product to date has as high of a percentage of human growth factor. These cells come from human tissue. Some skin creams only use the conditioned media, not the cells themselves. The compound mimics this human growth tissue - stabilizes and regenerates skin – simply reversing the signs of aging. It replicates what our skin does naturally at a younger age – greater regeneration and rejuvenation capabilities. This has been used to treat burn victims for over a decade, helping them regrow their skin. So it isn’t some expensive marketing gimmick or unethical Frankenstein ingredient.

The SkinMedica® eye creams are safe for all skin types. Applying twice a day is of greatest benefit. We recommend using the back of your hand as a palate so that application to the face is smooth and even. Apply eye creams around the eye, but avoid the eyelid. Results are achieved after consistent 90-day application. Pick one or use a combination of both, and you are sure to see results. Prices vary between $85 and $95 with supplies lasting 3 – 4 months. Considering the gain, the investment is quite minimal. A word of caution, the level of quality in physician grade skin care cannot be found in department store cosmetic counters and department store creams can cost twice as much. Caring for your skin should be partnered with an educated aesthetician or registered nurse specifically trained in skin care. Finally, less is best. Your skin can only absorb so much over a period of time. Applying a thin layer of products, make up, and sunscreen with frequent reapplication is a good rule of thumb.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



Summer’s Best Movies for Boomers

By Bill Newcott

July 10: ‘Self/Less’ Dying New York real estate mogul Ben Kingsley has his consciousness transferred into the body of a young man (Ryan Reynolds). But is there enough room in there for the two of them? From visionary director Tarsem Singh (“The Fall” and “Mirror Mirror”).

Summer will always be the season for kid-centric films, but there’s still room at the multiplex for grownup movies. What’s more, even some of this year’s biggest blockbusters offer surprising treats for adults in the audience. Here are the movies we’re most looking forward to through Labor Day.

June 5: ‘Love & Mercy’ A feel-good playlist of Beach Boys classics contrasts with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford in “A Walk in the Woods.” the dark story of the band’s troubled songwriter Brian June 26: ‘Big Game’ Wilson. Paul Dano is uncanny Would-be assassins have brought down as the young Brian; as older Brian, under Air Force One, forcing the president to the control of a parasitical therapist (Paul fend off murderous villains in an Arctic Giamatti), John Cusack is heartbreakingly wilderness. Of course, Samuel L. Jackson childlike. plays the prez, so we’re pretty much feeling sorry for the bad guys. June 12: ‘Jurassic World’ Anyone who was at the movies in 1993 will remember “Jurassic Park’s” rocky start, what with the carnivores chomping down on the staff and all. But now, 22 years later, the park is up and running just great. What could go wrong? Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer are about to find out.

June 19: ‘Inside Out’ With films like “Up” and “Wall-E,” Disney/ Pixar has proven time and again just how grownup animated films can be. A young girl is at the center of “Inside Out,” but the main characters are her emotions: A squabbling team inside her brain who help get her through daily life: Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Anger (Lewis Black, natch). June 19: ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ Mark Ruffalo draws tears and laughter as a manic-depressive dad who’s convinced he can win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) if only he can prove he’s capable of caring for their two daughters.

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July 1: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ When Arnold Schwarzenegger said “I’ll be back!” in The Terminator more than 30 years ago, we really didn’t think he meant now. But here he is doing battle not only with a new batch of bad guys, but also with his own 1984 “clone, sweet clone.”

July 17: ‘Mr. Holmes’ A favorite at the Movies for Grownups Film Festival in Miami, this imaginative mystery stars Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, long retired to a rural British village. He remains haunted by one unsolved mystery, and with the help of the young son of his housekeeper (Laura Linney), Holmes summons every remaining fragment of his once peerless mind to crack it. July 24: ‘Irrational Man’ Woody Allen is notoriously tight-lipped about his upcoming films. Here’s all we know from the studio: “A tormented philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.” We’re also told it’s a mystery. And with Emma Stone and Parker Posey along, we’re totally sold.

July 24: ‘Pixels’ Our kids may have mastered their ultra-realistic video games, but when Earth is attacked by highly pixilated 1970s arcade characters including Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, only July 10: a crack team of oldMeryl Streep stars as Ricki in “Ricki and the Flash.” ‘What school gamers (Peter We Did on Our Holiday’ Dinklage, Adam Sandler and Josh Gad) A loving dad (the always wonderful Billy can save us. Directed by Chris Columbus Connolly) copes with the crumbling (“Home Alone,” “The Goonies”). marriage of his son (David Tennant) and his wife (Rosamund Pike, who still has us July 29: ‘Vacation’ creeped out by the psycho she played in Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) decides to “Gone Girl”). succeed where his father, Clark, failed more than 30 years ago (in 1983’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation”) and take The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Aug. 14: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ The emergence of N.W.A. as pioneers of 1980s West Coast hip-hop gets big-screen treatment, with Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren. Paul Giamatti plays Jerry Heller, the record producer who made the guys mainstream. Aug. 21: ‘Learning to Drive’ In this grownup romance, Patricia Clarkson stars as a Manhattan woman who, with her marriage on the rocks, decides to take driving lessons. She finds

herself behind the wheel and next to a Sikh driving instructor (Ben Kingsley) who’s about to enter an arranged marriage with a woman he has never met. Sept. 2: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ The screen version of Bill Bryson’s best-selling memoir follows the author (Robert Redford) as he sets out to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends (Nick Nolte). Unfortunately, Bryson’s hard-drinking, overweight buddy is anything but fit for the journey. (c)2015 AARP Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Ian McKellen plays the role of a retired Sherlock Holmes in “Mr. Holmes.”

a fun family trip to Walley World. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as Clark and Ellen, and Leslie Mann (“This Is 40”) plays Rusty’s sister, Audrey. We really, really want this to be funny. July 31: ‘Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation’ We could always rest easy that Tom Cruise’s Impossible Mission Force (IMF) was on our side, but what if there was another IMF that was just as effective but made up of bad guys? Tom Terrific and his team (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson) go head-to-head with their worst nightmare. Aug. 7: ‘Ricki and the Flash’ Meryl Streep stars as a veteran rocker who realizes, too late, that she should have paid less attention to sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and more to her all-butabandoned children (one of whom is played by her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer). Rick Springfield costars as Streep’s main squeeze. Aug. 14: ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ Guy Ritchie’s reboot of the 1960s TV show is set smack in the middle of the series’ original setting: Cold War America. As new versions of Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) venture out to defeat a shadowy international nuclear conspiracy, is it too much to ask for cameos from Robert Vaughn and David McCallum? The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



Ask an Elder Law Attorney By: Raley L. Wiggins | Attorney at Law | Red Oak Legal, PC

Losing Your Marbles: Competency Issues for the Elderly In the eyes of the law, mental competency is a complex issue. Particularly among the elderly, it is unusual for someone to simply lose their ability to manage their own affairs overnight. It is much more common for one’s memory to slip gradually over time. But, when does memory loss cease being old-age “forgetfulness” and start becoming legal incompetence? As a lawyer, when I am asked whether an individual has legal mental capacity, my first question is always: “Capacity to do what?” To begin with, the law generally presumes that every adult has mental capacity, until proven otherwise. In addition, in the eyes of the law, the level of understanding and mental acuity needed to engage in a given transaction depends substantially on what the transaction is. At the high end of the spectrum is the capacity required to execute a binding contract. To execute a contract, one must have the ability to “understand and comprehend” their actions. A court will not find a contract to be void based upon the signer’s lack of mental capacity unless you can show that they had “no reasonable perception or understanding of the nature and terms of the contract.” At the opposite end of the spectrum is the capacity required to sign a last will and testament. This is a very low standard, which requires only that the person signing the will to be able to recall the property to be disposed of by the will, how it will generally be divided, and the people they want to receive the property. So, a person may lack the legal mental capacity to sign a binding contract, but still have sufficient mind and memory to execute a valid last will and testament. Each case must be evaluated individually. But, what do you do if you suspect that a loved one is slipping to the point where they can no longer manage their own affairs? There are a couple of options.

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The first and best option is to manage that person’s affairs under a power of attorney executed by the loved one, while they were competent. Of course, once a person’s mental ability has begun to decline, it may be too late to sign a power

a petition is filed with the court stating why the individual needs a guardian and conservator to be appointed. The court will then appoint a lawyer for the allegedly incapacitated individual to protect their rights, as well as a court representative and a physician to examine the individual and Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop their living conditions, Wednesday, July 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 pm and to submit at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This a report to the educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins court. Finally, covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living the court will conduct a wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, hearing, and bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care either grant and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. or deny the Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at petition. Once appointed, the guardian and conservator of attorney because they lack sufficient are responsible for looking after the ability to understand and comprehend the individual, and will generally be required to document. However, if they are still able to report to the court from time to time. execute it, a well-drafted power of attorney will permit the agent (the person granted In many instances, the appointment of a power under the power of attorney) to guardian and conservator is appropriate. manage the business and financial affairs That said, it is a proceeding which can of the principal (the person who executed often be avoided by the execution of the document). Similarly, a well-drafted two relatively simple estate planning healthcare power of attorney or advance documents: a durable power of attorney, directive will allow an agent to make and an advance directive. healthcare and other decisions, even if the principal does not have the capacity to do If someone you love is beginning to so themselves. experience some decline in the mental But, what if the individual does not have sharpness, there may still be time to have these simple documents created while they a power of attorney or advance directive? In that case, the only option may be to have sufficient mind and memory to do so. ask the local probate court to appoint a Taking care of this now can avoid a costly court proceeding later. While you’re at it, guardian and conservator. A guardian (similar to the guardian of a minor child) is what about your own planning—do you tasked with looking after the individual’s have these simple documents? well-being, consenting to medical care, As we often say in our business, there’s and determining where they live, among no time like the present. So, what are you other things. A conservator is responsible waiting for? for handling the individual’s money and property.

Attend Free Workshop

Asking a court to appoint a guardian and conservator takes time, and can be expensive. To initiate the proceeding,

Raley L. Wiggins Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC 334-239-3625 | 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Senior Sailors Complete 26,000-Mile Odyssey By Erica Curless

to its website, more than 450 boats and 1,200 people attend one of its nine rallies each year, ranging from the roundthe-world adventures to social cruises and island hopping.

Charlie and Cathy Simon completed their global circumnavigation April 11 when they arrived in Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia, West Indies. Charlie Simon couldn’t imagine a better way to turn 60 than to sail around the world with his wife.

Charlie Simon’s love for sailing is genetic. His father taught him to sail at age 5. His great-grandfather was a shipper. Cathy Simon began sailing when she met Charlie. They married 36 years ago when they were both working in the San Francisco Bay area. Charlie Simon co-founded three technology companies and Cathy Simon worked in banking. Their main sailing club remains in San Francisco.

So that’s what the retired Spokane couple did. They named their semi-custom ocean-going Taswell 58 sailboat “Celebrate” and headed out in January 2014 on a 15-month, 26,000-mile journey that took them to five continents, 16 countries and across three major oceans and many seas. Before the big bon voyage, the Simons threw a birthday party in St. Lucia, attended by a few Spokane friends and the other sailors who were also participating in the World Cruising Club World ARC 2014-15 Rally. “These are mega memories we’ve had,” said Cathy Simon in a recent cellphone call from aboard Celebrate near the British Virgin Islands. “It was just a grand adventure. You’ve got to put those adventures in life.” The Simons were the oldest sailors in the group of 40 boats that started out together. Only 18 boats completed the full circumnavigation in April, which isn’t rare as sailors decide to stay longer in one destination or opt for a shorter route.

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Many people take years to do the world circumnavigation. The Simons did it quickly, all on their own with no hired crew or captain, only an occasional deckhand when friends would come aboard for a leg or two and help. The couple joked that at their age, they don’t have the luxury of endless time. The World Cruising Club’s first ocean crossing rally was in 1986. Today, according

Although Charlie Simon is known as the passionate sailor, it was Cathy’s idea to do the circumnavigation. Why not? The couple bought a new boat for their 25th anniversary and sailed to Alaska. Then they sailed the Pacific Coast to Mexico and then through the Panama Canal and to the East Coast. Following summer around the globe on the warm trade winds didn’t seem impossible or even all that difficult especially if they had support from the World Cruising Club, which sets up the routes, plans port parties, and tracks all the ships and keeps in communication in case of an emergency or breakdown. During the previous rally, a boat was lost in the Indian Ocean but the crew survived. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

“It’s like any sport,” Cathy Simon said. “You want to reach the epitome of it.”

at the ports along the way always include cocktails, good food and dancing.

Running a sailboat is a 24-hour a day job. The Simons take 6-hour watches and utilize an electronic “Watch Commander”, a small device that alerts the on-duty captain every 15 minutes to do checks inside and outside the boat, including checking the gauges and navigation system to scanning the horizon for other boats. A majority of smaller fishing boats don’t have automatic identification systems that would show up on the electronic screens. Another big duty is listening for noises.

HIGH SEAS ADVENTURE “We had a rolly night, with winds behind pushing us down seas of 2-4 meters,” the Simons posted to the rally’s log blog on Jan. 16, 2014, the sixth day of their trip.

“Almost everything that goes wrong has a sound that goes with it,” Charlie Simon said, adding that even a slight wind change will cause the sail to flutter in a different way. If the watch commander isn’t reset, an alarm sounds throughout the whole boat to alert others that the captain may be asleep or having trouble. “On a sailboat, things break all the time,” Simon said. “It’s just routine, nothing extraordinary.” Every boat carries spare parts and also has a water maker to convert salty sea water into drinking water. Besides the 6-hour shifts, the Simons also split duties. He does the cooking and the mechanical work and she cleans. Yet Cathy Simon is an educated sailor, completing a captain’s course before the trip to learn all the mechanics, from changing the oil to working the sail and monitoring the systems. While sailing, the Simons have a strict no-alcohol policy because they have to be fully functioning at all times. The parties

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After the trip’s first leg, a nine-day, 1,110-mile passage from St. Lucia to Lemon Cays in Panama, the Simons reflected in the log on the highlights: the sendoff with their friends, the snapping of their “whisker pole” at the mast fitting that launched the 12-foot pole across the deck, and the day a flying fish landed on the deck with a flapping thump. “Beautiful full moon during the passage, so bright and clear you could almost read,” read one log entry, followed by, “After the moon set, the sky was so dark that the stars were unbelievable. Cathy was first to identify Orion.” Although the Simons love sailing, they also enjoyed reaching land and taking a break _ anything from a few days to nearly a month depending on the weather and hurricane predictions. Charlie Simon’s favorite stop was Vanuatu, where he walked to the Mount Yasur Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. “You can walk up as close as you can,” he said. “It’s really interesting to see the power of the Earth.” In March, about eight months after the Simons visit, Cyclone Pam devastated the South Pacific Island nation.

Cathy Simon was surprised by Cape Town, South Africa, which was cosmopolitan and rich with shopping opportunities and wineries. After completing their voyage April 11 when docking at Rodney Bay Marina in St Lucia, the Simons attended a large finale party with the other rally sailors who completed the trip. One of the couple’s final logs on March 26 read, “A huge pod of Dolphins with babies jumping all around the boat stayed with us for quite a while. It was so entertaining.” WHAT LIES AHEAD The couple is sailing back to the United States, to port in the Chesapeake Bay. They will spend the summer on the East Coast and then spend December in Spokane before wintering in Mexico. For now, the Simons haven’t figured out their next adventure. Charlie Simon is excited to do several speaking engagements about their journey. Always interested in philanthropy, they were recipients of the City of Spokane’s Individual Benefactor Award in 2010, the Simons said their world trip provided them with a global connection and perspective. “We have to help our next door neighbors,” Charlie Simon said, adding that they, along with the World Cruising Club, donated to the people of Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam. “Our neighbors are the world. We’re just one big neighborhood. It’s easier to see that now from our vantage.” MORE INFORMATION To read the Simons’ daily logs from their voyage aboard Celebrate go to To learn more about the World Cruising Club, go to (c)2015 The Spokesman-Review Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Declare Your Independence from Hearing Lost The week surrounding the Fourth of July is a busy one for many American families. Cookouts, fireworks, beach trips, family reunions…social events abound as Americans gather to celebrate summer and our nation’s independence. In fact, according to Orbitz Insider Index, July 4th week was THE busiest travel week of 2014! Unfortunately, one often overlooked obstacle will prevent many adults from truly enjoying the camaraderie offered by this social holiday, and that is the obstacle of untreated hearing loss. Approximately 36 million Americans have hearing loss, making it the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults. Although up to 95% of adults affected by hearing loss could potentially see benefit from amplification with hearing aids, only 1 in 5 of these individuals will actually seek help. Only 20%! And of those 20%, many have waited several years from the onset of hearing loss to pursue help, often for a variety of reasons including denial, financial concerns, cosmetic concerns, or a feeling that their hearing loss simply “wasn’t bad enough” to treat earlier. Many don’t recognize the far-reaching effects of untreated hearing loss. Studies from the National Council on Aging, surveying adults with hearing loss and their significant others, revealed that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report higher rates of depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids. Moreover, recent studies from Johns Hopkins University have shown a strong link between degree of hearing loss and risk of cognitive decline. Three possible causes have been proposed for this link between hearing impairment and cognitive decline. One is “cognitive load,” or the theory that when the brain must constantly cope with degraded sounds and use resources to process these degraded sounds, other cognitive functions like memory may suffer; the second is the theory that parts of the brain that are dedicated to processing sounds begin to atrophy when not stimulated appropriately; and the third explanation is social isolation, which in and

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of itself is also a risk factor for cognitive decline.

others receive support and education regarding hearing loss and communication strategies.

The good news is that 95% of adults affected by The final component hearing loss can of a comprehensive potentially see hearing loss treatment By Dr. Katie Slade and Dr. Brittany Spahr benefit from plan involves Aural today’s hearing or Audiologic aid technology! Rehabilitation as Hearing aids have well as regular, come a long way routine follow-up from the hearing appointments to aids of previous optimize hearing aid generations. A performance. Aural majority of those Rehabilitation involves with hearing any strategies beyond loss can now be treated with discreet the hearing aid technology itself that are technology options that weren’t available used to improve listening skills. Think even 5-10 years ago. The audiologists of of it as physical therapy for your brain! Doctors Hearing Clinic would love to work These strategies may include discussion with you to formulate a treatment plan for of effective communication strategies for your hearing loss. both the hearing aid wearer and significant others, tips for evaluating and managing listening environments, and even actual Our approach to amplification is three-fold. exercises to train the brain to listen more The first step is a comprehensive hearing efficiently in complex and challenging evaluation to clarify the type and degree listening situations. of hearing loss experienced and to identify any risk factors or medical concerns that With appropriate hearing aid technology may need to be addressed as contributing and Doctors Hearing Clinic’s comprehensive factors to your hearing loss. The results approach to treating hearing loss, you of your hearing evaluation, along with can declare your independence from an evaluation of listening needs and any hearing loss this July! Contact our office concerns regarding memory or dexterity, today at 334-396-1635 to schedule your will allow our audiologists to recommend complimentary consultation. We can’t wait hearing aid technology appropriate for you. to set you free! The second component of a hearing Sources: loss treatment plan includes family and/ friends of the individual experiencing Loss-in-Adults hearing loss. At Doctors Hearing Clinic, we encourage all patients to bring a significant document-library/untreated-hearing-loss-linkedother with them to their evaluations. depression-social-isolation Not only is it helpful to our audiologists to meet your common communication sc-health-0121-hearing-loss-dementia-20150115partners and gather their perspectives of story.html your communication abilities, but it is also helpful for them to witness and take part in PracticeManagement/AuralRehabilitation.pdf the evaluation process to learn more about your hearing loss, how and why hearing loss Dr. Katie Slade is a Board Certified audiologist and affects their communications with you, and fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. what to expect from hearing aid technology Brittany Spahr is a Doctor of Audiology and fellow should you pursue amplification. In fact, of the American Academy of Audiology. research has shown that overall satisfaction with hearing aids improves when significant

Healthy Hearing

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Bucket List Adventure by Kathy Witt

Exploring ALASKA’s Tlingit Country

Ever shifting, ever-evolving, Alaska is a story of change, a narrative that is written in its glaciers, ridgelines, valleys, fjords, ice fields, and rainforests. For many, the story begins in southeast Alaska, site of such storied natural landmarks as the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay, Tongass National Forest and Misty Fjords, and the traditional homeland of the Tlingit Native peoples. Alaska’s original settlers, they have been here since time began and love to share the story of this vast land with the cheechako (that is, anyone new to the forty-ninth state). Wu kei ha kei keiyay teeni. “It is good to have you come.” Exploring the Last Frontier is first on many people’s bucket list. A recent Holland America cruise aboard the ms Noordam brought some 1,900 adventurers, including lots of grandparents, their adult children and their young offspring, to southeast Alaska to call on the capital city of Juneau, reachable only by air and water; Skagway, where many a Klondike Gold Rush Stampeder gave up the dream; and Ketchikan, where the world’s largest collection of totem poles records the history of a people, their traditions, legends, even spiritual stories. LIFE IN TLINGIT COUNTRY Among the dozens of shore excursions offered in Juneau, everything from

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flightseeing, salmon bakes and ziplining through the rain forest to gold panning, wildlife watching and river floats, the Mount Roberts Tramway whooshes visitors 1,800 feet up the mountain for hiking, dining on local seafood, watching artisans at their craft, photographing spectacular vistas of the city, islands, alpine meadows and the Inside Passage, and meeting the delightful Katherine Hope, cultural guardian and theater host. Hope introduces the movie, “Seeing Daylight,” an award-winning film about Tlingit history and culture that plays throughout the day in the Chilkat Theater atop the mountain. Before the 18-minute movie begins, she shares snippets about her Tlingit heritage (she is of the Raven Humpback Salmon clan from Yakutat, Alaska) and gives a lesson in speaking Tlingit to everyone in the theater. “Tlingits love and respect all cultures,” says Hope, “and we welcome you. Gunalcheesh (thank you).” At the Beaver Clan House at Saxman Native Village, a shore excursion operated by Cape Fox Tours in Ketchikan, guests are greeted by a Tlingit elder, followed by song and

dance by Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Native peoples in full regalia. With the drum keeping a steady beat, they dance before a backdrop of their clan symbol, the beaver, which stands on either side of a beaver screen. This screen, an intricate carving with a clever opening, would traditionally be in front of a clan house and identify those living in the house. Among the songs performed are the chief’s welcome song and the bird dance, which honors the Eagles and the Ravens, the two main moiety (last names) of the Tlingit people. This shore tour also includes a totem hand-carving demo and a discussion of the village totem poles. LIFE ON THE NOORDAM Traveling through Tlingit country aboard the Noordam lets passengers pursue their individual interests ashore, from dozens of excursions to wandering about independently, while relishing the comforts of a luxury liner known for its superb art collection, varied entertainment, excellent service and fine dining _ from the Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine of the Pinnacle Grill to small-plate tastes of Italy in Canaletto to “An Evening at Le Cirque.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The best place for taking in the glorious ever-changing views, particularly important on any Alaska itinerary that includes Glacier Bay, is front and center in the Crow’s Nest on Deck 10. Hidden away next door is the Oak Room; if you crave solitude, this is your refuge. Head one deck down for another sanctuary, this one, the Greenhouse Spa. (Note: On the day passengers board, the spa gives away several vouchers for complimentary services, including massage, facial and acupuncture. It is worth attending.) ADVENTURE GUIDE TO DON’T-MISS MOMENTS ● Join Alaska Travel Adventures and several dozen avid wildlife lovers on a whale watching expedition in Juneau’s Auke Bay. With large viewing windows and viewing deck, the jet boat allows everyone to see everything. The onboard naturalist is a crack whale spotter, but everyone gets caught up in scanning the water and calling out “one o’clock!” or “eight o’clock!” (never “over here”) and oohing and ahing over each sighting. You may also spot bald eagles, bears, sea lions, porpoises and other wildlife. ● Grab binoculars and your camera and head topside for the Glacier Bay leg of the cruise. The Noordam glides back in time to the Little Ice Age, traversing a frozen wilderness, home to mountain goats, bears, moose and other wildlife and cloaked here and there by forests. If weather is fine, treat yourself to one of the private viewing cabanas on Deck 11

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and enjoy breakfast, lunch and champagne while you lounge and drink in the stunning and ever-changing landscape. ● Enjoy dinner at New York’s legendary French restaurant, Le Cirque. Holland America’s Pinnacle Grill, a gorgeous, intimate dining space in its own right, transforms into the James Beard awardwinning restaurant, right down to the orange-rimmed china with monkey motif on linen-draped tables, for one special evening of peerless gastronomy. Dine on distinctive Le Cirque dishes, including Lobster Salad “Le Cirque,” Chateaubriand and chocolate souffle. ● Attend one of cellar master and grape and wine historian Csaba Toth’s wine or champagne tastings. Going well beyond swirl-sniff-sip-spit, Toth takes a historian’s approach to wine appreciation, always weaving in intriguing tidbits about the grape at hand and noting, “The sommelier’s job is to be the most exciting person in the dining room. Never rushing, always sprinkling affirmation.” Excitement defines Toth tasting themes, such as “Cognac and Cigars Under the Stars” and “Chocolate Diamonds meet Dom Perignon.” ● Head to the Vista Lounge on Deck 2 for one (or more) of the Location Guide’s indepth discussions: Alaska’s geographical features; the Gold Rush years; the explorers and scientists who mapped the area. On Glacier Bay day, don’t miss a chance to talk with a Huna Cultural Interpreter or Glacier Bay Park Rangers.

ADVENTURE GEAR TO TAKE ALONG Here is a bag that was made for an Alaska cruise adventure: Royce Leather’s RFID Saffiano Convertible Backpack ($200, A gleaming beauty in black wipe-clean leather, it is perfect in backpack mode for tramming up to the top of Mount Roberts and hiking through Alaska’s rainforest. It converts into a cross-body bag when you want to go hands-free to take pictures of Alaska’s breathtaking scenery and, with a quick unclip of the straps, it becomes an elegant handbag to carry into any restaurant aboard Noordam. INFORMATION Visit for more information about the ms Noordam and its Alaska itineraries or the line’s 14 other ships. Holland America offers one- to 110-day itineraries that visit all seven continents, including voyages to Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia, the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and the Panama Canal. The new 2,650-passenger ms Koningsdam is due to join the line in spring 2016.

Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at or (c)2015 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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July 2015



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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives My 90 year old dad refuses help

Q: My father, age 90 is the sole caregiver of my 83-year old mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease. He does an amazing job, but he is clearly exhausted by the end of the day. I do what I can, but my full-time job limits my ability to help more. My parents can afford to hire helpers, but my father insists that he can handle everything on his own. How can I convince him otherwise? My mother’s condition will only get worse with time. _Gina F., Fort Lauderdale, FL A: If I ranked the most common questions I hear from family members, the issue of a parent resisting much-needed help would rank right up there in first or second place. For many reasons, maintaining privacy and independence, as well as pride of loyalty and caring for your loved one, many seniors resist in-home help until the situation deteriorates so much that they no longer have a choice in the matter. Nevertheless, it’s a challenge that often requires the professional intervention of a geriatric social worker or care manager who has experience in finding just the right words to “unlock” the stalemate. I can imagine how many times you have

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asked your father to accept help. But perhaps a different approach might make a difference. For example, instead of saying “I wish you’d have help,” I suggest arming him with facts about your mother’s safety, as well as his, as her disease progresses. And since maintaining his independence is a primary concern of his, explain how in-home help would enable him to go out to lunch, take care of household errands, or simply take a walk. In other words, he’d have more control over his life, not less. As a way to introduce help in a limited way, ask your father what are the most challenging hours of the day. I suspect they are the morning hours when your mother needs personal care such as bathing, dressing and eating. Would he be willing to accept help for just those hours? Does he enjoy grocery shopping and preparing meals? If not, would he be willing

to “try out” a personal chef just once, or once a week, to prepare several meals that can be frozen until needed? If he does like to cook, or wants to learn, he and your mother could act as the “sous-chefs,” which could be a fun time for your parents to enjoy together. Is your father keeping up with financial chores? Ask him to consider hiring a daily money manager whom he could supervise, to help with billpaying and record keeping. It’s another way to free up his time that he could better spend with your mother and you. These small but helpful steps would allow him to “try on” the feeling of accepting assistance from a trusted helper and could make a bigger difference in the long run. Nancy Stein, Ph.D., is the founder of Seniority Matters (, a caregiver advisory and referral service in South Florida for seniors and their families. You can contact her at (c)2015, Seniority Matters Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

GMO Foods...what’s all the fuss about?

What started GMO in the first place? Genetically Modified Organisms were first seriously considered in the 1970’s when scientists realized they could take desirable gene traits from one organism and transplant them into another. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the first GMO food product was put on the market; Flavr-Savr tomatoes, developed in the early 1990s by Calgene, Inc. These tomatoes were engineered to suppress the polygalacturonase gene to delay how quickly they would soften after ripening.

By the turn of this century, however, GMO seeds for industrial crops of corn, soy and cotton (cottonseed oil is used in processed foods,) were on the increase. In particular, processed foods that include GMOs have become major commodities over the past dozen years. In 2011, 160 million hectacres of GM crops were grown, 90% of which was in the US, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Canada. That’s more than 10% of global crop land. Approximately 82% of cotton, 75% of soybeans, 32% of corn, and 26% of canola are genetically engineered.

Flavr Savr Tomatoes could be picked riper and kept longer than other varieties. However, to select the DNA that suppressed the polygalacturonase gene in the tomato, the researchers used a second gene that enables bacteria to be resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. Flavr Savr Tomatoes, then, expressed this bacterial kanamycin resistance gene. (For every positive there’s a negative, right?)

While much of the GM crops go to animal feed and fuel, GMOs have now become common in the pre-packaged, processed groceries that the Western hemisphere and India favor for a “quick, easy” meal. Estimates are that about 70% of processed food sold in the US and 60% of processed food sold in Canada contains genetically modified plants, most from GM soybeans and corn. Any food product that contains high fructose corn syrup has a 90% chance of containing GMOs.

In 1999 the Flavr-Savr Tomato was taken off the market after a UK scientist expressed concerns about the safety of GMO food. I’m sure you’re all aware of the antibiotic controversy that’s been going on in poultry and other meats – the animals have been pumped full of antibiotics from birth and so you then consume said antibiotics and become immune to their effectiveness. It’s estimated that thousands of human lives every year will be saved if all poultry and meat producers stop using antibiotics in their animals (and just look after them better instead!) We could be facing the same problem with the increased use of GMOs in food. The Flavr-Savr Tomato contained the gene that was resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin, so if you ate those tomatoes and then were admitted to hospital and needed antibiotics, kanamycin wouldn’t work for you – but by the time the Dr’s realize this it could be too late. You get the picture? There has only been one other GMO whole food since the tomato (so far); the Hawaiian Papaya, resistant to the ringspot virus that reduced Hawaii’s production by 40% in the 1990’s. They had a hard time exporting the GMO papayas however as by now most of the world was looking at GMO food with a wary eye.

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In contrast, only about 5% of processed foods on European supermarket shelves contain GMOs. (I’d never heard of high fructose corn syrup before coming to live in the USA.) So, what are the concerns and why is Europe so against GMO (and the U.S. not)? Well, one of the concerns is that the GM genes can migrate into other crops; they have been found to cross-pollinate and contaminate neighboring non-GMO crops and once they’re out in the wild they cannot be recalled. It’s like letting a virus loose. Also GMO crops tend to use more pesticides than non-GMO, which of course has huge effects both on the environment (remember the bees!) and ourselves. Did you know that unless you carefully wash

every single piece of fruit and vegetable that you eat, and wash it well, there will be levels of pesticides evident in your urine and in your bloodstream? Pesticides are toxic; do you really want to be eating them? The only people that will “assure” you of GMO safety are the people trying to sell it (like Monsanto). All other scientists are dubious because there has been no long term testing done, particularly on humans! Another issue here in the USA is labeling (we seem to keep coming back to that too, don’t we?!) In most of the developed world, including the entire EU, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, S. Korea, Russia and China have mandatory labeling of GMO foods. The USA does not. As usual the big companies (Monsanto, etc.) have been dragging it out in the courts for years all ready and will probably continue to do so for a long time yet. So until the people rise up and insist on being informed about what they are eating, the citizens

of the USA will remain in the dark. Visit to add your name to petition Congress for proper labeling of our food. Tracy Bhalla, Owner/ Manager of Cool Beans Restaurant, 115 Montgomery Street, P: 334.416.8447, or Trained as an architect! Worked as a teacher of product design and graphic design for 9 years in England and Bermuda. Always had a love of healthy, good-for-you food. Always cooking for friends and family. Married a cardiologist in 2007. We have a shared passion about eating healthily (and wine) and both love to cook, so when Cool Beans became available we jumped at it. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Local Author Shares Her Inspiration Two things I truly love are children and animals! I remember as a young girl, those children that were “bullied” on the playground, usually the same 1 or 2 offenders and it was handled swiftly and efficiently at school and again at home. Bullying didn’t last long or reach very wide.

years. I’ve seen how these thrownaway dogs and cats thrive when they are placed in a loving environment. We have 4 rescue dogs, 4 rescue cats, a bird and a huge foster goldfish. It was with my latest rescue that I got the idea for my book.

Frankie is a very large cat, nearly 35 pounds when his owners of 11 When my children years surrendered were growing up, I him to an animal watched in horror shelter in Mobile, Author, Elisabeth Gardner and Frankie the Cat as the bullies AL. Have a Heart (photo courtesy, Connie Collum Photography) became more Animal Rescue in hurtful and the punishment became less Birmingham wanted to save him, but frequent. The teachers would scold the needed someone to foster him until he bullies, separate them from the class and could get to a heathy enough weight to hug the hurt child. It usually didn’t go be adopted. I saw him, lying on his side any further than that. in a small cage and I agreed to drive to Mobile to get him Now, with my and foster him. grandchildren entering When I got there, school, the bullies they brought him are much bolder, the out to the lobby teachers aren’t allowed to me. He was to punish and can’t the biggest, most even hug the child that beautiful cat I is being picked on. had ever seen. I Oftentimes, the parents was amazed, not get in on it, taking to only at his size, social media to either but also at him brag on their child or calm demeanor… complain that anything Frankie knew was said against them. he was going Our hands are being home! The tied and the bullies are lobby was full of winning. people with their dogs, waiting For that reason, I to get their wanted to reach out to all children, rabies shots. While I was marveling at I wanted to stress that they are all the magnificence of this large, docile different, that they are all wonderful and creature, they were LAUGHING! I took that they are all worthy of being loved. him from the shelter volunteer and she said that people had been coming in all I’ve worked in animal rescue for many week to see him. They would stand at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

his cage and laugh at him, laugh because he had become so large that he couldn’t even get up to go to the litter box, laugh at him laying with his head in his food bowl to eat. When I got him home, my vet met me at the house to check him out. We started him on a diet and exercise program, made him a shallow litter box that he could climb in, moved his food bowl away from his bed so that he had to walk to it for 4 small meals a day. Have a Heart Rescue and I started him a facebook page after he started losing weight (Frankie the 30lb cat) to keep people apprised of his progress and to keep me on track and encouraged. The deal the rescue made with me was that if I could get him down to 25 pounds, I could officially adopt him. It took 1 year to the day and he became Frankie Gardner. He is now at 20 pounds and still dieting. I sat looking at all of my rescues one day and realized that if they were human, they would probably all be bullied. The overweight cat, the “freckled” Dalmatian, the small Chihuahua with the very big ears, the doxie mix that is neither black nor white, just a beautiful combination of both. It occurred to me that these animals, and animals that belong to friends, could tell an important story of how we are all different, how we should accept and cherish those differences and that bullying is NEVER ok! To purchase this book visit

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by Kerrie McLoughlin

The Good Grandparent Guide

The world of grandparenting can be tricky; just try to put yourself in their shoes for a minute. They have raised their kids already and think they did a pretty awesome job. Now their baby has had a baby and they don’t know how to act. All of a sudden their baby, who was brought up on junk food, public school, no seat belts and television and turned out perfectly, is telling them what to do around the grandkids (no sugar, “we are going to homeschool”, “take the booster seat” and no “screen time”).

Some grandparents turn passive aggressive and do the opposite of what they are asked; some just stop showing up. If you can find a happy medium, you are doing better than most. Check out some common issues parents have with grandparents. I’m talkin’ straight at you, grandparents! 1. Don’t start a tradition you can’t finish. You are the one who wanted to buy each grandchild a $50 Build-a-Bear workshop stuffed animal and started that tradition nice and early. I realize most people don’t go out and give birth to more than two children these days, but you’d better start padding your savings account, Mee-maw, because I have five kids currently and might have more! If you do something for one, you can bet the others are watching and are going to be bugging me about it constantly! I suggest starting cheaper traditions, like taking the kid out for an ice cream and to the dollar store every year for Valentine’s Day. 2. Don’t parent them; that’s my job. I expect you to spoil them! If I have said, “Go for it” then give them candy, let them go on a cartoon binge and by all

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means buy them the entire set of Harry Potter books! Likewise, though, if I ask you to not smoke, drink or watch Dexter around the kids, please respect that.

3. Bite your tongue. As Jen M.L. of the popular People I Want to Punch in the Throat blog says, “You had your chance to [mess] up a kid and now it’s my turn, so pipe down with all the unwanted advice.” Michele Pfeiffer, mom of one, offers, “Don’t be a helicopter grandparent. Let the parents make the same mistakes and learn from them. We all turned out fine.” Unless your grandchild is in serious danger, it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself. Share those thoughts instead with your friends at work or the community center. 4. Come to stuff! Show up! You don’t need an engraved invitation to a Little League baseball game; if I emailed you the schedule, I want you to come. If you don’t show up to any of the birthday parties because you are mad at me or too busy, that’s only hurting the relationship with your grandchild. Let’s talk it out. 5. Take it easy on the material junk. Most kids have tons of random junk they never play with. May I suggest a lovely family gift of a zoo membership next

Christmas? Or if you insist on dropping $50 on each birthday, how about a $10 gift and a $40 savings account donation? 6. Leave religion out of it. This is a loaded topic for grown adults, so don’t bring it up around your kids and grandkids. Your job is to love the grandkids and just get along and help out if like. Asking them in private why they don’t go to church is not acceptable. 7. Nothing stays the same. Jody Kwan Jones, mom of 3, says, “Grandparents need to remember that times have changed. They seem perfectly willing to accept the new technology that makes life easier, like nice cars, computers, fancy TVs, etc. Why then, are there endless repetitions of, ‘It was good enough for you as a baby, so it’s fine for your baby.’ Ummmm, no, I will NOT be giving my baby whiskey in a bottle to put him to sleep!” 8. Be supportive. If your grandchild is struggling with something in school or life, it’s not always your kid’s fault. Instead of blaming or saying your grandchild never acts that way around you, ask what you can do to help. Can you watch the other kids while your grandchild goes to therapy? Come over for a while to cook or just sit and read to your grandchild? Maybe your grandchild is struggling with science and you are a Chemical Engineer. Think help instead of snark. Kerrie McLoughlin’s 5 kids are very lucky to have 6 rockin’ grandparents who know how to strike the balance between smothering and neglect. More humor and fun at

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Montessori@Mulberry advertorial

The River Region’s Preferred Montessori Preschool M@M’s New Expanded Campus

Montessori @ Mulberry has added a new building to its Mulberry Campus. The building is a charming house, newly renovated, next to the current location and includes a classroom, a Montessori Resource Center and an additional playground. We have also expanded our classroom to the outdoors with “The Children’s Garden.” Our students now participate in all the phases of gardening: from germination, planting, caring for and harvesting an organic crop. According to Jackie Maloy, Executive Director, “The response to our unique educational approach has been very positive and we are excited to offer more opportunities for parents who appreciate the Montessori Education we specialize in.”

M@M Location

Elena Olson-Shimp and Milan Crittenden

Montessori@Mulberry is centrally located in Midtown Montgomery a few blocks from Jackson Hospital and Huntingdon College. Conveniently located just blocks from Interstate I-85.

The M@M Classroom

In the Montessori classroom, each child is encouraged to reach his or her full potential in all areas of life. The specific needs of individual children are met at each developmental level. The classroom contains many multisensory, sequential and self-correcting materials that facilitate learning. Concepts are presented concretely and students work with materials until Neah James they are ready to move to more abstract materials. Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen. All classrooms have multi-age groupings, which encourages a family-like atmosphere where learning can take place naturally. Our curriculum, which is challenging, interdisciplinary and real world related, provides a strong academic bridge to elementary school. Annalise Applegate

Why Choose Montessori @ Mulberry

Is it a coincidence that many of the mavericks on the leading edge of innovation and creativity in our culture are Montessori graduates? The founders of Google and along with T. Berry Brazelton, noted pediatrician, to Peter Drucker, the well known management guru, were all educated in the Montessori Classroom. As you research and think about how you want your child to begin his or her education, Montessori @ Mulberry should be at the top of your list. We offer certified Montessori teachers in each classroom and a quality environment designed for fostering the love of learning. As a parent, you want the “peace of mind” knowing your child will have the opportunity to learn and grow according to his or her ability. We invite you to call Jackie MaloySriram Madadi Watson at 265.7733 to schedule a tour and discover why Montessori @ Mulberry is the River Region’s preferred Montessori Preschool. Begin your child’s education for life with the skilled staff at Montessori @ Mulberry.

Offering Exceptional Educational Experiences for children 12 months through Kindergarten. Limited space available beginning January 5th, 2015

Call Jackie Maloy-Watson Today to Schedule Your Tour @ 334-265-7733 or Cell 334-462-0548 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

_ _ 2034 Clubview St.gioin Mulberry District R ive r Re n Bothe o m . co m July 2015 BOOM!


July 2015

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond



Old Alabama Town will be open from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, July 4th. Spend your holiday with us and let your family enjoy the fun of sprinklers, lemonade, and American history right in the heart of downtown Montgomery! Also, every Thursday during the summer enjoy Lemonade Thursdays at Lucas Tavern and tour for free! For more info visit

This Tony Award-winning musical centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach on their lives. Doors open at 6:00pm. Dinner served from 6:15–7:00pm. Show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15.00-Show Only; $25.00-Dinner & Show (Discounts for children and military available). Tickets can be purchased online or at The Box Office Monday-Friday 8 - 4 pm. For more information, call 334.386.7191 or visit

Cool Down Old Alabama Town Saturday, July 4th, 9-4 pm

PIKE ROAD, ALABAMA Celebrate Fourth of July Pike Road/The Waters Saturday, July 4th, 4:30 pm

Fiddler on the Roof Faulkner University Dinner Theatre July 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 6:15 pm

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN The Little Mermaid Alabama Shakespeare Festival July 8-26, 7:30-9:30 pm

Celebrate the fourth at The Waters for Summer Fest! Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the fun starts at 5:00! The evening will feature live music from The Joe Wright Band, the Pike Road Lions Club will be selling food, and of course the night wouldn’t be complete without a spectacular firework show! Bring the whole family and join in on the fun! For more information, 334.272.9883 or visit

Don’t miss Disney’s The Little Mermaid at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, July 8 - July 26, 2015. You know the story, you love the music – now see the magic brought to vivid life by the team that brought you Disney’s Mary Poppins! Features songs including Under the Sea, Part of Your World, Poor Unfortunate Souls and Kiss the Girl – a fantastic show for ages 5 to 105! Tickets are on sale now and range from $33-$63. For more information, call 334.271.5353 or visit



Picnic on the River Downtown Montgomery, Riverfront Park Saturday, July 4th, 5-10 pm Join the City of Montgomery & for a family picnic and 4th of July Celebration along the riverfront. Enjoy food vendors & kids inflatables. There will be activities for kids, a Rib Eating Competition with prizes, live music at the amphitheatre from the ‘Sweet Young’Uns’. Fireworks following the Biscuits baseball game. For more details call 334-625-2100 or visit

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July 2015

Family Fun Nights Eastdale Mall July 11, 18 & 25, Saturdays, 5-7pm

The Eastdale Mall Family Fun Night program is held on Saturday nights in the summer from 5-7 pm Each week, free activities and entertainment for families are featured in Centre Court. Families can also enjoy special discounts from mall retailers on Saturday evenings, including half-off carousel rides and free ice skating for children 10 and under at the Eastdale Mall Ice Palace. A new theme is featured each Saturday during Family Fun Night. Activities include everything from kid’s karaoke to arts and crafts. For more information call the Eastdale Mall Marketing office at 334.277.7380 or visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

PHENIX CITY, ALABAMA The 5th Dimension in Concert

The Phenix City Amphitheater, 508 Dillingham St., Phenix City, Al

Saturday, July 11th, 8 pm

As part of the 60 Years of Progress Weekend Celebration, The 5th Dimension will be performing at the Phenix City Amphitheater on the banks of the beautiful Chattahoochee River. They have performed worldwide for the past 40 years on some of the world’s most glamorous stages, including The White House! They have released over a dozen hit albums earning them 14 gold records, six platinum records, and six Grammy Awards. Some of their hits include Up, Up and Away, One Less Bell to Answer, Wedding Bell Blues, Stone Soul Picnic, Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep, Aquarius / Let the Sun Shine In, and many more! For more info visit, calendar tab.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Capitol City Shape Note Singers Old Alabama Town Thursday, July 16, 9-4 pm

On Thursday, July 16 from 9am to 4pm, come enjoy the centuries-old art of shape note singing! The Capitol City Shape Note Singers will return for their 29th annual singing event in the Loeb Reception Center at Old Alabama Town. This all-day event brings folks from around the state to sing together using the traditional art of shape notes. In 1801, shapes were added to music notations to help singers find pitch, and the tradition has been kept alive in the South for many years now. Swing by and hum a few bars or just sit back and enjoy the traditional musical stylings of the Shape Note Singers! Feel free to stop by and listen anytime throughout the day! Free admission. For more information, call 334-240-4500 or visit


River and Blues Music & Arts Festival Gold Star Park, Downtown Wetumpka Saturday, July 18, 12-10pm A little slice of New Orleans and its music in Wetumpka, Alabama. Come and join in the fun and bring the whole family. There will be vendors, food, activities for kids, and, of course, lots of music! From zydeco to blues to jazz and best of all, IT’S FREE!!! You’re sure to find something to dance to! Mark your calendar for July 19th! For more info visit The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Animal Enrichment Day The Montgomery Zoo Saturday, July 18, 10-2 pm

From zoo animals to our pets at home and even including us, we all need enrichment. A chance to smell a new scent. Taste a new favor. Play a new game or figure out a puzzle. Enrichment is an effort to tap into and stimulate our basic five senses: touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. The result is to stimulate behaviors resembling those for that species in the wild. It is a lot of trial and error, but it is always fun. For a schedule and more info visit


Explorations in Antiquity Center 130 Gordon Commercial Drive, LaGrange, Georgia Tuesday - Saturday in July, 10-6 pm The Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, Georgia helps people encounter the ancient biblical world through its history and culture. Through authentic archaeological replicas, Biblical meal presentations, daily life artifacts in the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery, lectures, and other personal experiences, ancient Middle Eastern life comes back to life today. Open Tuesday–Saturday—10 to 6 pm, closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, call 706.885.0363. or visit


EastChase Farmers Market Saturdays through August 29th, 7am-Noon “Over the past 11 years our market has changed the attitude of the customer in the River Region towards farmers markets,” said John Aplin, Market Manager. “We have built a relationship of trust and a reputation for a quality product. Our products sold at the market are ‘grower only’—that in itself reflects the whole integrity of The Shoppes at EastChase Farmers Market.” The Market includes 36 local vendors with festivities for the entire family. Shoppers will continue to find unique, local items such as organic meats and milk, goat cheese, natural bath products and handmade soaps, honey, fruit pastries, birdhouses and nursery plants. For more information on The Shoppes at EastChase or its Farmer’s Market, call 334.279.6046. Visit

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July 2015



A Beautiful Death Americans routinely say that they don’t want to spend their final days tethered to machines in a hospital, rather they would prefer to die at home, relieved of physical and mental pain, with less invasive treatments, surrounded by those they love. But that rarely happens. Most still die in costly medical facilities, often unable to communicate, in a futile attempt to prolong their lives. A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests the biggest reason for that disconnect appear to be the doctors who treat those patients. The physicians, the study suggests, have outsized influence in shaping how the patients spend their final days. For so many patients, no one has ever sat down with them and talked with them about hospice care, instead of being on a ventilator or in a nursing home. An advance directive is just not enough. The doctor or nurse practitioner should talk with the patient and family about the goals of care and the patient’s wishes and preferences, then put a plan of care in place to insure that those preferences will be honored. To reach their conclusion, Brigham researchers scoured the medical records of thousands of terminally ill cancer patients nationwide. Those whose physicians frequently refer patients to hospice are 27 percent more likely to spend their final days at home with supportive care and symptom management. Hospice care focuses on comfort and quality of life, treating pain and other symptoms, rather than a cure. The study also says that many patients enter hospice care too late. Researchers found that no other factor- not age, race, gender, or where patients lived played nearly as significant a role as doctors when it came to who enrolled in hospice care.

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July 2015

A common misconception regarding hospice is that hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do. The truth is that hospice is care designed for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice is not where you go to die, rather hospice professionals are trained to assist the patient in living their lives fully, completely, and without pain until the end of their lives. It is not giving up. Leaders of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization said they have long believed physicians play a vital role in helping patients understand hospice. “We here at Hospice of Montgomery hear often from families, especially after patients have died, ‘We wish we had known about hospice sooner,’ ” said Jenille Ball, Executive Director. “It’s not just a matter of access, but timely access for patients and families.” A recent Hospice of Montgomery family member said, “This was my first personal experience with hospice, and the care your team provided allowed me to see the reason to bring in hospice early instead of waiting until a week or two before the death. The psychological, medical, physical, and spiritual support hospice provides is invaluable in allowing the patient and family to work through the acceptance of death.” Conversations between physicians and patients about realistic expectations and end-of-life care need to happen before the last days or hours of life to fully take advantage of all that this team-based, patient and family-focused model of care can offer. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization points out that half of all hospice patients receive hospice care for less than 30 days. In most cases, if these patients had been under the care of a hospice program earlier, their pain and symptoms could have been brought under control for a much longer and sustained period of time.

Be sure to speak up and make sure your healthcare wishes are known. Everyone, including those who are healthy and in the prime of their life should think about and document their healthcare preferences before a crisis. Advance care planning starts with talking with loved ones, healthcare providers, and friends. These types of discussions can be difficult to initiate. By choosing to pursue hospice care, you are making an important decision to focus on quality of life. You and your loved ones will be a part of every decision, because hospice care is about fulfilling your goals and wishes. Many individuals leave these decisions to their physician. He or she may not always let you know when it is time for hospice. Often, family members and caregivers are the first to notice changes in a loved one with terminal illness. Let your doctor know about these changes so he or she can help you decide if hospice is right for you and your loved ones. Knowing your eligibility and deciding when to initiate hospice services is a personal decision and should be determined by you, your family, and your physician. YOU have a choice in the kind of care you receive. By understanding your wishes, Hospice of Montgomery will tailor care around what is important to you…living in comfort, while maintaining control and dignity For more information designed specifically to help individuals facing a serious illness and their loved ones gain resources and information, visit www. or simply call us at 334-279-6677.

Make a Difference Today, Make it Hospice of Montgomery!

Alabama’s First Hospice. Still Local. Still Non-Profit.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

July 2015



wic offers growing families: Healthy food nutrition education

Breastfeeding g support Healthcare referrals

alabama’s wic Program helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children stay healthy and eat right during times of important growth.

Nutrition Program

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July 2015

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

BOOM! July 2015  
BOOM! July 2015  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine