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Celebrating the

by

BJ Krug

Silver Years

There are several national celebrations for senior citizens in May—Older Americans Month, National Senior Health & Fitness Day, and National Nursing Home Week. However, for Kathy Grabeel, director of the Pulaski County Senior Center in the Dunbar Intergenerational Center, every day is an opportunity to improve the lives of seniors. Grabeel believes there are several advantages senior citizens have in this area. “Meals on Wheels, Senior Friends, Silver Sneakers, Rocky Hollow—there are a lot of things that are geared towards retirees.” Although the center has no plans to make a formal celebration of Older Americans Month, the monthly schedule is always filled with special events, ranging from having special guests in the healthcare field, to special meals, topics of special interest to seniors, special music, and more. Grabeel says, “We try to

Kathy Baltrip

22

do something everybody enjoys.” Of course, even the regular schedule has a number of great activities, including bingo and a daily lunch, as well as a television room and a computer station available for use for free. Health and fitness is also something the center takes very seriously. They have a monthly “sittercize” class, providing an opportunity for everyone to exercise safely, even those with limited abilities. Additionally, a number of the center’s regulars participate in Silver Sneakers, a program offered by the Somerset Family Fitness Center. However, Grabeel believes one of the most valuable aspects of health is provided simply by coming in to socialize with other people. “A lot of seniors get complacent, and we need to stay active both physically and mentally. Don’t isolate yourself in your house.” Kathy Balltrip, RN and director of the Alzheimer’s Day Center also located within the Dunbar Intergenerational Center, says considering long-term care is a major decision for everyone. She recommends people begin looking at a long-term care facility when caring for a loved one becomes overwhelming for the caregiver. “When the family member is so exhausted they cannot take care of their family member anymore. When that loved one gets to the point that their health is in danger as well, they need to be actively seeking additional help.” It can also be difficult to choose the right place, but with a little investigation, caregivers can be sure to make the right choice for their loved one. Balltrip says the precise qualities to look for vary, since it depends on the diagnosis. For example, for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, Balltrip suggests, “go and see what kind of program that facility offers for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. They need very specific stimulation because of their prognosis, so ask very specific questions about what they offer in the form of stimulation.” Thanks to the administration of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, every county in the area Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal

Southern Kentucky Health and Family, May 2013  

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is a publication of and is distributed by Newspaper Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of...

Southern Kentucky Health and Family, May 2013  

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is a publication of and is distributed by Newspaper Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of...

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