July 2023

Page 1

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How old is too old?

Seniors weigh in on age of presidential canidates

How does a senior voter view a senior candidate running for president of the United States?

It depends.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan sought a second term at age 73. He captured the older voters. In 1996, presidential candidate Sen. Robert Dole, 73, lost the 60-and-over voter group.

President Joe Biden, 80, and former President Donald Trump, 77, are leading contenders in the 2024 race for a presidential term that would end in January 2029.

“Bugs me sometimes when people talk like anybody over 65 is elderly,” said Ruby Tobey, 86, Wichita.

“I feel like I’m doing

good and have a lot of time ahead of me,” said Tobey, an artist. “I would think he could do a good job,” she said of a candidate in his 80s. She is hesitant, though, because of the toll the presidency could take on health.

“It’s not like someone like me who can work hard and rest awhile.”

“When people get to that age, some folks are really sharp and some, not so much,” said Harvey County Commissioner Don Schroeder, 72.

Sherry Phillips: 80 is an "arbitrary number."

“If someone’s really sharp and think they have the energy to do it, I really don’t have an issue with it. The thing is sometimes the energy goes down, and four years can make a big difference in how they are physically,” Schroeder said. “My only caveat to that would be I would hope they would understand that if they decline physically and mentally, then they would give up that office.”

Odean Moore, 88, of Wichita, worked for the federal government and then gave care to others. She didn’t fully retire until her late 70s. Her advice to a candidate at or near

See Age, page 7


Sculptor specializes in art people can touch

The Active Age NORTH NEWTON—Sculptor

Conrad Snider doesn’t mean to sound rude, but if people want to hire him to make pieces to their exact specifications, he has a customary response.

“I usually tell them they need to take a ceramics class and make it for themselves,” he said. “I don’t have enough time left in my life to make things that I don’t have a personal connection to.”

Sweet honored by med school

Dr. Donna Sweet is known for a number of things: training hundreds of physicians as a faculty member at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, pioneering care of AIDS/HIV patients in Kansas and serving at the highest level of national medical organizations.

Then there's the leg wrestling party she hosts for medical residents each winter.

“It’s a traditional Christmas party

to help preserve wildlife and leg wrestling,” she explained. “We give trophies. People are very proud of their leg wrestling trophies. There are a lot of physicians around town who have them.”

With contributions from many of those physicians, KU Wichita this year established an honorary award for medical students and residents named

See Sweet, page 20

Part of the North Newton resident’s interest in sculpting is the ideas behind his work and where they come from. It’s not following someone else’s plan.

However, he’s done a lot of public art projects, such as a recent installation for a sculpture tour in Salina, and he’ll work with communities to determine what’s unique about them or a particular building and have a back-and-forth

See Sculptor, page 6

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Photo by Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle Before firing this as yet unnamed piece, sculptor Conrad Snider plans to install a bigger doorway to his kiln. Drs. Donna Sweet, left, and Jennifer Jackson during graduation ceremony last month.
www.theactiveage.com A digital version of The Active Age is now available. To get it, contact joe@theactiveage.com. Page 2 the active age July 2023

Kansas African American Museum to double in size in new home

The Kansas African American Museum has achieved much in its current location, the historic former Calvary Baptist Church on North Water Street. The building sits in what once was the heart of Wichita’s black community — four blocks between Main and Waco where many early African American residents owned businesses, attended church and made their homes. Slated for demolition when Calvary moved, it instead became TKAAM in 1997 thanks to the efforts of Doris Kerr Larkins and others.

However, museum leaders realized years ago that the building suffers from limited visibility, accessibility, parking and other problems. Its nearest neighbor is the Sedgwick County Jail.

Now, the museum is edging closer to realizing a new home: the former Sunflower Bank building at 201 N. Main St. While still engaged in a $6 million capital fundraising campaign, the museum hopes to begin renovating the building later this year or early in 2024.

The new location will provide 22,000 square feet of space — double the current amount — allowing the

museum to expand educational and cultural programming, serve more visitors in person and online and better protect the museum’s collection of art, photographs and other items. Plans include:

First floor: The main exhibition gallery and Trailblazer Hall of Fame, connected by digital technology to an innovation laboratory on the third floor.

Mezzanine: A smaller exhibition gallery and three exhibit salons, also connected to the innovation laboratory.

Third floor: Innovation laboratory, cultural center and administrative


Basement: Heat- and moisturecontrolled environmental vault for protection of the museum’s collection, plus curative and preparation


The Sunflower Bank building was designed some 50 years ago by the firm of Shaeffer, Johnson, Cox and Fry, which contributed consulting services related to the museum’s acquisition of the structure. Carmen Moravec, an architect with that firm, is a member of the museum’s board of directors.

Over the years, some thought had been given to moving the museum to Kansas City or Topeka. The museum board felt it important to keep it in downtown Wichita, where it will continue to tell the story of the African American experience in Kansas for many years to come.

Ted D. Ayres is chair of the development committee of The Kansas African American Museum. He can be reached at tedayres47@gmail.com

An artist's rendition of the future Kansas African American Museum.
July 2023 the active age Page 3


I increased

the value of my donation to The Active Age

Guest Column

Many major companies match donations their employees and retirees make to approved organizations. As a Boeing retiree, I take advantage of that company’s gift-matching program to help The Active Age and other nonprofits that I want to support.

For Boeing retirees, the company matches 50 cents on the dollar donations made to approved organizations, up to $3,000 a year (active employees have their donations matched dollar for dollar).

The process is not difficult.

Boeing’s gift-matching program is administered by a third party at boeing.yourcause.com. To log onto that website, retirees and employees must use their Boeing (BEMS) ID as their username and then create a unique password. Questions pertaining to the process can be answered by calling YourCause at 1-866-751-6031. Retirees can also email volunteer@ exchange.boeing.com for help.

These major Wichita employers also offer gift-matching programs Cargill, Koch Industries, Textron Aviation, Lear Corporation and Johnson Controls.

There may be others that I am not aware of. If your current or former

employee is not one listed above, it should not be difficult to find out if they participate in a gift-matching program.

The Active Age depends on reader donations for about 20 percent of its budget. Without those donations, it could not produce and distribute a free monthly newspaper to some 57,000 older Wichita area residents.

Just think what would happen if every reader who is eligible for a giftmatching program took advantage of it. I first started doing so three years ago. I hope more readers of The Active Age will consider this simple way of increasing their support.

Paul Inman is a retired Army officer and former employee of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems.

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Benton Golden Agers

Music Theatre drawing winners announced

Readers of The Active Age obviously love their music theatre. We received 179 entries for our drawing for tickets to Music Theatre Wichita

shows, plus one that arrived after the contest deadline. The winners of the tickets and the shows they will attend are Mike Kreiter and Marie Jones ,


“Red, White and Broadway”; Jasmine Murphree and Lkoretta Miller, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”;Verla Allen and Jim Phillips, “Ragtime”; and

Patricia Lancaster and Edgar Harms, “Cats.”

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered!

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From Page 1

exchange of ideas. Other public pieces by Snider include “Concentricity” (2018) outside the Wichita Advance Learning Library, “Opening Move” (2016) at the University of Kansas’ School of Business and Capital Federal Hall and three works for Dyck Arboretum in Salina.

Snider grew up painting and drawing in Newton. In college, when he thought he wanted to be an architect, he discovered his passion for sculpting — even though it’s “a lot of hot, heavy, dirty, hard work.”

Pace and patience

In addition to getting a ceramics and bachelor of fine arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, Snider did a five-year apprenticeship with large-scale Japanese ceramics sculptor Jun Kaneko, spending time in his Omaha studio and traveling the world with him.

Snider said he learned patience and pace, in part from the sculptor and in part from the clay.

“It kind of has its pace, and you have to follow its pace. You have to develop some patience to work with it.”

If you fire a piece too fast, the

water in it turns to steam, and Snider said, “It will make the piece blow up.”

Snider often starts with sketches before working with clay, and then the clay almost guides him.

“Many times, the final piece doesn’t look like the sketch, but it’s a part of the process,” he said. “You’ve kind of always got ideas that are changing and then coming together. It happens a little bit more in a fluid way.”

In some ways, the medium is simple, Snider said.

“If you’ve ever dug a hole in your backyard, you’ve worked with clay. That is the beauty of it.”

At the same time, he said it’s incredibly technical, especially for larger pieces, which are his primary focus.

Unlike a small ceramic piece that someone can hold in his hands and turn to examine, a larger piece forces its viewer to walk around it to see it in its entirety, which Snider said changes the relationship.

“We’re no longer dominant in the relationship with that object.”

He said he wants his pieces to be available on different levels, and he wants people to interact with them.

“I always encourage people to . . touch things,” Snider said. “That’s one of the things that I like about public


It’s also something he said he has to think about that while sculpting.

“Clay is something that should be outside,” he said. “Out where people can be around it and live with it.”

‘Always the risk’

At 61, Snider may be approaching retirement age, but as an independent artist, he said, “I won’t ever be able to afford to retire . . . and I don’t know what I’d retire to.”

His career happens to be his hobby.

Clay’s longevity appeals to Snider, who said Romans installed in-ground clay pipes 2,000 years ago that are still working.

“Having that go on beyond me and be a part of the world is something that draws me to it,” he said. “These things will be around as a record of our society.”

Snider owned a company that designed and manufactured claymaking machines before selling it a couple years ago. He has a studio in a former feed mill in downtown Newton.

Snider and his wife, Wichita attorney Diane Sorensen, live in North Newton on four acres with their cats and chickens.

Though he wouldn’t necessarily recommend the sculpting career path for others, Snider said he wouldn’t trade it for himself.

He likes “the independence of it and the freedom of it.”

Snider said the definition of success is different for different artists.

“You have to define success for yourself,” he said. “When I take my last breath, I want to have lived an interesting life.”

Find this month's Savvy Senior column at theactiveage.com Page 6 the active age July 2023
"Concentricity" by Conrad Snider sits outside the Wichita Advanced Learning Library.


From Page 1

80: Retire and enjoy old age.

“I’m not saying it would be impossible to be president when you’re in your 80s, but I think it would be quite a challenge,” said Wichitan Myron Frick, 79, who still does vehicle body shop work.

“I think after people get older, they don’t heal as well after they get sick or they have health problems. I don’t think they think as clearly or as quickly as younger people,” Frick said.

“The arbitrary number of 80 is just that,” said Sherry Phillips, 80, of Wichita. “I worry about people discarding a very capable individual because of their age. That’s ageism, and we fought a lot for our rights to be able to continue to work.”

Phillips noted that U.S. Supreme Court justices don’t have an age limit — the oldest on the bench was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., retiring at 90 — and that some younger officeholders aren’t qualified to serve. She mentioned 34-year-old U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York, who recently pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering.

Phillips thinks President Biden has done well, but she hopes neither Biden nor Trump will run in 2024.

Wichitan Paul Wilcoxen, 83, said it can’t be predicted when a mind is going to slip. A candidate at 80 can have a sharp mind, but that can change in a matter of weeks or months, Wilcoxen said, and it’s more likely to happen to people in their 70s and 80s than in their 50s and 60s, he said.

“I feel like someone around 80, if their mind is good, they’re OK, but I think probably somebody around that age in politics should have to be tested probably yearly to make sure their mind isn’t starting to go,” said Wilcoxen, who had a career in construction.

To Wilcoxen, it’s obvious that Biden’s mental abilities have faded, and he wonders which non-elected personnel in his administration are making decisions. He calls it “kind of upsetting” that there are people running the country who didn’t get elected.

“Trump’s mind’s good now, but when will his mind slip? I don’t know. But the older we get, the greater the chance it’s going to happen,” Wilcoxen said.

Ada Soyez, 76 and a retired nurse in El Dorado, thinks being over 80 is too old for the presidency.

“I think it needs to be a younger person, but yet we need to have one that has lots of experience,” Soyez said, specifying the experience of having served in the military.

“I think 80 needs to be a cutoff line, definitely,” Soyez said.

David “Chester” Chesmore, 84, of Derby, was an aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Air Force, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with a candidate running for president in his 80s.

“Do a good job, that’s the main thing,” Chesmore said. He elaborated on the qualities desired: Be honest with people, be very truthful, and try to get along with other people.

Wichitan Bonnie Krenning worked in nursing and management,.

July quiz: Find these fictional places

A. "Anne of Green Gables"

B. "Pride and Prejudice"

C. "All Creatures Great and Small"

D. "A Song of Fire and Ice"

E. "Gone with the Wind"

F. "Batman"

G. "A Prairie Home Companion"

H. "Lost Horizon"

I. "Winnie the Pooh"

J. "Gulliver’s Travels"

K. "Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

L. "Peter Pan"

M. "The Hobbit"

N. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s


O. "The Wizard of Oz"

She retired at 79 and is now 92.

“I think most of it depends on their health,” Krenning said. “If they are well and everything, they can be just as effective at that age as someone younger,” she said. A candidate’s health habits have to be weighed, too, she said.

Elma Broadfoot was mayor of Wichita from 1993 through mid-1995. She’ll be 80 in August.

“Our society, I believe, has pretty much told us or led us to believe that people beyond a certain age kind of lose the ability to function properly and particularly from a thinking standpoint.”

She thinks she can still problemsolve and bring reason and logic to her view of things.

“There may be people 80 or older, certainly younger, who don’t have the abilities to function, in this case, as president of the United States,” she said. She said she’s seen Biden’s missteps — physically and in speech but overall she thinks he has had “a very effective presidency.” A couple of his opponents don’t function quite as well, particularly morally, Broadfoot said.

In the 2020 presidential election, ocer 20 percent of ballots were cast by voters age 65 or older.

The general wisdom from political scientists looking at older voters is that they don’t constitute a bloc, according

to David Ekerdt, professor emeritus of sociology and gerontology at the University of Kansas.

“You’d think they would, but they don’t,” Ekerdt wrote in an email.

Like voters at other ages, their votes are more likely to be based on things like political preference, gender, income, and urban/rural background.

"They just don't vote only as 60-, 70- or 80-year-olds," Ekerdt said. Contact Mary Clarkin at mary.e.clarkin@gmail.com.

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Match the fictional place with the work which made it famous. The answers appear below.
1. E 2. J 3. L 4. N 5. A 6. M 7. B 8. O 9. C 10. D 11. F 12. G 13. H 14. I 15. K
Answers July 2023 the active age Page 7
1. Tara 2. Lilliput 3. Neverland 4. Hogwarts 5. Avonlea 6. The Shire
Pemberley 8. The Emerald City
King’s Landing
Gotham City
Lake Wobegon
The 100 Acre Wood McDougal’s Cave

Dole’s age hurt him with voters in '96, some believe

In 1996, former Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas, 73, challenged a White House incumbent young enough to be his son, President Bill Clinton, then 50.

Don’t raise the age issue yourself, Dole was advised in a debate memo, according to campaign papers in the archives and special collections at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

A debate briefing book offered a potential answer if Dole was asked if he was too old to be President:

“No. Was Winston Churchill too told to be Prime Minister of England? Was Charles DeGualle too old to be President of France: Was Ronald Reagan too old to be President? Is

Nelson Mandela too old to lead South Africa? All of these men served their countries well into their late 70s - and beyond in some cases,” the potential response began.

A briefing book suggested Dole could go on the offensive, asking Clinton why hadn’t he released his extensive health records, and noting a report that showed Dole had better weight, cholesterol and blood pressure numbers than Clinton.

At a town hall debate in October 1996 in San Diego, a university student asked Dole “about the controversy” surrounding his age. “How do you feel you can respond to young voices of America today and tomorrow?” she asked.

“Well, I think age is very — you

know, wisdom comes from age, experience and intelligence. And if you have some of each — and I have some age, some experience and some intelligence — that adds up to wisdom. I think it also is a strength. It’s an advantage,” said Dole, soon segueing to his economic plan.

“I can only tell you that I don’t think Sen. Dole is too old to be president. It’s the age of his ideas that I question,” Clinton responded, shifting to college student aid.

Dole addressed his age in his acceptance speech at the Republican nominating convention.

“Now I know that in some quarters I may not — may be expected to run from this, the truth of this, but I was born in 1923, and facts are better than dreams and good presidents and good candidates don’t run from the truth.”

A study two years after the 1996 election chastised the media for not

taking a deeper look into Dole’s health and the risks of electing someone in their 70s, when the chance of stroke, dementia, or other health setback is higher.


Herbert L. Abrams and Richard Brody referred to polls during the election that showed “the older the voter, the more likely he was to believe that Dole’s age would be an obstacle.”

“Older Americans,” the study said, “did indeed project on Dole their own experience with health and the problems of aging.”

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Page 8 the active age July 2023
Former Sen. Bob Dole, who died in 2021, at the time of his 1996 presidential campaign.

July Theatre

Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Hansel & Gretel, presented by the Once Upon a Time Summer Series, July 13-15, 10 am and 12 pm daily. Tickets can be purchased through the Wichita Children’s Theatre & Dance Center, starting at $9, 316-262-2282

Kechi Playhouse, 100 E. Kechi Road, Flaming Idiots. A comedy about two former postal workers trying to open a restaurant. 8 pm Fri–Sat, 2:30 pm Sun,

July 7-30. Reserve space or just walk in! Tickets $15-16. 316-744-2152

Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley. No Weddings & A Funeral, by Tom Frye. The lives of sisters Thelma & Louise change instantly when they learn they have inherited 500 acres of prime property in Derby from their late uncle. Musical comedy revue follows: Superstar Search ’77. Dinner 6:15 pm, show begins 7:50 pm. NowJuly 8. Tickets, dinner & show $35-39; Show only $25-29. 316-263-0222

Fresh Prince of Bel Plaine by Carol Hughes, followed by a new musical comedy revue. Dinner 6:15 pm,

show begins 7:50 pm. July 21-Sept 2. Tickets, dinner & show $35-39; Show only $25-29. 316-263-0222

Music Theatre Wichita, Capital Federal Amphitheater. 2023 Red, White and Broadway. Back by popular demand, but with all-new material, this outdoor production features Broadway tunes, patriotic songs and fireworks. July 1-4. Tickets, call 316-265-3107

Roxy’s Downtown, 412 E. Douglas, cabaret-style theatre, La Cage aux Folles. After 20 years of partnered bliss, Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better or worse, get a bit of both when Georges’ son announces his

impending marriage to the daughter of a bigoted politician. 8pm Fri-Sat, 2pm Sun, July 6-28. Tickets $20-$30. 316-265-4400

Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain. Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling and directed by John DaltonWhite. The action is set in Truvy’s beauty salon where the outspoken owner dispenses shampoos and free advice. 8 pm Th-Sat and 2 pm Sun, July 27-Aug 6. Tickets $15 or $13 for military/seniors/students. Opening night ticket $11, July 27 only. 316-6861282

Contact Diana Morton at dianamorton12@sbcglobal.net

July 2023 the active age Page 9

AWOL flyboy given plenty to chew on after capture

I began my four years in the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 1, 1950. I was assigned to a supply room at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base.

Lackland was the largest air force base in the world at the time. It trained all of the airmen who joined. Additional bases were opened later when Lackland was overwhelmed with new trainees.

With some 4,000 of them assigned to our squadron most of the time, some of them were bound to get homesick and go AWOL.

Often these folks were from California, New York or some other place far from Texas. They usually would be caught by military or civilian police and jailed until someone from

our squadron was sent to bring them “home.”

This TDY (temporary duty) was usually for two lucky guys who would travel by plane or train to pick up the fugitive. This was popular duty because they would get to stay at a nice hotel and wouldn’t be working for several days. And, two guys could easily handle one runaway.

So, I was elated when I got orders assigning me to TDY. Then I looked more closely. It was to pick up an AWOL trainee in Corpus Christi — about 130 miles away — by myself.

There would be no train ride, nor would I fly with a companion to California or New York. I would bounce along by bus to the Naval Air Station near Corpus, hand my papers to the Marine guards at the brig and pick up a young trainee who happened to stand about a foot taller than me.

I showed my papers to the Marine sergeant at the gate and he yelled at a corporal: “Go get the flyboy.’’ The Marine police aren’t known for mollycoddling prisoners, particularly flyboy prisoners. So, our trainee was required to run in place while he waited to be turned over to me.

I had reluctantly checked out a .45-calibre pistol and handcuffs at Lackland’s Military Police headquarters before boarding the bus.

I had fired a .45 only once at the firing range earlier and hoped never to fire one again.

Before heading back to San Antonio, I took my prisoner to a diner for a hamburger. He protested because Corpus Christi was his home town and he didn’t want to risk running into a friend and having to explain the short guy with a .45 strapped on.

I told him not to worry. “If one of your friends shows up,” I said, “I’ll just shoot you.”

He smiled a little, and so did I.

I was more than happy to turn him over to the Air Force police back in San Antonio along with the .45 and cuffs.

Contact Ted at tblankenship218@ gmail.com.

Page 10 the active age July 2023

July Briefs Three-day Derby book sale

AARP safe driving classes

Several AARP Drive Safety classes have been added to the upcoming schedule. Participants must pre-register with the locations.

The dates and locations are: July 19, Mulvane Senior Center, (316) 777-4813; July 21, Clearwater Senior Center, 316) 584-2332; Aug. 10, Downtown Senior Center, (316) 2670197; Sept. 7, Park City Senior Center, (316) 744-1199; and Sept. 20, Derby Senior Center, (316) 788-0223.

The cost is $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-members. For more information, call Tom Gibson at (316) 641-3021.

DERBY — Derby Friends of the Library are holding a book this month. The members preview is from 6:30-8 p.m. July 21. The public sale is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 22 and from 1-4 p.m. July 23. The library is located at 1600 E. Walnut Grove.

Senior series

Money and aging are the topics of this month’s free Empowered Seniors series at Botanica. “The Nest Egg Talk: The Truth About Spending & Protecting Money” is from 10-11:30 a.m. July 13.

Oaklawn events

The Oaklawn Senior Center has several events planned for this month, including Ice Cream Day from 1-2 p.m. July 14; a breakfast burrito fundraiser for $6 a plate from 8-10

a.m. July 15; and community bingo with a $20 grand prize at 1:45 p.m. July 20. The center is located at 2937 E. Oaklawn Dr.

July 4th celebration

Wichita’s “Red, White & Boom” event kicks off at 6 p.m. July 4 with food trucks set up along the Hyatt Regency lawn. Fireworks will start about 9:40 p.m. People can watch from the lawn or from inside Riverfront Stadium. There is no charge.

Transportation survey

The Wichita Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking community input as it launches the planning process for its longrange Metropolitan Transportation Plan, called WAMPO MTP 2050. According to a news release, the goal of this plan is to look at priorities

for transportation improvements throughout the Wichita metro region. To take WAMPO’s survey, visit www.wampo.org/mtp2050


A photograph in last month’s issue was incorrectly identified as Ernie Logan. Here is his photograph.

July 2023 the active age Page 11

Long-Term Care & Hospice

Page 12 the active age July 2023

Cut your Medicare prescription drug costs with ‘Extra Help’

There is some good news that may help you cut prescription drug costs. Thanks to a new prescription drug program that’s part of the Inflation Reduction Act, next year people with Medicare may qualify for additional savings through Medicare’s Extra Help program. This program helps people who are eligible pay their Medicare drug coverage (Part D) costs such as premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and other costs. In 2024, the program will expand and more people may qualify. You may already qualify.

In 2024, everyone who qualifies for Extra Help will pay:

• $0 for your Medicare drug plan premium.

• $0 for your plan deductible.

• A reduced amount for both generic and brand-name drugs.

If you get any level of Extra Help now, and meet the qualifications for next year, you’ll get these cost savings automatically — you don’t need to reapply.

To qualify:

• Your annual income must be

below $21,870 for an individual, or $29,580 for a married couple in 2023.

• Your resources must be below $16,600 for an individual, or $33,240 for a married couple in 2023. Resources include money in a checking, savings, or retirement account, stocks, and bonds. Resources don’t include your home, one car, burial plots, up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you’ve put that money aside, furniture, and other household and personal items.

These limits can change each year. Even if you don’t qualify for Extra Help now, you can reapply for Extra Help any time, if your income and resources change.

How do I apply for Extra Help?

Some people qualify automatically, but if you don’t, it’s easy to apply for Extra Help. Applications can be submitted online or by calling Social Security:

• Visit Social Security online at ssa.gov/extrahelp.

• Call Social Security at 1-800772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800325-0778.

After you apply, the Social Security Administration will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare drug plan. If you qualify for Extra Help and don’t select a plan, Medicare will select a plan for you. If you feel like you need some assistance or would like to talk to someone locally about Extra Help, contact Central Plains Area Agency on Aging at 855200-2372 and our knowledgeable staff can provide information and guidance. Where can I get more information?

• Visit Social Security at ssa. gov/extrahelp or call 1-800-7721213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) if you have questions about the Extra Help program or need help filling out the application.

• Visit Medicare.gov/extrahelp or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-6334227) to learn about Medicare drug plans, Extra Help, and other ways to lower your prescription drug costs. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

Geriatric behavioral services hospital opens

Corterra of Wichita has completed its new behavioral services hospital for geriatric patients and older adults and was expected to open it in June. Located at 7447 W. Village Circle in the North Ridge Pointe development at K-96 and Ridge Rd., the $10 facility is designed for the treatment of older adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis, often related to an underlying cognitive disorder. The 21,000-square-foot hospital includes 24 private rooms, a secured courtyard, plus therapy, dining, observation, and exam rooms. It is expected to care for approximately 400 to 500 older adults annually and attract patients from across Kansas.

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July 2023 the active age Page 13

Go native for a better planting option

When it comes to dealing with droughts in garden beds, Connie Fletcher echoes the advice of Kansas planting experts and other gardeners.

“You want to go more for your native plants because they’re used to the weather here,” said Fletcher, whose home in Valley Center was part of the June garden tour organized annually by the Sedgwick County Extension Office. Her garden was included because it features several plants the extension office called “water-wise plants.”

Fletcher’s watering practice for what she calls her butterfly garden — it’s filled with native plants that attract the butterflies — bears out that description. With a sprinkler system, she waters that area three times a week for three minutes each time. Among the native plants in her yard are bee balm, coneflowers, liatris, Joe Pye weed, daisies and red sage.

Using native plants allows gardeners not only to save water but also money and time because many native plants are perennials, don’t require fertilizer and often create transplants that can fill in other garden spaces. With this type of ecogardening, gardeners also provide food and shelter to pollinators and wildlife.

It’s not just backyard gardeners who are helping in that effort.

Last year, the Valley Center Public Library opened a native plants pollinator garden just north of the facility. Volunteers planted milkweed, asters and more using a landscape design created by Scott Vogt, the executive director of Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, a 13-acre botanical garden that holds a spring and fall “FloraKansas” sale of native plants.

In Wichita, when members of the First Unitarian Universal Church opened their new building at 7202 E. 21st St. N. in 2008, they created garden beds on either side of the church’s north-side entrance that feature native plants. A more recent garden bed to the east and south sides of the building holds many of the same plants.

Several of the plants in the newer garden were transplants of seedlings from the original garden. Some volunteers who maintain the garden, like Linda Jordan, bring transplants from their home gardens.

On a recent Saturday morning, Jordan and a few other volunteer gardeners pointed out the native plants in the church’s gardens: purple coneflower (also known as echinacea), milkweed, asters, phlox, Russian sage,

salvia and more. The gardens also have other flowering plants, like daylilies.

“Wait, I’ll get a trowel to dig a proper hole,” Vivien Minshull-Ford said to Marcia Ellsworth, who had brought a penstemon plant that would help fill a gap between plants near the entrance door.

The church’s gardens were officially declared a Monarch Watch waystation in 2020. Ellsworth helped apply for the certification after reading an article about the important role many of the plants play in creating a natural habitat for monarchs and other pollinators. Monarch Watch is a native Kansas program itself; it was founded in 1992 by University of Kansas professor Orley “Chip” Taylor to promote the monarch butterfly and its habitat in North America and help with the insects’ fall migration.

Native plants can handle whatever weather conditions the Kansas climate throws at them.

They have extensive root systems that help them survive those conditions, including prolonged periods of drought, said Vogt of Dyck Arboretum.

“An example of that would be back in 2011, 2012, when we had those extended periods of 100-degree days even in the fall, we saw native plants

blooming in our prairie whereas a lot of other plants were just kind of hanging on,” Vogt said.

Dyck Arboretum, which has an extensive native plant guide that it publishes on its website (dyckarboretum.org) in its FloraKansas event section, defines native as species of “plants that are found in Kansas and its bordering states before European settlement, as well the varieties and cultivars that remain close to the original form and function.” Red and yellow coneflower plants, for example, are cultivars, while purple coneflower is considered more native. Dyck’s native plant guide also lists trees and shrubs.

By allowing the native plants to overwinter, gardeners are also providing habitat and food. For example, finches particularly like eating coneflower seeds during the winter.

Gardeners who want to go native can start doing prep work now for a fall planting, particularly if they are converting a patch of ground filled with grass or weeds, said Vogt. Getting weeds under control before planting is recommended.

Invasive bindweed and Bermuda grass, in particular, need to be removed because their root system is like native plants, “and they will out-compete the native plants,” said Vogt. The best way to get rid of those weeds is to use a chemical spray like Roundup, Vogt said. Some gardeners who resist chemicals often choose to smother the weeds with layers of cardboard and mulch and then slice through the cardboard when planting.

Both Vogt and Fletcher recommend that gardeners get familiar with their site, observing when the area gets sun or shade and for how long, and if it’s exposed to or sheltered from the wind. Then match up the plants that can survive best in those conditions.

Also, familiarize yourself with the bloom times for flowering plants to ensure you get a succession of colors from spring through fall.

Sometimes, it can take up to three years for a native plant to finally take off, so patience is needed, Vogt said.

Contact Amy Geiszler-Jones at algj64@sbcglobal.net

Page 14 the active age July 2023
Volunteers maintaining the native plant garden at Wichita’s First Unitarian Church include, left to right, Marcia Ellsworth, Vivian Minshull-Ford, Linda Jordan and Bruce Roby.

Enter contest to win Wind Surge tickets

The Active Age and Wichita Wind Surge are giving away 25 pairs of tickets to Wind Surge games at Riverfront Stadium. They can be used for any home game during the regular season, which ends Sept. 17.

To enter our drawing for the tickets, please visit our webiste,

theactiveage.com, and fill out the entry form there. You can also mail your entry to The Active Age, 125 S. West St., Suite 105, Wichita, KS, 67213. Please include a telephone number and/or email address.

Entries must be received or postmarked by July 10. We will hold a drawing and notify winners after that.

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(3 blocks N of Lincoln between Hillside & Oliver) By Appointment Only • 316-260-9608

for an
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July 2023 the active age Page 15

Donate for chance to win Botanica family membership

Donate at least $50 to The Active Age, and you could win a family membership to Botanica.

The Active Age will hold a drawing for a family membership each month for the next six months from among people on our “Honor Roll” list of donors. This month's winner is

Dennis Degenhardt. Donations may be made by calling 316-942-5385; through our website, theactiveage.com; by mail to The Active Age, 125 S. West St., Suite 105, Wichita, KS, 67213; or in person at the same address.

www.theactiveage.com PREMIER SENIOR LIVING Daily Homestyle Meals • Housekeeping & Laundry Service Scheduled Transportation • Medication Management Specialized Programs & Activities • 24-Hour Care Sta Pet Friendly • Complimentary Concierge Pack & Move Service Find your pl ac e. 721 West 21st Street • Andover, KS 67002 AndoverCourtRetirement.com Call to316.733.2662 unitreserveyour today. NOW HIRING Full or Part-time CMAs, CNAs & Cooks WILLS | TRUSTS & PROBATE | POWERS OF ATTORNEY CONSERVATORSHIPS | GUARDIANSHIPS Janet Huck Ward 316-262-2671 | MORRISLAING.COM 300 N. MEAD, SUITE 200 • WICHITA, KS 67202 N o w H i r i n g Full- Time & Part-Time C M A ' s , C N A s , C o o k s 316-733-2662 7 2 1 W e s t 2 1 s t S t . A n d o v e r , K S 6 7 0 0 2
Page 16 the active age July 2023

NOTE:The Active Age is printing regularly scheduled senior center activities as space permits. Please email Joe at joe@theactiveage.com to have your center’s activities listed.

SedgwiCk County Senior CenterS Calendar of eventS


7651 E Central Park Ave

744-2700, ext 304



504 W Sterling, 796-0027


516 Main, 542-3721


921 E Janet, 584-2332


611 N Mulberry Rd, 788-0223



200 S Walnut, 267-0197


5815 E 9th, 688-9392

GARDEN PLAIN 1006 N Main, 535-1155



120 N Main, 794-2441


160 E Karla, 529-5903


Kechi City Building, 744-0217, 744-1271


841 W 21st, 267-1700


1901 S Kansas, 263-3703



1329 E 16th, 337-9222


105 S Ohio, 667-8956


632 E Mulvane, 777-4813


2121 E 21st, 269-4444


2937 Oaklawn Dr, 524-7545

Tue: 6:00 pm Bible Study

Thu & Fri: 9:30 am Exercise Class

Fri: 12:30pm Pinochle


4808 W 9th, 942-2293

Mon-Fri: 9-10 am Co-Ed Exercise

Mon-Fri: 12-4 pm Open Pool Tables

Tue, Thu: 10-10:30 am Exercise for Arthritis

Tue, Thu: 1-3:30 pm Mexican Train


Mon, Wed: 2:30-3:30 pm Thai Chi Quan

Thu: 1-3 pm Pickleball in Gym PARK CITY 6100 N Hydraulic, 744-1199 VC Community Center 314 E Clay, 755-7350

Butler County Senior CenterS

410 Lioba Dr, 733-4441

Mon, Wed, Fri: 9:30 am Exercise

Mon, Wed: 1 pm Bridge, Pitch

Tue: 1 pm Hand & Foot

Tue, Thu: 10:30 am Balance Class

Tue, Thu: 12:15 pm Pinochle

Wed: 10:30 am Bible Study

Thu: 7 pm Pitch

Fri: 12:30 pm Bingo www.andoverks.com


640 Osage, 775-1189


Lion’s Community Bldg, S Main St


Cassoday Senior Center 133 S. Washington, 620-735-4538

DOUGLASS 124 W 4th, 746-3227

Senior wedneSdayS

July 5

10:30 am Wichita Art Museum

1400 W. Museum Blvd., $2 admission. Info unavailable.

1:30 pm Museum of World Treasures

835 E. 1st St. Info unavailable.

July 12

10 am Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 Zoo Blvd. (316) 266-8213, $4 Swimming with the Sharks.

1:30 pm Advanced Learning Library, 711 W, 2nd, (316) 2618500, Free. Info unavailable.

July 19

10 am Ulrich Museum of Art, 1845 N. Fairmount. Artists at Work: The Ulrich Staff Creates.

1:30 pm Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E 29th St N. Info unavailable

July 26

10 am Wichita-Sedgwick County

Historical Museum, 204 S. Main. Dowsing for Historical Clues: a brief history of Camp Beecher by Vince Marshall.

1:30 pm Mid American All-Indian museum. 650 N Seneca (316) 3503340, $2 + tax admission; free for MAAIM members. Info unavailable


Augusta Sr Center, 640 Osage. . Info: 755-1189

Derby Sr Center, 611 Mulberry. 1st & 3rd Tuesday 7pm-9:30 pm.

El Dorado Jam & Dance, Senior Center, 210 E. 2nd.

Goldenrod Golden Age, 1340 S Pattie.

Dances every Wednesday 7pm-9:30pm.

Linwood Golden Age, 1901 S Kansas. Every Saturday 7pm-9:30pm. Call Jim 316-945-9451

Minisa Golden Age, 704 W 13th. Info 617-2560. Every Thursday 7pm9:30pm. Call Rita 316-364-1702

Mulvane, 101 E. Main (Pix Community Center

Second Tuesday of every month at 7-9 pm.

Oaklawn Activity Center, 4904 S. Clifton. Contra Dance1st Saturday of each month.

7pm-9pm. Call Amanda at 316-361-6863.

Orchard Park Golden Age, 4808 W 9th. Every Friday 7pm-9:30pm. Call Casey 316-706-7464

Park City Sr Center, 6100 N Hydraulic.

1st and 3rd Saturday 7-9:30 p.m. Info: 755-1060. Line Dance every Wednesday

2:30pm. Call Madison 316-744-1199. Square dance 2nd & 4th Sunday 6pm-8:30 pm.

Prairie Wind Dancers: Plymouth Congregational Church, 202 N Clifton. Joyce, 683-1122.

Village Steppers Square Dance, Oaklawn Activity Center, 4904 S Clifton.

Westside Steppers Square Dance, 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, 6-8:30 p.m., West Heights United Methodist (entrance "D"), 745 N. Westlink Ave. Info: Sheldon Lawrence (316) 648-7590.

EL DORADO 210 E 2nd, 321-0142


112 S Main, 745-9200 or 742-9905

ROSE HILL 207 E Silknitter, 776-0170

TOWANDA 317 Main, 776-8999

Open 10:30 am-5 pm Mon, Wed, Fri

WHITEWATER Legion Hall, 108 E Topeka

Harvey County


124 N Burrton, 620-463-3225

HALSTEAD 523 Poplar, 835-2283


Randall & Main, 620-327-5099


GRAND CENTRAL 122 E 6th, Newton, 283-2222


SEDGWICK 107 W. Fifth, 772-0393


Sedgwick County

Sedgwick Co Transportation, 660-5150 or 1-800-367-7298. Information: 8 am-5 pm, Mon-Fri; closed most holidays. www. sedgwickcounty.org/aging.

Butler County Transit

Weekday transportation in El Dorado, Augusta and Andover. Rides to Wichita on Wed, Thu. Information: Augusta, 775-0500; El Dorado, 322-4321; toll free, 1-800-2793655. 48-hr notice required.

Harvey County

Transportation reservations or information: 316-284-6802 or 1-866-6806802. Round-trip: $8 Newton (wheelchair only), $12 Harvey County, $20 outside Harvey County. AVI to Newton: Tue, 12:304:30 pm from Burrton, Sedgwick, Halstead, Hesston, Walton.



Friendship Meals

Aging Projects serves a hot, nutritious meal weekdays for persons 60 and older in Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler counties. Reservations are necessary. For locations and reservations, call 316-686-0074


Mon: Beef Hot dog on bun, baked beans, potato salad, dried cherries.


Wed: Creamed Chicken over biscuit, mixed vegetables, spiced peaches.

Thu: Sloppy Joe on bun, coleslaw w/ carrots, pear crisp.

Fri: Chicken & pasta salad, corn relish salad, mandarin oranges, wheat bread w/ margarine.


Mon: Swedish steak, cream peas & potatoes, peaches, wheat roll w/ margarine.

Tue: Turkey hash, mixed vegetables, applesauce, wheat bread w/ margarine..

Wed: Scalloped potatoes & ham, parslied carrots, blushing pears, breadstick.

Thu: Cranberry meatballs, baked potato/ margarine, pineapple, wheat roll w/ margarine. chef's choice birthday cake.

Fri: Tuna noodle casserole w/ peas, tomato salad, mixed fruit, crackers.


Mon: BBQ pork riblet, scalloped corn, cinnamon apples, cornbread w/ margarine..

Tue: Beef cutlet in gravy, mashed potatoes, peach crisp, wheat roll w/ margarine.

Wed: Chicken & cheese casserole, green beans, pineapple, garlic bread.

Thu: Beef soft taco, Mexican rice, fiesta corn and black beans, fresh orange.

Fri: Turkey salad, brocc cauli carrot salad, applesauce.


Mon: Italian chicken breast, peas and carrots, apricots, wheat bread w/ margarine..

Tue: Ham & swiss brocc pasta, pickled beets, pears, breadstick.

Wed: Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes w/ cream gravy, mixed fruit, wheat roll w/ margarine.

Thu: Hamburger on bun, baked beans, apple crisp.

Fri: Fish sticks, mac & cheese, coleslaw w/ carrots, fruit crasins.


Mon: Ham Salad on bun, potato salad, mixed fruit.

* Milk is served with all meals. Meals fall within the following ranges: Carlories 650-750; protein 25 grams or higher; fat 20 to 30 percent of calories; calcium 400 mg or higher; sodium 1,000 grams or less; fiber 9 grams or higher.


July 2023 the active age Page 17



Resthaven, Easy Access location by sidewalk, Headstone, two plots, two vaults. Value $18,000 plus will sell for $15,000 OBO. 316-777-1487

Resthaven Garden of Acacia. Double plot, last in area. Spaces 29 A3 & 29 A4. $5,000 for both, OBO includes transfer fee. Email sallykinzy@gmail.com or text 920-217-6569

Lakeview Cemetery, Single plot. $3,200 OBO. Seller pays transfer fee. 316-640-4591

Resthaven, Garden of Freedom, 1 Plot, $3,000 plus transfer fee. 405-751-8801.

Two Lakeview burial plots. Located in Apostles Garden. Two spaces #5&6 w/ 2 eternal rest caskets(deluxe). Sold together $7,400. Call 316-320-0108. Leave Message. Serious inquires only.

White Chapel, Garden of Gethsemane, 2 plots w/ vaults, side by side. $3500 plus transfer fee OBO. 913-558-0486

2 plots at Resthaven, in the Lords prayer area. Asking $5,000 for both. Call 316-641-0188

Double stacker plots w/stone at LakeviewCemetery. Purchased for $8,000. Asking $5,000. Buyer Pays transfer fee of $295. Call 316-665-7445.

Resthaven Garden of Prayer. 2 plots $2,500 each. Buyer pays transfer fee. 316-773-4333.

2 plots, 7-8 in Lakeview Cemetery- Holy Rosary Section. $4,500. No Fees. 316-519-5474

2 adjoining plots at Resthaven in Garden of Sermon on the Mount. #109C 3&4. $6,000. Transfer fee included. Call 316-806-5247

2 plots at Lakeview in Holy Rosary section. Lot 52 #3&4. $5,000 for both plots or $2,500 each OBO. Call 316-461-4061.

Lakeview Everlasting Life Lot 102 Spaces 5 and 6 or 3 and 4. Will sell two or all four $1900 each plot. Seller pays transfer fees. Cash, cashiers check or certified check only. Call 316-461-5415

Alpha Electric Dependable Electrical Service

Call Greg at 316-312-1575

Insured, Lic. #1303


Routes are open each weekday to deliver a lunchtime meal. Thursday & Friday has the most open routes. If interested please visit our website at https://seniorservicesofwichita.org/ meals-on-wheels/ and fill out then submit the application online at the bottom of the page. No walk ins please. All volunteers must be prescreened prior to delivering routes.


Cheryl Rosine ~ The Foot Lady ICMT RN

• 316-312-2025 •

Benjamin Jones ~ CNAICR

• 316-932-8524•

$40 : In-home, Sedgwick & surrounding counties

Diabetic, thick toe nails, ingrown & callous care

Foot Care in home. Home visit $40.00 Call Francine at 316-943-4360. Leave a message.


Don't have an Auction, or Estate Sale. We Buy Entire Estates. Call Kelly 316-283-8536. Furniture Warehouse 200 Main Newton, KS

Hair Solutions by Sherry Perms * Cuts * Colors

Men, Woman & Children

1 person Salon

Call for an appointment Sherry Brown 316-207-1760

Dave’s Improvements General Contractor Lic #7904 Roofing, Siding, Doors, Gutters, Windows, Storm damage repair, Senior Discount. 316-312-2177

Molina Electric - Wichita Lic #1364 Comm. or Residential wiring. Service calls. New electric service. Troubleshooting. Cell 316-461-2199.

Handyman RX- We have a remedy for almost all of your “fix-it” jobs! Light carpentry including deck and fence repair, indoor misc. repairs and installations, lawn mowing “LG or SM”, Yard & Garage clean-up, mulching, hauling miscellaneous,hauling dirt, sand, and rock/gravel upto 3.5 tons. What you need done I can probably handle. Call for HELP!

Brian 316-217-0882. Free Estimates

Cowboy Construction Remodeling, siding, decks, fences, windows, doors and more. 20 years locally owned. Free estimates. Senior discounts. Todd Wenzel 316-393-4488

Derby, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Wichita

Exterior & Intereior. House painting, siding, decks, fences. Build, repair and stain. Free Estimates and references. See us on angieslist.com.

Keith Kimball 316-250-2265 or 316-789-9639 Be Blessed. Thank you


Windows * Patio * Doors Windows won’t stay up, Crank Outs, Patio Rollers and Lock Latches, Morris Glass & Service, 316-946-0745

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From Page 1

for her. The first two Donna Sweet Medical Excellence Award winners — graduating student Kellie Griffin and third-year resident Chelsea Wuthnow — were announced earlier this month.

Sweet said it means “a lot.”

“I was just flabbergasted that all of my previous trainees put up the kind of money they did to build an award like that.”

The award recognizes academic and clinical merit, plus philanthropy, advocacy and empathy. Sweet’s admirers say she has embodied those last three traits throughout her long association with KU Wichita and the larger community.

Sweet, a professor in the Department of Medicine, grew up poor on a farm near Towanda, earning a full-ride scholarship to Wichita State University. She graduated from KU Wichita in 1979 and joined the faculty four years later. She teaches inpatient care to residents and students at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, outpatient care to fourth-year students at the clinic and usually has a secondyear resident on a HIV rotation.

“I’m what they call a throwback dinosaur who’s always done inpatient (care) for her outpatients,” she said. “I still care for my patients when they’re in the hospital.” Sweet said she set up her private practice “with the idea that when they needed to be in the hospital, they could be used for teaching purposes in the hospital.”

Sweet was on the front lines of caring for HIV/AIDS patients when that crisis emerged, flying around the state in a small plane to care for rural patients as well as those in Wichita, and is recognized internationally as a specialist in that regard. For years, she and her staff held a Christmas dinner for HIV/AIDS patients at a local church. Each fall, she hosts “A Sweet A’Fair” in her northeast Wichita backyard, raising money to help HIV patients pay medical costs.

She has been a delegate to the American Medical Association and president of the American College of Physicians Board of Regents. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, travel and golf.

Asked how many physicians she’s trained through the years, Sweet said, “It would take a calculator because I see a different team probably four or five times a year, if not more.”

Last month, Sweet had her photograph taken with Gov. Laura Kelly along with other 40-year state employees.

The honorary award was the idea of Dr. Samuel Akidiva, who was a young physician visiting from Kenya when he met Sweet in 2008. At Sweet’s invitation, Akidiva shadowed her as she worked with HIV patients and others in KU Wichita’s Midtown clinic.

“Even then, when I was just visiting, I could see the high regard that patients had for her,” he said. “And everybody in the clinic made me feel so welcome.”

Akidiva’s regard for Sweet has only grown through the years as — largely thanks to her urging — he completed his internal medicine residency at KU Wichita and then joined her on its faculty. “She’s not done this just for me,” he said. She’s done this for everybody. She really deeply cares about her patients, and she cares about medical students and residents.”

With the help of Dr. William Salyers and others, Akidiva said it wasn’t hard raising money from faculty and residents to endow the award, which consists of $2,000 for a student and $3,000 for a resident.

Akidiva said Sweet has forged an important connection between KU Wichita and his native East African country. Starting with himself, there have been about 10 Kenyans complete their residencies here.

During his residency, Akidiva said, he became convinced that Sweet had asked other faculty “to keep an eye on this guy.”

“When she wants you to succeed, she goes all out and gets fully invested in your case,” he said, adding that Sweet “has been like another mother to me.”

Sweet said she reached out to Akidiva and other Kenyans because “we need diversity, and we need good people.”

Akidiva said she wanted to see the award established for Sweet before she retires, but it appears he’ll be enjoying her as a colleague for the foreseeable future.

“I’m old enough, plenty,” Sweet said, “but I love what I do. As long as they let me, I don’t intend to retire unless something changes.”

A version of this article was previously published by KU School of Medicine-Wichita. It is used here by permission.

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Miller named Hart Award winner

Robert Miller has received the 2023 Irene Hart Award from the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging. The award, named for a former longtime executive director of CPAAA, recognizes contributions to the field of aging and older adults in the community.

Miller, a Wichita native, was part of the first graduating class of Wichita State University's Master of Social Work program in 2001.

He began his career in the skilled nursing unit at St. Joseph Hospital, now part of Ascension Healthcare.

He became director of community outreach for Faith Home Health and Hospice, then joined ComfortCare Homes as senior vice president, serving residents and families affected

by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

He’s now on the faculty of WSU’s College of Health Professions, where

he also consults on aging programs for the university. Miller, a former chair of the state Alzheimer’s conference, was asked to join the governor’s Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force in 2019.

www.theactiveage.com “This project is supported in whole or in part by federal award number SLFRP2098 awarded to Sedgwick County, KS by the U.S. Department of Treasury.” Recovery Connect is a Sedgwick County pandemic recovery program that connects individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses with resources to help them recover from the negative impacts of COVID-19. Follow @SCCovidRecovery on social media! RECOVER FROM THE PANDEMIC, TOGETHER. RESOURCES TO HELP YOU STAY IN YOUR HOME LOW-COST TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION SERVICES BUDGET HELP & PERSONAL FINANCE www.Recovery-Connect.org | (316) 978-6737
July 2023 the active age Page 21
Robert Miller with his mother, Pam Sichley, center, and Monica Cissell of CPAAA.

History lives at Larksfield Place

Larksfield Place and Wichita State University recently collaborated on an Intergenerational program called “I Witness to History.”

WSU freshmen in a class called Connecting Generations spent the second part of their spring semester collecting life stories from independent living residents at Larksfield Place. The time together also broke stereotypes

that crop up between generations.

“This class has not only helped me learn to communicate better with older adults, but it’s also given me a new friend and mentor,” one student said.

A resident said she “just loved getting to know these girls. I’m so happy I did this.”

Larksfield and WSU plan a second session of “I Witness to History.”

At left, some of the 20 WSU students and 11 Larksfield Place residents who took part in the "I Witness to History" program.

Page 22 the active age July 2023


Wichitans want to be your mayor. Read what they have to say

Four Wichitans have emerged as leading candidates to become the city’s next mayor. In the Aug. 1 primary, incumbent Mayor Brandon Whipple will be challenged by Bryan Frye, Celeste Racette and Lily Wu. Unless one receives a majority, the top two vote-getters will face off in the November general election. Whipple is a former state representative and college instructor who has served one term as mayor. Frye is a businessman and two-term City Council member representing northwest Wichita. Racette is a former bank examiner and founder of the Save Century II organization. Wu is a former television broadcaster who’s active on several local boards.

1. Continue to invest in police and fire. Improve response times by stepping up recruitment and retention efforts to fill open positions. Prioritize budget dollars for pay, training, connecting social/ mental health workers alongside police officers, and expanding the Integrated Care Team.

Taking care of water, roads and facilities infrastructure by focusing on fixing the needs before tackling the wants.

Finally, it’s about jobs. Keep Wichita open by building an economy with a variety of employment opportunities.

2. Affordable housing is a concern for all ages but especially seniors on fixed incomes. We must value the vulnerable by identifying solutions that allows Wichitans to stay in their homes longer. A proposed zoning adjustment that could positively affect seniors is the allowance of accessory dwelling units on single family residential lots. I support this as it has the potential to allow seniors with fixed incomes to live independently yet closer to support systems.

3. As a council member and former park board commissioner, I’ve championed increased programming for adults in park & recreation, cultural arts and the public library. I’d like to expand opportunities for community education, Senior Wednesdays and the Fitness, Health & Wellness program.

4. I’m a lifelong Wichitan and devoted servant leader who has spent decades working to build a better Wichita for all. I’m proud to be Wichita made because it made me Wichita motivated.

30+ year business career. 8+ years Wichita City Council. 8 years Board of Park Commissioners. 8 years District 5 Advisory Board. Dozens of community volunteer roles. 4x business owner/ operator.

I’m the only candidate with leadership skills in business, non-profit, government and entrepreneurism.

supported. Address

The Active Age asked each candidate these questions.:

1. As mayor, what would be your top three priorities for Wichita?

2. Do you have any proposed initiatives or policies specifically intended to benefit residents 60 and older?

3.The city currently cedes responsibility for most senior-related services and spending to Sedgwick County. Are you satisfied with this arrangement and, if not, what would you do about it?

4.What in your record indicates that you are the best candidate to represent older Wichitans as mayor?

Restore public confidence in City Hall by providing competent oversight to taxpayer funds. Spending priorities need to shift away from developers and back to the public. Provide passionate leadership in a cooperative approach to inspire pride in our great community.

2. I would initiate a public conversation to address the rising local property taxes, which disproportionately burden senior citizens on fixed incomes. We need to cap property taxes through careful spending. Transportation for seniors is critical, particularly for reasonable priced, reliable service. I would create a website to link people with transportation options. Residents 60 and older should be engaged in regular conversations to ensure their voices are heard.

3. Sedgwick County is a subdivision of state government and leads in providing essential services required by senior citizens. As mayor, I will be vigilant for opportunities to enhance senior-related services with Sedgwick County. I will encourage all city departments to factor senior needs into program development. One alarming area of concern is elderly fraud, which is on the increase through romance scams, fake grandchildren emergencies, and fraudsters posing as government agencies (IRS and SSN).

4. My 25-year job experience in the banking industry has given me the skills to be a watchdog on behalf of taxpayers. No other candidate has my extensive background in accounting. I served as an accounting officer, chief internal auditor, and FDIC bank examiner and fraud investigator. I have written contracts, prepared multimillion-dollar budgets, supervised employees, and led business teams. As the founder of Save Century II, I have given a voice to all Wichitans.

1. As mayor, my top three priorities have been to reform the way business is done at City Hall so it is more fair and transparent to the taxpayer; to ensure all Wichita neighborhoods are safe, no matter where you call home; and growing our economy to attract new investment and tourism resulting in increased opportunities for residents and revenues that allow us to enhance city services.

2. As an elected official, I value communication with my constituents. Oftentimes, when governments modernize, they stop utilizing multiple channels of communication. While the internet is a good tool, it is important to me that we communicate as a City using traditional mediums as well. As Mayor, I consistently push to communicate with residents via mail and in person, so those options remain available to our residents that prefer to receive communications offline.

3. Wichita must collaborate with our partners to provide effective services. As the Board of Health, healthcare services for seniors are best managed by Sedgwick County. Our role is to enhance the quality of life for seniors, including Golden Age Club and recreation classes designed for seniors. I am focused on making housing affordable, especially for those on a fixed income. When we remain independent in our own homes, we live longer, healthier and happier lives.

4. When I was elected Mayor, City Hall was on autopilot and I’ve focused on making City Hall work for all our residents. I have a proven record of thoughtfully reviewing our city services and making adjustments following best practices. Most recently, we remodeled City Hall’s first floor to create a customer service hub, which makes it easier to speak directly with someone when you need help with a water bill, housing or other common services.

1. Many Wichitans are dissatisfied with the status quo and have lost faith in local government. Wichita is hungry for new leadership and a fresh perspective. As mayor, my focus will be ensuring public safety, strengthening our economy, and restoring trust in city hall. I’ll work with anyone who wants to improve our city, bring our community together, find common ground, and make Wichita proud.

2. People on fixed incomes shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes due to budget mismanagement. We must ensure public safety by focusing on recruitment and retention within our police, fire, and public works departments, and strengthen our economy by increasing collaboration between government, education, and industry. As mayor, I’ll build unity and consensus between council members and county commissioners, bring an end to the divisive politics, immaturity, and back-room deals, and provide you clear, transparent communication.

3. Given the impending budget deficit, it would be difficult for Wichita to assume more responsibility. I intend to improve the relationship between city and county, as collaboration is necessary to ensure seniorrelated services are delivered most effectively. In addition to government, I also believe there is value in publicprivate partnerships. Our seniors deserve exceptional care and support, and I will be very mindful of and careful to watch over our senior-related services.

4. Respect for elders is the foundation of my culture and respect for all is one of my core values. Representing our older generation, many of whom also bravely and nobly defended our nation’s freedoms, would be an incredible honor. I’m an outsider focused on results over politics and, as mayor, look forward to working collaboratively toward the best possible solutions.

July 2023 the active age Page 23

At Homestead, our team helps seniors remain independent while providing quality care in a friendly environment. Participate in a variety of activities while we take care of homecooked meals, housekeeping and linen service, and more. Let our team help you find the right care solution for your family.

www.theactiveage.com HOMESTEAD OF AUGUSTA* 316-799-3927 HOMESTEAD OF DERBY 316-816-1428 HOMESTEAD OF CRESTVIEW* 316-747-8439 HOMESTEAD OF EL DORADO* 316-600-7865 HOMESTEAD OF HALSTEAD 316-816-9579 HOMESTEAD OF WICHITA* 316-365-8229 *These communities also offer memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related diseases.
Respect You Deserve LEARN MORE AT SENIORLIVINGWICHITA.COM July 2023 the active age Page 24
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