Aging Well Fall has arrived in South Orange County and so has the latest edition of Aging Well, our biannual guide to assist the local senior community in remaining fit, healthy and motivated. This special section not only provides helpful resources, it also is meant to showcase local seniors who are truly “Aging Well.” In this issue, we provide our readers with tips on solving a personal finance crisis, how to address osteoporosis and reveals where seniors can find some stellar discounts and deals throughout the tri-city area. We also spoke with a handful of married couples who have been together for decades, asking them to share their secrets to a long-lasting marriage. Inside, our readers will also find a feature on hearing loss and why it’s important to see a doctor, sooner rather than later, if you’re beginning to have trouble hearing and following along conversations. For more information,
we’ve compiled a list of nearby locations that specialize in hearing loss and hearing aids. And every now and then, we all need a little inspiration to help us stay active and moving. So in this issue, we highlight some local residents who are out and about, living their best life. One such resident, an 80-year-old woman from San Clemente, can deadlift 270 pounds. We also look at how one Dana Point couple decided to sell their home, purchase an RV and travel the country. So dive right in and read all about what the South County has to offer to its senior community.
5 Local Senior Discounts
any businesses across the nation offer senior discounts for various services, including dining and entertainment. To help our readers out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places within the tri-city area, ranging from shopping to transportation, that give discounted rates and prices to our aging-well community.
OCTA // The Orange County Transportation Authority offers discounted rates to seniors aged 60 and older, as well as those with disabilities and Medicare cardholders. For a one-time local route fare, seniors have to pay only 75 cents. A one-day pass purchased on the bus is $1.50, while a prepaid one-day pass is $1.35. And 30-day passes, which regularly cost $69, are lowered to $22.25 for seniors.
REGENCY THEATRE // Seniors “61 and better” can enjoy a movie for $9.50 at the Regency Theatre in San Juan Capistrano. The going rate for a regular matinee showing is $10.50 and the evening showings cost $12.50, but seniors can enjoy the $9.50 rate all day long. This discounted senior fee, however, doesn’t apply to the theater’s VIP screenings.
DENNY’S // AARP members can enjoy 15% discounts on their meals at restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Denny’s. Dana Point and San Clemente both have a Denny’s restaurant.
26762 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 661.3456. RegencyMovies.com.
OC GOODWILL BOUTIQUE // Tuesdays and Sundays are Senior Days at the OC Goodwill Boutique in San Juan Capistrano. That means 10% off all items in the store for seniors aged 60 and up. 31892 Plaza Drive, Unit A-1, San Juan Capistrano. 949.272.0505. OCGoodwill.org.
34242 Del Obispo Street, Dana Point. 949.4383.529. Avenida Pico, San Clemente. 949.492.2382. Dennys.com.
SAN CLEMENTE GOLF COURSES // Shorecliffs Golf Club and San Clemente Municipal Golf Course offer discounted greens fees for those aged 55 and up, Monday through Friday only. Shorecliffs: $30 for 18 holes (includes golf cart). SC Municipal: $31 for 18 holes ($20 for residents); does not include golf cart. 501 Avenida Vaquero, San Clemente. 949.492.1178. ShorecliffsGolfClub.com. 150 E. Magdalena, San Clemente. 949.361.8384. san-clemente.org.
HOW TO BEAT A FINANCIAL CRISIS
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO GRAY TO GET OUT OF THE RED BY ZARA FLORES
ith any big event or situation in life, it’s best to be prepared, and our finances are no different. However, that’s easier said than done. o what happens when something comes crashing into our life and leaves ou feeling financiall unsta le ere are some tips for tac ling a personal financial crisis regardless of whether you’re saving for retirement or already there. here are so man scenarios that could cause a personal financial crisis, such as an in ur and dealing with medical e penses, credit card de t and even a scam ccording to the ederal rade ommission, seniors are more vulnerable to identity theft scams that can leave our personal financial portfolio and general well-being in shambles. It’s important to be able to identify the problem at hand and eep an e e out for red flag offers or calls utside or professional help and resources ma e needed to e a le to identif the financial pro lem or the root of the pro lem ou ma e facing or e ample, a trusted famil member or friend may be better equipped to put together a reasonable budget if the problem is overspending and credit card de t nce the pro lem has een identified, it s important to ta e a slow and stead approach for optimal results e realistic with what ou can accomplish in a month and in a ear If theres een an in ur and insurance doesn t cover it all, it s more than li el that a pa ment plan is an option r if it s credit card de t, chip in an e tra or each wee to go toward a payment.
ccording to Better Money Habits from an of merica, it s easier to cut down a little it on a few monthl e penses rather than to cut down a lot on one e pense maller steps will ease you into the solution and potentially even motivate you more. astl , eep ourself accounta le If ou have to pic up a side o to eep ourself on trac , reference our ide o s for eniors for some ideas to eep ou going It ma ta e a while to get out of the red, ut a positive mindset and an honest plan are the healthiest wa s to tac le a financial crisis
Baby Steps to
LIVING WELL BY SAMANTHA BLANKENBURG
ood health and longevit are certainl first and foremost on our minds as we discuss the aging process utrition is not onl important to reduce the ris of osteoporosis and other age-related disease processes, ut for overall health philosoph focuses on what I elieve are the si pillars of health amil , riends, aith, ood, itness and our eelings he importance of spending ualit time with famil and friends to en o lifes natural eaut and lessings, having a sense of purpose and communit to e plore our faith, understanding how to properl nourish our od to have the a ilit to e plore different areas of fitness and addressing the man feelings that can accompan us as we age within an and all pillars.
Side Jobs for Seniors an local senior centers have ulletins for volunteering positions or free programs in the area o listings can e scarce, so here are some ideas to earn a little e tra cash Consultant: or those who love their o ut are retired or can t wor a full hours a wee , ecoming a consultant is the est wa to use our nowledge and e pertise in an emplo ment capacit onsultants don t have to wor in a niche industr the can e found in nearl ever career field
Customer service representative: Being a customer service representative is not particularl strenuous on the od , and some positions even allow ou to wor from home if that s more comforting heres never a shortage of openings for this position. Pet sitter or dog walker: Depending on breed and size of the pet, being a pet sitter and or dog wal er is eneficial for oth parties eing around animals is oftentimes rela ing and is eneficial for ones health he ph sical activit re uired is lower impact and, again, eneficial for oth parties involved
he ottom line is to surround ourself with li e minded people to support ou on our ourne to a sense of freedom, which in m opinion is the truest definition of health and living well at any age. et s focus on the fitness pillar ecause, in m professional opinion, it can help connect with all other pillars h sical inactivit has een identified as the fourth leading ris factor for glo al mortalit from the orld ealth rgani ation here are three different t pes of e ercise that can help our od transition through new phases of life with grace and independence Cardiovascular Exercise: he merican eart ssociation recommends minutes per wee of moderate intensit activit or minutes per wee of vigorous activit hese activities can e spent wal ing, running, c cling, or doing recreational sports ind something that ou en o and challenge ourself wee l to setting new goals Mobility Exercise: tatic and active d namic stretching, core wor along with moving as man oints through their full range of motion with control and purpose provide individuals with a health mo ilit e ercise plan omething as simple as doing three sets of sit ups, ut focusing on moving our spine one verte ra at a time each repetition, provides the control and purpose that will show the power of a properl e ecuted mo ilit e ercise Resistance Training: he final form of e ercise that will improve muscular strength and endurance here are man tools that can e used, including dum ells, sand ags, machines etc oving against the weight of our od can suffice in some ma or strength progress li e using a ench or a chair simpl to sit and stand times in a row If that is, or ecomes too
Photo: Shawn Raymundo
No Limit Lifting Marilyn Katzmark, an 80-year-old San Clemente resident, deadlifts 135 pounds after a strength training session at Pacific Strength on Friday, Sept. 6. According to her trainer, Valerie Hedlund, the certified team leader at Pacific Strength, Katzmark, is actually able to deadlift 270 pounds. Throughout her life, Katzmark has remained active, participating in marathons and paddleboarding. Up until she was 70 years old, she stayed away from weight training and never believed in having an instructor. “I never liked anyone telling me what to do,” she said half-jokingly. “I found out that I was really wrong and that my strength and my wellness and everything I have now, I really owe to strength training and weights.” Katzmark exercises six times a week, and she encourages others around her age to do the same in order to maintain structure and prevent bone and muscle decay. simple, you can progress yourself from sit to stand to squat to stand and maybe even squat to stand holding an object. First and foremost, clients who are at risk due to a weakened skeletal system will need the support of their dietary intake to guide their body back into balance. While a consistent and methodical exercise plan will help develop and promote the person’s body through this conditioning process, it will not show the same amount of support unless backed up by a calculated nutrition plan. he ational steoporosis oundation reaffirms m eliefs in the importance of following exercise recommendations to the general population but is of greater importance to the at-risk or diagnosed osteoporosis community. A weekly exercise program designed to improve posture, hip and back strength, balance and functional movement is crucial to keeping this population safe from unnecessary fractures while providing greater confidence to perform activities of dail living No matter where you are in your aging process, start incorporating your six pillars sooner than later. Samantha Blankenburg owns and operates her own training facility, Everyday Athlete in San Clemente, California. Her studio offers small group and private training to a range of athletes from their early 20s into their late 60s. Samantha B also co-owns and operates an online lifestyle company with Gina Cousineau aimed to offer in person and virtual nutrition, fitness and lifestyle consulting. You can reach out to Samantha B at Samantha. Blankenburg@gmail.com.
On the Road Again Dana Point Couple Downsizes for the Ultimate Road Trip LILLIAN BOYD
bout a year ago, Alan Wickstrom, formerly of Dana Point, sold nearly everything he owned. After the passing of his longtime colleague, he felt it was time to sell his business. Then came the sale of his house and vehicles. “The house sold four days after we put it on the market,” Wickstrom said. “Everything happened so fast. We’ve been on an adventure ever since, and we don’t regret it one bit.” Alan and his wife, Liz, bought a Ford F-350 RV and have been traveling the country for the past year. Their travels have taken them to places such as Austin, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Ann Arbor and cities in between. Their visits last anywhere between one to three weeks. “I feel so blessed that my wife has been on board. This has been an extraordinary way to see our country. We’ve had the best time,” Alan said, adding that one of her conditions was for
the RV to come with two restrooms—a feature that he says has been a saving grace. The Wickstroms purchased a membership for Thousand Trails, a timeshare service for RV travelers. The membership allows them access to more than 190 sites all over the country. Their travels have offered opportunities to see wildlife, such as wild burros and manatees, and to e plore fields of sunflowers in t roi , Wisconsin. “We spent Christmas Day at an RV campsite in the Keys with dozens of strangers in 80-degree weather,” Liz said. “It was the best time. I’m amazed at how gracious and welcoming the RV community is.” The Wickstroms say “RVers” have gone out of their way to help each other in moments of need, like when the couple faced flooding in Virginia Beach, or the times they’ve arrived to their site at nighttime. “Getting to a campsite at night could mean difficult in par ing the ther fol s will
Alan and Liz Wickstrom sold their Dana Point home along with a majority of their possessions in 2018 and have since traveled the country in their RV. Photos: Courtesy of Liz Wickstrom
come out of the woodworks with flashlights to help us park. If the RV needs any repairs, other campers help each other with fi ing or direct each other on where to go. We’ve been so lucky,” Alan said. The Wickstroms encountered a problem in Ann Arbor after Liz lost vision in her right eye and had to stay in the area for seven weeks. “It just so happened that we were in close proximity to the Kellogg Eye Center, a worldrenowned ophthalmology care center,” Liz said. “I was able to get the surgery I needed to restore my sight. Considering all the remote areas we’ve stayed at or traveled through, we were so fortunate.” The Wickstroms, along with their beagle and Chihuahua-beagle mix, don’t quite know where their travels will take them next. “We’re in Parker, Arizona, right now, looking at the Colorado River. Next week, we’ll be headed to Southern California to see family,” Alan said. “After that, we’re thinking of heading ac ast e don t now where specificall , but that’s part of the adventure.”
DOWNSIZING TAX BENEFITS FOR SENIORS CA Proposition 60 // This allows homeowners over the age of 55 to transfer the assessed value of their current home to a replacement home if that home is within the same county, is of equal or lesser value than the original property, and was purchased or newly constructed within two years of the original property’s sale. CA Proposition 90 // This broadens the scope of Proposition 60 and allows transfers from one county to another county in California, but it is up to the discretion of the county to authorize such transfers. Orange County is one of 10 counties in California that has an ordinance enabling the intercounty base-year value transfer. For more information, visit the website for the California Board of Equalization, boe.ca.gov.
Secrets to a Long-Lasting Marriage BY CARI HACHMANN
n today’s world, many young couples are looking to their elders and past generations for advice on how to maintain a long-lasting marriage. In a time in which 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the U.S. divorce, and fewer people are getting married or are choosing to marry later in life, the tradition of staying together until death do us part can seem a little . . . gloomy. But, how beautiful and reassuring it is when you run into a couple who have made it 30, 40 or even 50 years or more.
The question begs to be asked, how do you do it? We talked with several local couples who have surpassed more than a few anniversaries together, on what their secrets are for a longlasting marriage. “Love, common goals and interests, along with many other things, have kept us married for 35 years and still going,” San Clemente resident James Hamilton said of he and his wife, Gayle. Scott and Diana Schmitt of San Juan Capistrano have been married 33 years. “To me, my marriage to Diana is the best
thing that has ever happened. I believe a strong marriage is built on consistent niceties and support over time,” said Scott. “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It’s threads... hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. I have a wonderful seamstress,” he said. Dana Point residents Ted and Mary Kay Bowersox met during their sophomore year of college and have now been married 47 years. “We think having a common background (of faith and values) has been very instrumental in our relationship,” the couple said in an email
they wrote together. They added, “Mutual respect is always important. Arguments have been very few over the last 50 years, but if you ever have one, try to make up before you go to bed, to get it behind you.” San Juan Capistrano’s John Bates and his wife, Judy, have been married 61 years. Bates said, “I believe one of the secrets to our successful marriage is the total trust and mutual support Judy and I have given to our marriage. We are sincerely devoted to each other.”
BY GINA COUSINEAU
steoporosis is often called the “silent disease.” Until a fracture occurs, we are often ignorant of its existence. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) states that after the age of 50, one in two women will have an osteoporotic fracture, while one in four men are also likely to have it. A scary statistic, but the fact is that osteoporosis is generally preventable and absolutely treatable. This being said, how can we help ourselves at this stage in the game? We must address risk factors such as family history, a slight frame, early menopause and any fracture after 50. Your doctor will likely recommend a bone density test (DXA), which can uncover the health of your bones. While a diet rich in wholesome grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado) is recommended for all, making sure you are getting appropriate calories, protein, calcium and vitamin D is paramount to prevent both sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteoporosis (bone loss). If you tend to miss the mark with food, supplementation can fill in the gaps he website provides an easy-to-use calcium calculator to help determine our specific calcium supplementation needs. With regards to vitamin D, it is suggested that the 25-hydroxyvitamin D level in your blood is tested to determine if adequate, and if not, supplementation dosage can be provided. It is important to understand that there is no regulation on supplements of any kind in the U.S. I highly recommend that you look for the verified mar on our supplements, or other third-party testing, to make sure the contents match the label.
A Bone Healthy Meal Plan
BREAKFAST BOWL: ½ cup Nonfat Greek yogurt, ¼ cup muesli, 1 cup berries or other fruit, 2 tablespoons walnuts and ¼ cup non/lowfat milk in your coffee/tea MORNING SNACK: one cup soymilk heated for latte and medium orange LUNCH BOWL: 1 cup cooked quinoa,
5 ounces tofu and 2 cups broccoli sautéed with 1 tablespoon olive oil, drizzled with 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
AFTERNOON SNACK: ½ cup cottage cheese, 2 dried apricots, and 6 pecan halves DINNER: chicken thigh; 1 red pepper, 1/2 red onion, 1 small sweet potato, cut in 2-inch pieces and tossed with ½ tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper on sheet pan for 30 minutes at 425 degrees
earn more a out how fitness can help reduce your risk, as well, from Samantha Blankenburg in this issue. Gina Cousineau, a culinary nutritionist, is the co-owner of the San Clemente based -Mama G’s Lifestyle - with Samantha Blankenburg, offering in person and virtual nutrition, fitness and lifestyle consulting. She elcomes your uestions and comments at . ama s ifestyle.com
HEARING BETTER FOR A HAPPY LIFE BY ZACH CAVANAGH
earing loss is something that eventually will affect a large percentage of us. One-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 75 have some hearing loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. That number increases to about half for those older than 75. The symptoms of hearing loss are pretty simple, beginning with the muffling of speech or other sounds and difficult understanding words, especially with background noise. or a lot of fol s, the difficult in treating hearing loss is the failure to accept that you have the hearing loss at all. It may be easy to put the blame on other people not speaking clearly, but if it is happening enough, it may be time to see a doctor and take a hearing test. The National Institute on Aging recommends seeing your doctor if you have trou le hearing over the phone, find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking, ask people to repeat what they are saying, need to turn up the TV volume too loud for others or can’t understand when women and children speak to you.
The test is a series of beeps at different frequencies to determine the degree of hearing loss. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed. Conductive happens when sounds cannot reach the inner ear due to earwax, fluid or a punctured eardrum. With conductive hearing loss, soft sounds may be hard to hear and loud sounds may be muffled. This can be treated. Sensorineural comes from inner-ear damage. Soft sounds also may be hard to hear and loud sounds may be unclear. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss, and hearing aids may help. Mixed is a combination of both. If hearing aids are needed, there are two main types. The cheaper and smaller kinds are a sort of amplification s stem his simpl ta es the noise and increases the volume, but it doesn’t help distinguish the sounds. These can be found in an easily concealed in-ear variety or over-ear variety. The other is more expensive and larger, but it does help distinguish sounds. These are usually over the ear and are assisted by computer chips to help with the sound quality.
For more information on hearing loss and hearing aids, check with your doctor or these local locations: THE HEARING AID DOCTOR 949.281.8975, 32565 B Golden Lantern, #496, Dana Point. ROSE HEARING AID CENTERS 949.336.1804, 24981 Dana Point Harbor Dr., E-130, Dana Point. MIRACLE-EAR HEARING AID CENTER 949.482.0781, 31878 Del Obispo St. Suite 111, San Juan Capistrano. CONNECT HEARING 949.489.0668, 30250 Rancho Viejo Rd. Suite A, San Juan Capistrano. HEARINGLIFE HEARING AID CENTER 949.503.6083, 3553 Camino Mira Costa Suite C, San Clemente. ORANGE COUNTY PHYSICIANS’ HEARING SERVICES 949.276.4008, 675 Camino de los Mares Suite 420, San Clemente.
STAYING STRONG FOR LIFE!
By alerie edlund of acific Strength If you’re older than 55 and have always gone to a gym, you’re ahead of the game. But, you may need to evaluate your routine and change things up to get results. Sometimes that means trying something new, adding more cardio or more strength (whichever you’re lacking), or ac ing off a it to allow sufficient time to recover If you’ve never been a gym rat, you may know you need strength training, but may not know how much or what kind you need. Try this routine at home to get you started: . al to your doctor. Make sure there are no contraindications to beginning an exercise routine. 2. Walk around (your house or your block) for 10 minutes. . a e your shoes and soc s off, so you can feel your feet push into the floor.
Finding the Right Fit Hospice and Palliative Care in South Orange County Aims to Provide Comfort BY LILLIAN BOYD
inding the right care for an aging loved one can come with overwhelming options, particularly when he or she faces a serious illness. Hospice and palliative care both provide comfort for a patient. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and in conjunction with treatment. Hospice care begins after the treatment for serious illness or disease has stopped and it is clear that the patient will not survive the illness. Hospice is typically offered when medical treatment is no longer an option or if a client has six or fewer months to live. Synergy HomeCare of Coastal Cities is a family-owned-and-operated Home Care Agency that has been serving the Orange County area since 2012. Teresa Chadsey, Synergy’s vice president, says that the service provider’s caretakers offer a variety of care to make clients feel as comfortable as possible for these types of phases in life. “Our goal is to offer a reasonable alternative to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Our caregivers take a courteous and compassionate approach to every job, and we often participate in continuing education programs in order to improve service,” Chadsey said. Synergy offers live-in care, 24-hour care, toileting and incontinence assistance, managing difficult ehaviors, athing assistance, errand and transportation assistance, making meal time more enjoyable, light housekeeping, companionship and respite for family caregivers.
“We develop a relationship with our clients and their families. Together, we develop a plan of care that addresses the clients’ daily needs and always focus on helping them maintain their dignity,” Chadsey said. When searching for the right care provider in terms of hospice or palliative care, Chadsey says it is imperative to choose a California state-licensed agency that is insured. “Inquire if all employees are background checked,” Chadsey said. “Researching an agency and reading their Google reviews is an effective way to assist in narrowing down your options as well.” Palliative care may be offered by hospitals, home care agencies, cancer centers, as well as long-term care facilities. Your health care provider or hospital can give you the names of palliative and hospice care specialists near you. Be sure to inform your provider of what causes the most pain, discomfort and stress so that patients can receive care tailored to meet their needs.
. hair S uats Find a dining room chair, stand in front of it, facing away. With your feet on the floor, push mostly through your heel and mid-foot. Reach your butt back. Sit on the chair. Pause for one second. Stand up: shift your weight forward, but not on your toes. Push through your heel and mid-foot. Stand up tall, straighten our legs epeat five to times, uilding repetitions as you’re able. . ushups Place your hands on a tall countertop. Straighten your arms so your body is straight and angles toward the floor. Bend your elbows so your chest meets the countertop. Push yourself away from the counter to the straight-arm start position. Repeat five to times, uilding repetitions as ou re a le s this gets easier, move to a lower surface. . eadlift Stand one foot away from a wall, facing away. Reach your butt back to the wall, allowing knees to bend as your butt gets closer to the wall. Gently touch the wall with your butt (do not lean on the wall). Push your hips forward, straighten your legs, and stand tall epeat five to times, uilding repetitions as you’re able. . Bac to the all lan Stand with your back against a wall. Keep heels, butt, shoulders and back of head in contact with the wall. Reach your hands out in front of your shoulders, palms down. Don’t let your shoulders come away from the wall. Open your hands and spread your arms so that the back of your hands touch the wall on either side of your body. Squeeze your shoulder lades epeat five to times, uilding repetitions as you’re able.Bonus: While still against the wall, stand tall and slowly turn your head so you can look from side to side. Keep all points of contact with the wall. Start with two to three rounds of the entire routine, two to three times per week. Once that feels easy, add weight, or start coming to our Silver Strength Class and learn how to build more strength and stay Strong For Life! Marilyn, the 80-year-old who can deadlift 270 pounds started strength training when she was 70! It’s never too late to try something new! Silver Strength Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. at Pacific Strength, 1520 N. El Camino Real, #3, San Clemente. firstname.lastname@example.org. 949.291.6093.
The Capistrano Dispatch