THECITY After50 • 2016

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A Guide to

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a Conversation with One of America’s Most Diversified Funeral Directors Since the age of five, Salvador Perches knew that he wanted to be involved in the funeral industry. Sal worked along side his father, washing hearses, making caskets and placing flowers in chapels for services. Salvador officially took over the family business when his father, who started the business in 1958, passed away in 2000. Salvador operates the business with his sister. They employ more than 400 employees and conduct more than 3,000 services a year. Under the company name Grupo Perches, the family now owns and operates 16 funeral homes, including 11 in Juárez and four in El Paso, as well as a funeral home in Las Cruces. The family also owns two cemeteries and a marble shop and is licensed in three states — Texas, California and New Mexico. In 2013, Perches was named Funeral Director of the Year by the American Funeral Director, the first Hispanic ever awarded such honor. The magazine honored him for his charitable work on both sides of the border and for serving victims in Juárez. In 2014, he was recognized as a “Latino Champion” by the San Diego Union Tribune. In 2016, he was chosen to build the Pope’s altar and pulpit for the historic papal visit to Juárez. TCM: What do you attribute your business success to? SP: To be successful in business, you must give the customer personalized attention and fair pricing, as well as reinvest in the communities in which you do business — whether it is through charitable work or creating more jobs to boost the economy. You must have employees that believe in your mission and share the same passion you have in helping others. TCM: What should consumers look for when choosing a funeral home, cemetery and cremation provider?

SP: Like any wise consumer decision, you want to go with someone you trust that can give you the best service at the best price. You want to make sure that the provider has a proven track record and is empathetic to your needs. We are always upfront with our customers and it is one of the many reasons families continue to use our services. TCM: Why should a person go with a locally-owned and operated funeral home versus a large corporatelyowned one? SP: As a family-owned and operated funeral home, we respond better to the needs of our community. Several funeral homes, which are owned by large corporations and operate under the facade of a local business, have quotas to reach and much of the profits are not re-invested in our community. Their organizational structure requires them to charge higher pricing to satisfy more the needs of the large corporation and less of the consumer.

SP: Just the opposite. These activities make me more focused. As a triathlete, I have always strived to make the most of my time. By helping others in time of need, whether it is for a funeral service or helping a child with cancer, time well spent always has its rewards.

TCM: You keep on stressing TCM: Where do you see your business community. Why is that so important in the next 10 years? to you? SP: We are constantly responding to the SP: It’s not just important to me, it is needs of the consumer and are important to everyone ... your family, providing products and services to your friends, your neighbors, etc... satisfy those needs. Everyday, we ask I found out an early age that the world ourselves how can we do our jobs better is not about me, but about us. We need and what does our community need to look out for one another’s needs and now, one year from now, three years if the Lord shows you a way to help out from now and so on. My life and an individual or group, do your part. business philosophy is based on the By everyone willing to help a hand, we Latin phrase, Sum Tertius, which means strengthen our community and make it God first, my fellow man and woman better place to live for everyone. second and myself third. It has worked so far so I think I will stick with it. TCM: Not many people know about your involvement with children with For further information about cancer, bereavement support for Perches Funeral Homes, please families who suffered a loss from contact Salvador Perches direct at border violence and an orphanage. (915)373-7677 or by email at You even created the altar and pulpit for the Pope on his recent visit to Juárez. Doesn’t that detract you from your business? SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 3




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Editor-in-Chief Yes, we’re launching another magazine, making this our sixth stand-alone publication. Have we lost our minds? Maybe. But I love it when a plan comes together. A “senior” magazine has been on our radar for over a year and we’ve finally pulled the trigger. Because I am the oldest, wisest, most mature—however I chose to describe myself that particular day—in our office, I needed a magazine that talked about the lifestyle I’m leading right now. Kids are grown and on their own, grandkids visit on the weekends, vacations can be planned (or not planned) at a moment’s notice (we only need a dog sitter and plants watered) and the life we all worked years for, now sits so close I can almost touch it. I can live in the neighborhood of my choice, public schools no longer come into the equation, and finally, my life is my own (or is it?) That’s right, I have just described the life of a Baby Boomer. I am a Baby Boomer and proud of it. No part of me considers myself a senior, so the title “The City After 50” seemed to be a perfect fit. The content was easy—things I want to know at this particular place in my life, the place my friends are right now. What are the rules on Social Security? The short version. We have that article. Where should Baby Boomers be when it comes to financial planning, retirement plans? We educate you in that area. Life insurance: I need details and I want the short version (we cover that topic, too).

I’m also in a place where my parents and my in-laws are needing special care. Choosing the right place for my elders, listening—really listening—to their needs and knowing when “Senior Moments” might have taken their toll, and they may not really “be alright.” It’s called the “Circle of Life.” I’m no longer responsible for my children’s everyday life, but I’m moving toward a new direction, the responsibility of caring for my parents. The roles have changed as the seasons change, and almost without notice their arms are no longer around us advising our every move, but we find our arms around them. It’s a role we take with honor, one we own with pride, and if we’re honest with ourselves, one we’re not particularly trained for. Thus, “The City After 50” magazine. We sit around the kitchen table or at coffee shops with our friends discussing elderly parent situations, expecting our friends to have answers that we don’t. It’s here, a resource guide for Baby Boomers, as well as their parents. I sincerely hope that as you turn the pages you find editorials that you relate to. Editorials that make you feel more educated and more knowledgeable in this crazy place we find ourselves in, the exciting life of a “Baby Boomer.” Read, enjoy and bloom into the second half of our lives.

And yes, we talk about sex after 50, hope that’s not a hush, hush, topic. What’s that quote, “I’m not dead yet?”


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The Resilient



Baby Boomer 16



hey made their debut in 1946 and have been shaping the American society as pioneers and trendsetters for half a century. They rebelled against rules, revolutionized societal norms and redefined values. Now, the first wave of this trailblazing generation of baby boomers is entering retirement and senior citizenship.

As the hair grays and the skin weathers, the risk of developing chronic health illnesses increases significantly. As 75 million baby boomers age, we are faced with a colossal health care challenge. By 2050, all baby boomers will be older than 85 and the majority of the population will likely be battling obstinate diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Some who were the voice behind innovation in their vigorous years, will be struggling

with memory loss and trying to recall names of their loved ones. It is estimated that more than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease during the course of their lifetimes. In my opinion, in true baby boomer style, this enduring generation can tackle the health care hurdles with poise. As people age, they become vulnerable. However, the baby boomers can transform vulnerability into resilience by taking immediate control of their health and by being aware and informed. The core foundation of awareness begins with compliance. As a physician, I see many patients who do not take medications as advised, and some do not even know the name of the medicines they take or the dosages prescribed. This lack of knowledge on the patient’s part is an impediment to optimal care. 17

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In order to foster resilience, the baby boomer generation needs to be self aware and well informed about their health. A useful tip is to carry a print out list of all the medications one takes and a summary of their past medical history. Another aspect of awareness is knowing the purpose each medication serves. I have encountered many patients who do not know why they take certain medications and the specific disease entity it targets. Furthermore, the vivacious generation of baby boomers needs to employ a preventive approach to health. This includes being upto-date on immunizations, physical exams and pursuing early detection practices such as screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. Patients also need to utilize their primary care providers as resources and educate themselves by asking questions and voicing concerns.

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The ideal relationship between a patient and their primary care provider should ultimately be a mutual partnership based on trust and assurance. Moreover, by strictly adhering to lifestyle and diet modifications, boomers can champion healthy living. This includes regular exercise, tobacco avoidance, moderation of alcohol intake, wellbalanced meals, and a healthy sleep hygiene. Finally, I urge the buoyant generation of baby boomers to keep that sense of idealism alive when it comes to their health. Practice compliance, self-awareness and take control of your health now, so that you can trek the inevitable journey of aging with courage and confidence.

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Senior Moments | By: MARIE MOORE |

Try not to get your knickers in a knot! (lol)


t’s difficult not to get your knickers in a knot when engaging in trans-generational conversation. To be honest, I’m not sure which one of us is using the strangest expressions when I speak with the ‘youngsters’ (and these days that refers to anyone under 30), that I’m tope with. What is painfully clear is that anything which was once copacetic, groovy, totally awesome, rad, even phat, is now just plain bad and if you don’t at least try to keep up, your chats could be glumly described as meh. For example, in the early days of this summer I was blessed with a visit from one of my favorite peeps, my niece. It became painfully obvious that I was behind on commonly used teen terminology when she and her dime friend Natasha shared a selfie at the airport. Yes, I actually thought of my dreamy boots gynecologist when they stopped mid-stride, pausing to pap. But it had to happen because they both looked fleek in their snatched sundresses. Being a typical 18 year old, even the most significant moments in our visit would have seemed lackluster to her without the ability to text about it on her phone,

which I’m sure is why it was constantly in her hand. I found myself wanting to ask “Do you put it down when you sleep or is your hand permanently frozen in the texting position?” Anyway, when one young man, described as Natasha’s stan, messaged his bae that he was tripping on an earworm I decided to throw in the towel and exercise a full court press in translation. If you think this scenario is sus and designed to accommodate the story I’m writing, you need to chill, sis because this stuff actually happened. Oops, WAIT A MINUTE! That’s no longer the correct way of phrasing it … in fact if you tell your teenage daughter to chill and she looks at you like you’ve gone off the deep end it’s because you’ve just suggested she should hook up (do the nasty thing, park someone’s car in her garage, etc.). Taking that one step further, if you catch a glimpse of a seemingly innocent message from a nice young boy asking her if she wants to watch a Netflix and chill, pay close attention to who’s sending it because he is trying to get into her pants.

OTH (Over the hill) Glossary: TOPE = ‘Totally dope’ (Really OK with something)

meh = dull & boring

bad = good, even really hot

peeps = your ‘people’ or friends

dime = the best

selfie = if you don’t know this one, you are in BIG trouble

boots = used after adjectives to signify ‘to the max’ pap = post a picture fleek = really fine

snatched = awesome

stan = hardcore fan

bae = affectionate for babe

earworm = favorite tune that’s stuck in your head

sus = suspicious

chill = used to mean relax, now means ‘hook up’

sis = bro


When Mom May not be




and Dad

‘‘Fine’’ I


t’s comforting to hear a parent who lives far from you say they’re doing “good,” but how can you really know if they’re as “good” as they say they are? Often times, seniors who are so used to being independent and live alone do not want to seem as a burden to their loved ones and would prefer to hide their problems, in hopes of not worrying their children. To avoid missing the signs or the fact that a parent is not “good,” experts say it’s important to visit the person and see for yourself if your loved one’s wellbeing is at risk and helping them, if needed. Benessa Jayme is a Resident Care Director for an assisted living facility in El Paso and says simply staying in touch, often by phone or online, does not cut it. She says while phone calls are of course meaningful, meeting in person can be even more significant. These kinds of visits can allow loved ones to observe any unusual behavior such as aggression, personality changes and possible depression. Becoming familiar with parents’ neighbors may also help to alleviate worries a child living far away may

have. Someone living near the parent may be willing to check on them from time to time to make sure all is well and if it’s not, knowing who to report it to. Jayme says certain times during the years, such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are especially important when it comes to keeping a closer eye on your loved one. Perhaps, once visiting, she says, children may notice things that are not right such as bad hygiene, a messy home that was often in order, stacks of unopened mail or dirty laundry lying around. The aging parent may also appear 23

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disheveled, unbathed or perhaps is not taking their medications as they should. Experts say other red flags include burnt marks on pans, the stove or countertops and old food in their refrigerator. Bumps or bruises caused by a slip or fall are also signs that something may not be right. Jayme suggests even using the right words to help the situation. For example, suggesting a “spa or beauty day” for your loved one might alleviate the frustration and anger an elderly person might experience when it’s time to bathe. Once an elderly parent sees that a family caregiver or home health aide is beneficial, he or she may even began to feel more comfortable with the idea of needing assistance. Typically, parents don’t want to worry their children and may tell them all is well. And while children of aging parents may want to give them the benefit of the doubt, in hopes of helping them age appropriately and comfortably, a near-miss accident is what often leads people to reconsider their parent’s living arrangement. A caregiver, home health provider, reports from neighbors and perhaps even wearing an emergency device could help to lessen risks, assure family members and allow parents to keep their independence. However, speaking tactfully and remaining sensitive can certainly help an aging parent being offered assistance to know their space and integrity is still valued and of the utmost importance.





d o o h r o b h g n Nei a h t i W h c t Wa hioned s a f Olde Twist O 2016

ther than a couple of brief but cordial exchanges at her front door, I really hadn’t spent time with my neighbor before the phone call came. I wonder now if she thought me peculiar when I showed up again, offering to help with phone calls to neighbors, friends and family after the sudden death of her husband.


Like so many others—many of whom live right next door to you, she was faced with tragic circumstances and painfully alone. Maybe it’s because I fear my own impending frailty or maybe it’s because I miss the beloved grandmother and aunties that laced my childhood with china cup tea parties, hair ribbons and hankies, but whatever the reason, getting to know this lady and slipping into an unexpected friendship with an older neighbor has brought many blessings including the lessons of insight, respect and polite camaraderie.


N e i g h b o r h o o d Wa t c h

The small, gated community where I live is a microcosm of most urban environments. There are the young families … kids, a couple of noisy dogs, bicycles parked on pastel-chalked sidewalks and doors that seem to open and close a hundred times a day. There are empty nesters too. They’re the ones with the boxes and boxes of ‘stuff’ that was always intended to follow college graduates or newlyweds to their next address but instead, defiantly remain, in neat rows of mountain-high piles that both defy gravity and render any hope of parking a car in the garage, impossible. But I’d have to guess that our largest demographic is the one composed of retired couples, widows and widowers, many of whom rely on the steady stream of landscapers and housekeepers that pour through the gates on weekday mornings. All are unwitting participants in a well-conceived plot to secure their employers’ independence and keep them out of nursing homes or assisted living communities. 28


These retirees mostly keep to themselves, being of an age when their privacy is cherished and salesmen of all ‘newfangled contraptions,’ students offering sports team raffle tickets and political canvassers from every party, are generally unwelcome and sometimes unanswered at the front door. For a lot of these seniors, it’s difficult to submit to the aging process because they take great pride in being able to care for themselves. For example, the stubborn resolve with which my dear friend defies logic and climbs ladders, lifts boxes or delays seeking medical attention because it’s hard for her to admit to herself or anyone else that she could use a little help. Even tougher because of her thoughtful nature, is contemplating the idea that a request for assistance might be a burden or inconvenience to others. She may live alone but her circumstances are shared by many. After a lifetime of raising children who’ve


N e i g h b o r h o o d Wa t c h

moved to distant cities and decades working jobs with co-workers they’ve since lost touch with, it seems their overwhelming desire to live in a ‘normal’ neighborhood is the very thing that denies them the fellowship they deserve from community. It takes a village. Keeping in mind that old age is something we all want to experience, wouldn’t it be clever of us to establish a nurturing ‘Neighborhood Watch’ that actually connects one generation to another? By organizing small groups of just two or three concerned individuals, this idea can be easily achieved. For example, I’m not the only one who watches out for my friend. Other neighbors; one a former nurse, check on her regularly. Together we have formed a web of friendly support that promotes frequent conversation, home visits and fun outings. This gift to our neighbor, is an even greater gift to ourselves and these gestures of genuine care and concern are additionally appreciated by our neighbor’s family. But while I am witness to the fact that a weekly phone call and monthly outing or shared backyard barbeque can make a real difference, you may be thinking that this wonderful idea could wreak havoc on your already overloaded schedule. Will bearing the self-imposed responsibility of ‘looking out’ for an older adult prove to be a little much? In response to this question I’d like to suggest that a ‘volunteer’ may choose the time and effort they commit to. As with any project, baby steps are the best way to get started. The first; finding someone you enjoy spending time with, is half the battle. Learning patience is the other half, one I’m not always good at. One must tread lightly into another’s life. Employing good manners and polite habits are just two of the important courtesies that go a long way with someone who has survived eighty years on this earth. Once you’ve found the right person, like myself, you’ll quickly forget all of your other concerns. Dishes can

wait, life shouldn’t. Take advantage of whatever time you can share, this is one partnership that probably won’t last nearly as long as you want it to. From my perspective, time with my friend is like sunshine, it feeds the soul and makes a drab day glisten. Listening to her amazing life stories and (forgive me) occasionally engaging in juicy gossip about our neighbors, has bestowed upon me countless hours of meaningful fun. So while a first impression might be that this requires a lot of work, our group has discovered just the opposite. Our ‘Neighborhood Watch’ with an olde-fashioned twist is not about noisy parties or burglars, it’s about taking care of each other. Anyone can do this. Think of it as an investment in your own future and while you’re at it, ‘share the wealth’ with younger relatives so they’ll be prepared to take over when you’re on the other side of the visit. As for the moments with my dear friend … I have come to admire her sense of style and the effort she makes to pull herself together and show up looking like a classy lady, every time. I am in awe of her strength and courage, pluck and determination. I respect her stamina, her faith and her wisdom. I look forward to the friendship that bubbles up around every one of our little adventures. But most of all, I love the laughter that ensues when her wit rises to the surface and breaks into a hilarious comment or admission—many of which would make anyone blush—all of which I will try into my oldest days, to remember.



Know Your Eyes as You Age

| By: MARIO DI PASCUALE, MD, Certified by American Board of Ophthalmology, Cornea and Cataract Refractive Surgeon Specialist |


n order to see a clear object, the light passes first through the cornea, then the pupil and finally a clear lens focuses images onto the retina. As we mature in life, this lens starts to become cloudy; this lens degenerative disease is known as a cataract. The majority of age-related cataracts tend to develop gradually. The risk factors associated with cataracts are: advanced age, diabetes, prolonged exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation), family history of cataracts, eye or head trauma, previous ocular surgery, and prolonged steroid use just to mention a few. In general, a patient with cataracts complains of a slow progression of blurry vision that is worse at night or in dim light conditions. Patients may also develop halos, or glare around light, and a tendency to see faded or “yellowed� colors. They may also see double vision in one eye, need more light for reading, or experience changes in their prescription more frequently. The best preventive methods are to maintain a healthy lifestyle, use sunglasses, as well as regular glasses with ultraviolet (UV) light protection, exercise frequently, eat a balanced diet and have an annual visit with an ophthalmologist.


Once a significant visual cataract has developed the only treatment available is surgery. In cataract surgery, a small incision on the cornea is made to extract the cataract by using ultrasound technology. Then a prosthetic intraocular lens is placed in the old place where the cloudy lens used to reside. This surgery is done without stiches, in a minimally invasive fashion, with a quick recovery time. Advances in intraocular lens technology are becoming available to correct simultaneously patients with cataracts and corneal astigmatism (toric intraocular lens) and presbyopia (multifocal lens), or a combination of both. However, this is not FDA approved in the United States yet. It is also exciting that today eye surgeons are able to use laser technology (femtosecond laser) to perform some parts of cataract surgery, as well as to treat corneal astigmatism. If a patient has some of the risk factors and symptoms mentioned above, it is very important to consult with a board certified ophthalmologist with ample surgical experience, and who offers the best surgical options to evaluate and manage patients with cataracts.




Faces SUE WOO Looking back from 68 years young, Sue was born in San Antonio, received a music scholarship to St. Mary’s University, followed by classes at the University of Texas in Austin and finished up at the University of Houston. She’s been married to Dr. Douglas Woo (Radiologist) for 47 years, has five children, a grandchild and great-grandchild. Why is giving back to the community important? “Giving back is very important because there is so much work to be done and I like to be a part of the decision making process. I feel very fortunate to have my family - not everyone has the opportunity to experience this—it’s why I’m so passionate about where I volunteer.” Sue is the current Chairman of the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra. They sponsor programs in the Segundo Barrio and San Elizario, providing children with instruments and hands-on musical education. These children would probably not have the chance to experience music and the discipline it teaches, otherwise. 32

The El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation. More than 300 kids from throughout our city participate annually. Sue adds, “They are outstanding musicians who appreciate a venue to showcase their talent. They give up their weekends to practice but are rewarded with a chance to play at the Plaza Theatre Christmas Concert and to perform at a side-by-side concert with the El Paso Symphony in May. We are so proud of them!” Sue also served as Chairman of the UMC Foundation Board for five years. As such, she raised money for El Paso Children’s Hospital as well as UMC. With Sue’s help, The Children’s Miracle Network, part of the UMC Foundation, co-created a Children’s Miracle Network in Mexico, which enabled the Foundation to bring children from across the border to receive medical care. They also initiated the Kohl’s Child Seat Program, a community/corporate sponsor collaboration. As the Past Chairman of the Board for the ‘Center Against Family Violence’ and Past Chairman of the YWCA Luncheon Committee during its 100th anniversary celebration, Sue has enjoyed playing a part in several local, landmark events. As an ‘over 50’ El Pasoan, Sue has a message for her peers. “50 is young. If you want to get involved with your community—volunteer! The ’Thank You’ you’ll receive for the time you committed to changing people’s lives, is a wonderful reward.”


Giving Back to our

Community | By: MARIE MOORE |


General Manager, PRIDE Industries, Ft. Bliss. Let’s start by saying I had to ask Jeff if he was actually over 50 because he looks as young as his energy level! So, don’t be fooled by his photo, he is, in fact, 55. Jeff was born in Portsmouth, Va., but has lived in El Paso for 20 years. “I guess if you ask what I love best about this city, I’d have to say the people and the food—especially the spicy Mexican kind!” (That last bit refers to the food). He’s been married to the lovely Laura for 31 yrs. They share a daughter. Jeff found his way to El Paso because Laura missed her home state. To that end, he became Director of General Services for the City in 1996. Why is it important to give back to your community? “I really like my new ‘home town’ so it’s important to me to be an active resident and do things to make it even better.” Jeff gives back to the business community by volunteering on several Chamber of Commerce Committees. This year, he’s on the Executive Committee and acts as Chairman of the Membership Division. Next year, he’ll Chair the Armed Forces Division. Last year, he chaired the Finance Committee. “It’s a great learning experience. I’m very fortunate that my company encourages me to serve my community. This work allows me to be a voice and an advocate for local business folks. That promotes their growth and our economic strength.” Jeff also referees football games. He’s out there under the Friday Night

Lights for high school teams and refs Junior Varsity games on Thursdays or Saturday games for 7th and 8th graders. “I love football! As a referee I impart a little knowledge about the rules and show players all the good things football stands for. Refs provide guidance and structure. That’s important to us, to the kids and the community. I do it for me too—it keeps me in shape. But it’s the spirit of competition, respect for your peers and the team that’s playing against you, that defines this sport. You learn to cooperate, to bring your best to every game, then in the end, to shake hands with your opponent. These days I see lots of adults who don’t understand that it’s very important to teach this.”




Future is Here T echnology for the “older” and more “mature” American has the potential to help make life a little easier, and for the more mature, it can mean keeping the more desired independent lifestyle. New technology does not have to mean big gadgets that no one would want to parade around or eyesores for the home. Recently, there has been a lot of research going into technology that could help those with Alzheimer’s, those in assisted living situations, and even products that make it easier for the younger retirees. Though a lot of them are still in their trial phases, here are some of the ones that are available and ready to use.

GrandCare System

This is basically an all-in-one device that helps to monitor your loved one’s activity while being able to function as so much more. Easily connected with any Internet connection, this device communicates through wireless sensors throughout a residence. Aside from viewing daily activity, a caregiver can customize automatic alerts, choose to receive calls, emails and texts when conditions or unusual activities occur, or send pictures, voice messages, appointments, etc. The person can also use it to listen to music, play brain games and watch old film clips. 34




GPS Smartsole

These Smart insoles fit perfectly into any shoe of someone who has Alzheimer’s. The GPS tracking system built inside means that the person can be easily found if they wander off. Additionaly, you can set a perimeter and be notified if your loved one has strayed from that area. Why weren’t these around before?

No one wants to wear the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” necklace. That Life Alert pendant screams a message that seniors don’t want it to scream (not literally) – essentially they don’t want to lose their independence and, generally speaking, most are too stubborn to ask for help. Lively is an alert system incognito. Not only can it alert if a person has really fallen and can’t get up, but it also has settings to alert for medications, has a fitness tracker and an optional activity sensor.

Skype or Facetime

This is just for anyone with grandchildren that live far or parents who want to keep in touch with their parents with more than just a regular phone call. For Mac users, Facetime is already installed in the Apple product and both parties would need an Apple product to make face calls. Skype on the other hand is more accessible to everyone. Simply download the app to your phone or computer and be “face to face” with your family.

BeClose Everplans

This is an online service that is a great option for filing and keeping a digital archive of documents. Specifically, this is to keep documents such as wills, trusts, things such as passwords, home information and a lot more. These can all be shared with family members or a primary caregiver.

Familiar with the phrase “I’m fine” from a parent that may not be as close as you would like? BeClose allows you to monitor your loved one’s activity, keeping their privacy intact with no cameras involved. With sensors put around the house, you can keep track of movement and activity. You would also be able to tell if they haven’t left the bed all day and haven’t been active at all – sometimes a sign of depression, you would be able to help out a lot sooner. 35


Social Security

UNRAVELED Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


| By: RAY VIGIL, Public Affairs / Wage Reporting Specialist, Social Security Administration |


Question 1: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits but I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay social security (FICA) taxes on my income?

Answer: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically credits the new earnings and, if your new earnings are higher than in any earlier year used to calculate your current benefit, your monthly benefit could increase.

Question 2: I work, even though I am retired. How much can I earn and still collect full Social Security retirement benefits?

Answer: Social Security uses the formulas below, depending on your age, to determine how much you can earn before they must reduce your benefit: • If you are younger than full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016, that limit is $15,720. • In the year you reach your full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above a different limit, but we count only earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. For 2016, this limit is $41,880. • Starting with the month you reach full retirement age: you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

Question 3: What is full retirement age?

Answer: Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits. Your full retirement age depends on your date of birth. For people born before 1938, it’s 65. For those born after 1959, it’s 67. If your birthday falls between 1938 and 1959, your full retirement age is between 65 and 67. (The age for Medicare eligibility is 65, regardless of when you were born.)



Question 4: I know that Social Security’s full retirement age is gradually rising to 67. Does this mean the “early retirement age” will also be going up by two years from age 62 to 64?

Answer: No. While it is true that under current law the full retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67, the “early” retirement age remains at 62. Keep in mind, however, that taking early retirement reduces your benefit amount.

Question 5: How are my retirement benefits calculated?

Answer: Your Social Security benefits are based on earnings averaged over your lifetime. Your actual earnings are first adjusted or “indexed” to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then they calculate your average monthly indexed earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most. We apply a formula to these earnings and arrive at your basic benefit. This is the amount you would receive at your full retirement age. 38

Question 6: If I have already applied for Social Security benefits, does the income I receive from my part-time job at the local nursery result in an increase in my Social Security benefits?

Answer: Retirees who return to work after they start receiving benefits may be able to receive a higher benefit based on those earnings. This is because Social Security automatically re-computes the retirement benefit after crediting the additional earnings to the individual’s earnings record. If current year earnings are substantially higher than any of the years used in the computation of your benefits, it will result in an increase.

Question 7: If I retire and receive social security benefits at age 62, will my Medicare coverage begin then too?

Answer: No. Medicare benefits based on retirement do not begin until a person is age 65. If you retire at age 62, you may be able to continue to have medical insurance coverage through your employer or purchase it from an insurance company until you reach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare.


S o c i a l S e c u r i t y U N R AV E L E D

Question 8: Should I sign up for Medicare Part B if I am working and have health insurance coverage through my employer?

Answer: Choosing to sign up for Medicare is an important decision that involves a number of issues you may need to consider. The decision you make will depend on your situation and the type of health insurance you have. You may be able to delay signing up for Medicare Part B without a late enrollment penalty if you or your spouse (or another family member, if you’re disabled) is working, and you’re getting health insurance benefits based on current employment. In many cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Also, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31) to enroll in Part B, and coverage will start July 1 of that year.

Question 9: My husband and I are both entitled to our own social security benefits. Will our combined benefits be reduced because we are married?

You have options for applying. Apply online by visiting OR Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY LOCATIONS: Social Security Administration 11111 Gateway West Blvd. El Paso, Texas 79935 866-563-9310, 866-563-9310 TOLL FREE Social Security Administration 600 Texas Ave El Paso, Texas 79901 866-964-6229, 866-964-6229 TOLL FREE Website:

Answer: No. When each member of a married couple works in employment covered under Social Security and both meet all other eligibility requirements to receive retirement benefits, lifetime earnings are calculated independently to determine the benefit amounts. Therefore, each spouse receives a monthly benefit amount based on his or her own earnings. If one member of the couple earned substantially less than the other or did not earn enough Social Security credits (40) to be insured for retirement benefits, he or she may be eligible to receive benefits as a spouse.

Question 10: How far in advance should I apply for social security retirement benefits?

Answer: You should apply three months before you want your benefits to start. Even if you aren’t ready to retire, you should still sign up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. When you’re ready to apply for retirement benefits, use our online retirement application for the quickest, easiest, and most convenient way to apply.




for Mature Audiences Only




’ll never forget sitting in the cinema, watching that infamous scene when Jack Nicholson accidentally walks in on Diane Keaton wearing nothing but her birthday suit. “Something’s Gotta Give” was, on the surface, a frivolous venture into the dilemma many women ‘After 50’ face with the alarming shortage of men their age who AREN’T looking for a younger squeeze to warm up to.

At first, I giggled with the rest of the audience. Who could keep a straight face as Nicholson literally covered his eyes and recoiled in horror at the sight of Keaton’s naked body parts, gently touched by time? My husband laughed too and then, as we often do when we share an intimate joke, we caught each other’s eye and just for a second it seemed that he looked a lot like Jack Nicholson and before I could stop myself, I wondered if he felt the same way about walking in on me. And why wouldn’t he? 50 shades of gray takes on new meaning as a woman ages. An older friend of mine once told me the hardest thing about passing her prime was that she felt like she’d literally faded away. I deeply regret now that I didn’t respond with more kindness then, because it’s a brutal blow when you wake up one morning, look back at your reflection and realize it’s true. It

starts with our hair—in my case, even eyebrows need penciling in to mimic their once prominent definition. Before you know it, bits and pieces shift, lines deepen, skin pales, lips thin, the ability to wear killer heels, to rock shorter hemlines and to bare upper arms all becomes a contest between endless hours of self-inflicted diet and exercise, skid free precautions and tiring determination. For many of our battle weary sisters, it’s easier to slip into something a little more comfortable and embrace the shadows at the back of the room. But all is not lost. For even in nature’s most challenging circumstances, come moments of unexpected revelation. Something really does ‘give’ because all the confidence, self-awareness, experience and wisdom one develops after decades of life will break through the clouds of doubt if we just take a deep breath and let them. For one thing, women of a certain age understand their bodies and take pleasure and pride in being able to enjoy them. The allure of confidence witnessed as Keaton boldly flirted with Keanu Reeves on the movie screen is not as rare as Hollywood would have you think. We know exactly who we are and after years of wondering whether the other sex approves of our moves, many of us develop an attitude that simply doesn’t care whether old men want to waste their time 41

r at e d m


on younger conquests. In fact, I honestly feel sorry for them—they have no idea what they’re missing.

I asked a few of my friends, what’s changed in their sex lives and this is what they said.

Let me preface the next paragraphs with “I’m a happily married woman” BUT that’s no reason to shy away from the very best entertainment imaginable. And just because you’ve been playing reruns to the same sold out audience for a very long matinee, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, fresh and sexy.

“It takes a little longer to pull myself together than it used to, but now, instead of worrying about what I’ll wear or what I’ll say, I put on a little music and sip some wine while I’m getting ready. I don’t bother trying on dozens of outfits, I just dab my favorite fragrance on my wrists and across my cleavage, take a mental reading of how I feel at that moment and find the dress or the jeans that compliment my mood. I’m a lot less stressed about life and dating and it seems to be working because my better half can’t stop smiling.”

Freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want without worrying about grossing out your teenagers, gets top billing on my marquis. When there’s only two of you left, home becomes a private sanctuary, filled with endless opportunity. Drawn curtains, candles, chocolate covered strawberries, massage oil—the comfort of familiar habits and the mystery of new ideas blend exquisitely with the best turn on of all—unlimited time.


“I no longer give a damn about how often I have sex—I just make sure it’s the best sex either of us can remember having and hope neither one of us forgets it too soon!”


“Why do our children and our grandchildren and everyone else under the age of 50, think we’re too old to have sex? We have better sex now than we ever did when the kids were sleeping on the other side of the wall.”


“Sometimes we just kiss and remember. Sometimes we laugh till we cry. But we always know we’re there for each other, no matter where life takes us. Then the Viagra kicks in.” “I recommend small surprises. Just one tiny detail that’s different can drive him crazy! And when he asks, ‘Where did THAT come from?’ Just smile and keep him guessing.” “There is nothing more appealing than a woman who oozes self-confidence and knows how to walk through a crowd. If I know anything, it’s that the gentle sway of well-developed hips floating through a room can suspend conversation and finger foods in mid-air.” So I guess, in conclusion, that sex after 50 is a lot like a martini. The burst of flavor and the warm sensation it creates as it slides over your tongue— the way you add just the right garnish to satisfy your personal taste—and always enhanced to perfection by the way you choose to stir it.

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What is an Aging Life Care Professional? | By: DENISE NELSON-PRIETO |




ften the transition from being an independent person who is capable of caring for oneself, to someone who may need some assistance driving, cleaning, or more indepth care can be challenging. To help ease the confusion and concerns surrounding these adjustments, Geriatric Care Managers, or Aging Life Care Professionals, can help those 60 and older and their families make decisions and find resources to aid in the process. Christine Courtney is a care manager at the company Life Options & Advocacy, LLC in Las Cruces. She is a licensed guardian with a certification from the New Mexico Office of Guardianship. The different services she provides her clients include private and stateappointed guardianships, private power of attorney, and income support related to Medicaid and Medicare programs. Courtney explained that there are a couple key components to being in the profession of an aging life care professional:

“ I think you have to have a lot of care and compassion for the person you’re providing services for, and that they’re well taken care of and their wishes honored and respected; honoring their wishes. You have to be open-minded and respectful because in order to listen to the desires of the person who is engaging your services, whether you are a state-appointed guardian or whether you are a private guardian, or a private individual hired to be their power of attorney. Listening to what the client is saying, being empathetic, and to a certain degree sometimes, sympathetic is all very important.” She said the border region presents a particular and unique set of issues in terms of caring for her clients. “Language can be an issue, because I don’t speak Spanish, but we have a good resource for interpreters,” Courtney said. “I also try to really understand the religious and cultural background or each of my clients to help gain a better perspective.


W h at i s a n A g i n g L i f e C a r e P r o f e s s i o n a l ?

In El Paso, the Area Agency on Aging, which is funded by the Rio Grande Council of Governments, provides services to the population age 60 and older at no cost. Yvette Lugo, director of the Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging, explains the history of the agency’s inception: “Area Agency on Aging were established by the Old Americans Act, which enacted these organizations to be established across the country to be the service point for someone who is aging, or family members who need assistance with their aging loved ones. We’re federally funded by the government and you’ll find AAA’s across the country.” The El Paso agency is one of 28 across the state of Texas, and serves six counties. The agency’s furthest reaching county is Presidio, with a satellite office located in Marfa. Currently the population of older 46


adults (60+) in El Paso county is 143, 289. The Rio Grande Agency serves 15, 704 elderly clients (for fiscal year 2016). Lugo says while the agency does not have Geriatric Care Managers per se, they do employ Care Coordinators, who work in the basic capacity of an aging life care professional. It is the job of the care coordinators to determine the needs of each client and allot the appropriate funding for services. Services the agency helps facilitate include custodial care, skilled care, transportation, minor home repair, and legal counselling, among other assistance. There are different facets to what the agency does, our case managers, officially titled care coordinators, will link to resources in the community based on someone’s needs,” Lugo said. “We have established contracts with local vendors to provide different types


A Different Concept in Brokerage Service

of services, so the care coordinator would then authorize our agency to pay for services such as a home health agency, or if the client needs to purchase equipment and supplies, or needs residential repair, modifications to the home to help it be more accessible.” Services provided by professionals such as these can help make the golden years a little brighter! For more information on Aging Life Care Professionals, visit the Aging Life Care Association’s website at

Plan ahead. Protect what matters most. Insurance Brokers

Life Options and Advocacy, LLC 575-382-2124 Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging

4855 N. Mesa #106 El Paso, TX 79912 915.545.2525 |

J. Salvador Saldivar, MD, MPH, FACOG, FACS

SPECIALTY AREAS • Robotic & laparoscopic minimally invasive gynecologic oncology surgery • Complex pelvic & abdominal surgery • Female reproductive tract cancers-vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovarian, fallopian tube • Fertility-sparing gynecologic surgery • Hereditary reproductive tract cancers

Interests • Cytoreductive surgery for ovarian cancer • Genetic risk assesment and testing • Chemotherapy & Radiation • Colposcopy & HPV vaccinations

• Genital tract fistula management • Evaluation & treatment of lower genital tract dysplasias • Sentinel Lymphadectomy for gynecological cancers

RGU Westside 7420 Remcon Circle Building C, El Paso, TX 79912



The Healing Intelligence of

Essential Oils | By: MICHELLE CROMER |


I 2016

have noticed as I age that western medicine doesn’t seem to be as effective. For whatever reason after I hit 50 I began to get all of those dreaded side effects printed on the warning labels of all the medication I was taking. But after a severe allergic reaction during a trip to India, an Indian doctor treated me with aromatherapy. For over two hours he applied essential oils, which seemed at the time, completely far-fetched. The treatment was labor-intensive, appeared imprecise and low tech. But the treatment worked. The doctor explained that essential oils are multi-dimensional, filled with homeostatic intelligence that works to restore the body to a state of healthy balance. When body conditions change, oils adapt, raising or lowering blood pressure as needed, stimulating or repressing enzyme activity as needed, energizing or relaxing as needed. “Oils possess an intelligence that we can’t comprehend,” he said. “Nature does not need to read a text book.” René Gatfoseé, a French chemist, coined aromatherapy over a hundred years ago. He worked with volatile plant

essential oils, developing fragrances for the perfume industry, until one day he had an explosion in his lab and was badly burned. He plunged his arm into the nearest vat of liquid, which happened to be lavender. To his amazement, the pain stopped immediately, and no blistering or scarring occurred. As a result, he changed his focus completely to the medicinal effects of these oils. Alchemists labeled aromatic plant oils as essential because they believed that the fragrances reflected the plant’s true inner nature. Throughout history, the oils have been used for healing and are still key elements of many of the world’s non-Western healing traditions. The difference between aromatherapy and essential oils is the application and intent. You cannot have aromatherapy without essential oils, but you can have essential oils without it being aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils with the goal of causing a positive change physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.


The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils


Utilizing the wisdom of plants and trees medicinally pre-dates written history. Early man, as a hunter-gatherer, must have sampled different plants to find out if they were edible and if so, what effects the plants had on the body. He would have learned quickly that some herbs bring on stupor, some enliven, others purge and of course, many nourish the body. A deep understanding and connection would have been formed between man and plant. As anyone who has lived close to the land soon learns, plants have a spirit of their own and can commune their intent if one is open enough to listen to their energetic frequency. In early times, man probably had a much keener awareness of his environment and worked more closely with the rhythms and vibrations of the earth. His sense of smell would be more honed, the odor entering the brain allowing him to intuit the efficacy of the plant by tuning into its vibration and sensing whether it would be a healthy fit for his body. After a full recovery from my allergic reaction it occurred to me that our medical practices are in many ways a product of our culture. Western medicine sees the mind and body as two different entities. Eastern traditions see the mind and body as coming from the same energy source. In the West this disconnect between the mind and body has directed the clinical evolution of Western Medicine and also affected how patients are perceived and are treated.


The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils


I have a deep respect for Western medicine but for over a decade I have been embracing holistic healthcare and natural medicine. In a recent conversation with my husband, an orthopedic surgeon, I told him I was going to Santa Fe to study to get my aromatherapy license, which will take me about a year, but after, that I would be able to heal people through the utilization of aromatherapy. He said, “Wow, why did I go to Stanford for four years and major in biology then get a masters in biology from Stanford, then four years of medical school, and another five years in residency, I could have just studied in Santa Fe for a year.” I replied, “Sucker.”






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Photo by: Jennifer Means



EL PASO’S FIRST GERIATRIC BEHAVIORAL UNIT An expert team ready to assist during one of life’s toughest chapters



o one really looks forward to growing old, in fact many dread the senior years and do all they can to stretch out those wrinkles and prevent the hands of time from turning forward. The reality may be even harder to cope with for children of aging parents, especially if their parents suffer from illness. “Sometimes we want to try to stop the inevitable and sometimes it causes more pain, but yet, we want to hold on to the ones we love,” said Dr. Angel Marcello Rodriguez-Chevrez. The psychiatrist is the medical director of the Geriatric Behavioral Unit (GBU) at the Hospitals at Providence Memorial Campus. The specialized facility, though still in its infancy, has wasted no time to fill a gap for service.

“There was not really a specialized unit of this nature in our community for many, many years,” Rodriguez-Chevrez explained. “There is a huge need in this community since the life expectancy is growing,” he said. While it is good news that people are living longer, the illnesses that sometimes accompany advanced age are the bad news. The unit Rodriguez-Chevrez leads specializes in treating a senior population that may be suffering from a chronic condition. He said often times patients end up in his unit as a result of

unexplainable behavior. “The [older population] are prone or at risk for certain mental changes that some may not recognize or they may be misinterpreted.” The in-patient unit specializes in diagnosing and treating the emotional, behavioral and mental issues an older patient may be experiencing in addition to medical challenges. Their team performs individual assessments upon admission and on a daily basis to measure cognition and memory skills. The interdisciplinary approach to around the clock care is what Rodriguez-Chevrez appreciates the most. “I have a whole team at the disposition of my patients. Because people can be so fragile in medical and so 53

E l P a s o ’ s F i r s t G e r i a t r i c B e h av i o r a l U n i t

many other ways, it’s great to have a medical unit right across the hall (literally) staffed with doctors that deal with that population on the medical side,” he said. The GBU, which includes a partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Department of Psychiatry residency program, features 12 private rooms and community space for patients 65 and older. Rodriguez-Chevrez said most patients they care for in the unit are in their 80s and 90s and the average stay is 10 days. “Our role is to return them to where they belong. If home 54


doesn’t meet needs, then we talk about options,” he explained. The unit’s social services component assesses next steps post GBU care. Taking that first step to get professional help for aging loved ones can be difficult especially if that loved one is a parent, but Rodriguez-Chevrez encourages families to explore options to improve a loved one’s quality of life. “Often times we don’t want to believe that something like that is happening to a dear person of ours,” he discussed. “Education is so critical whether it’s a


E l P a s o ’ s F i r s t G e r i a t r i c B e h av i o r a l U n i t

book you’re reading or you Google it or sometimes it starts with your doctor or your parent’s doctor – even a neighbor that may work in medicine or geriatrics. You need to often times explore. Do your own homework especially if you start recognizing early changes. Early changes in these conditions often times have to do with memory problems,” he said. Rodriguez-Chevrez explained that memory is stored in layers which is why many times people will notice an elderly person loses short term memory, but can remember childhood memories. He adds leaving a chronic condition unattended can get worse in

a hurry. He wants the community to notice early changes in their loved ones and wants people to know help like the one his unit provides is available. In the nearly three years the GBU has been open, experts say they’ve seen the need displayed in use. The unit’s dozen beds are sometimes full and a waiting list starts. Future plans for growth are in the works, but a timeline isn’t set yet. For more details on the Geriatric Behavioral Unit at the Hospitals at Providence Memorial Campus visit their website. For referrals call (915) 577-6397. 55

t n a t Impor r e v O s y a d Birth


| By: TRAVIS J. HUGHES, CFP, ChFC, CLU, AEP, MSFS, REBC, RHU, AIF®, Certified Financial Planner |


M 2016

ost children stop being “and-a-half” somewhere around age 12. Kids add “anda-half“ to make sure everyone knows they’re closer to the next age than the last.

When you are older, “and-a-half” birthdays start making a comeback. In fact, starting at age 50, several birthdays and “half-birthdays” are critical to understand because they have implications regarding your retirement income.


Average Benefit. In 2016, the average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,345. Source: Social Security Administration, 2016

AGE 50

At age 50, workers in certain qualified retirement plans are able to begin making annual catch-up contributions in addition to their normal contributions. Those who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans can contribute an additional $6,000 per year in 2016.¹ Those who participate in Simple IRA or Simple 401(k) plans can make a catchup contribution of up to $3,000 in 2016. And those who participate in traditional IRAs can set aside an additional $1,000 a year.²

AGE 59½

At age 59½, workers are able to start making withdrawals from qualified retirement plans without incurring a 10% federal income-tax penalty. This applies to workers who have contributed to IRAs and employer-sponsored plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans (457 plans are never subject to the 10% penalty). Keep in mind that distributions from traditional IRAs, 401(k) plans, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income.

AGE 62

At age 62 workers are first able to draw Social Security retirement benefits. However, if a person continues to work, those benefits will be reduced. The Social Security Administration will deduct $1 in benefits for each $2 an individual earns above an annual limit. In 2016, the income limit is $15,720. 57

I m p o r t a n t B i r t h d ay s O v e r 5 0

AGE 65

At age 65, individuals can qualify for Medicare. The Social Security Administration recommends applying three months before reaching age 65. It’s important to note that if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (medical insurance) without an additional application.³


AGE 65 to 67

Between ages 65 and 67, individuals become eligible to receive 100% of their Social Security benefit. The age varies, depending on birth year. Individuals born in 1955, for example, become eligible to receive 100% of their benefits when they reach age 66 years and 2 months. Those born in 1960 or later need to reach age 67 before they’ll become eligible to receive full benefits.


Early Benefits. In 2013—the most recent year for which statistics are available—75% of retirees opted to begin receiving Social Security reduced benefits before reaching their full retirement age. Source: Social Security Administration, 2015


I m p o r t a n t B i r t h d ay s O v e r 5 0


AGE 70½

At age 70½, participants must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans. RMDs are based on your account balance and life expectancy. Understanding key birthdays may help you better prepare for certain retirement income and benefits. But perhaps more importantly, knowing key birthdays can help you avoid penalties that may be imposed if you miss the date.

1. The catch-up limit is adjusted in $500 increments. 2. If you reach the age of 50 before the end of the calendar year. 3. Individuals can decline Part B coverage because it requires an additional premium payment. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2016 FMG Suite.

Securities offered through Investors Capital Corporation, 6 Kimball Lane, Lynnfield, MA 01940, (800) 949-1422. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Investors Capital Advisory, Inc.


Jorge Villarreal, MD 3100 North Stanton


El Paso, TX 79902


(915) 532-9477


s e i d d u B r u O N | By: GIN



to our structure g in g n ri b and at help in to get up t re n g a a w t o re Dogs a might n ur day, it into yo ough you ber one t th m fi u t n s n e u v d E m n urest a ing. You at “hang e lives. are our p eeds walk ou with th e. For th n y v t o a lo id s l F k ur dogs a o t, n lo your io own ou exercise uncondit omes and to c to f s e o e n h m o e n s ti e rc a e h sou and w will mak everal re ere are s t just sit sion, you s h th re ig , p g m x in e g ip ” a head. nsh dog the day a ompanio r how c e e c tt d a fa n a d m n g o a do list. N puppy a oesn’t ne on the ill love ven if it d o e w r e e e is b n o rc m e u o x as n nd may family, n mands e y ness ma need it a ur dog de rge your li o la s e y g n r g o o lo D in ll , lk . a e a e lder n ag sm open W . As we ow that o aily routi s h d n e s e r o v s u d e c o ti t g y s h o ti ig our d fit into ner. Sta without d and m you as y an those f their ow s. Having ted frien o th n rn s it a e s w c e d n n n tr u o a s c ss an e or al dem display le e exercis become itional nd physic ts th a d e , n p g n o h c in io it n s lk s u w a depre have people to that be the w doors to helps to give way . It might t ly s e h d it ig n n fi ie m e fr d d un furry , but it rs. a dog aro ith daily. ce licking lse rende e fa e e n o th t o oubles w s tr ju r u 60 love that n o y g to share somethin



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Faces VICTOR NEVAREZ Off to a busy start… “My first job was cleaning six bars and five Walgreens at night, while attending classes at El Paso High during the day. After graduating, I bypassed college and worked for nine years at Border Steel where I started as a laborer and finished as a Master Machinist, organizing and becoming President of their Union at the age of 22. After that, I worked at Chevron/Western Refining for a total of 33 years where I started as a bottle washer in the lab, and left as Director of Commercial Logistics.” Why is giving back to the community important to you? “Giving back to this community is important because it’s been so good to me. I have become successful by taking advantage of the opportunities put before me, so paying back is my way of recognizing that this community helped to make me successful.” To say his hard work has paid off for El Paso is an understatement but Victor would like to add that “the support of a loving and understanding wife who allows me to be away from home for countless hours and address the issues I feel are important, has made all the difference.” 62

Let’s talk about what you do now… “As the President of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, I oversee the only food bank in our city. It provides food to 99,400 of the 131,000 food insecure people in this area by partnering with 114 nonprofits and distributing 9,000,000 pounds of food, annually. We also provide free nutrition education classes. “Anyone not served by a nonprofit may attend up to 140 Mobile Pantries being held this year. As members of Feeding America, we also set up pantries in schools in the neediest parts of the county. We provide volunteer opportunities to all, especially students and companies seeking team-building experiences. We partner with other agencies by hosting Health Fairs at our Mobile Pantry sites and assist those who can’t maneuver SNAP applications on their own, with a Social Services Coordinator. “We know there’s a stigma attached when people need help so we provide platforms that focus on our clients’ dignity. Individuals don’t have to travel to our location, they can choose to visit one of 114 mobile pantries. However, when someone does come to our door, we provide them with 40 pounds of food and cheerfully refer them to the nearest pantry.”


Giving Back to our

Community | By: MARIE MOORE |

IRMA KEYS Still working at 68, Irma is the Executive Director at El Paso Bridges Academy. “It’s a full-time plus job, but when you love what you do, the rewards are endless.” Also endless, it seems, is the list of students that have been helped by Irma and her dedicated faculty, many of whom hold prominent positions in our bustling metropolis. Irma started at Bridges in 1982 and taught there full-time for 10 years. Although she still tries to spend time in the classroom every day, her role as an administrator, family and student counselor, program coordinator and advocate for Learning Disabled students takes up most of her time. How does your job give back to the community? “That’s a very good question because I firmly believe that most people miss the link between a specialized school like ours and the benefits it brings to our city. What I know is that when we teach students how to learn differently by filling in the gaps in their cognitive process, we allow them to show and share their gifts and talents with the world. “This translates into LD adults who are less frustrated and more capable of successfully expressing their needs. That in turn gives them a better chance of avoiding isolation and conflict. LD adults rank high on the list of incarcerated and homeless people precisely because they have not been able to take advantage of ‘normal’ opportunities. They often feel incapable of participating in effective communication and lack

the sense of security that comes from being able to navigate their world.


“Better educated LD students become productive adults who are less likely to need financial assistance. Although many Bridges graduates are able to adjust to high school curricula and even achieve post-secondary success, the basics they’ve identified in our elementary grade environment make a difference with job hunting or long-term employment experiences. “From an individual perspective, our graduates are happier, healthier and confident. They have self-esteem, therefore they forge better personal relationships and in general have a greater ability to give back to El Paso themselves.” Who can take advantage of your programs? Students with dyslexia, high functioning autism and other neurological conditions may attend full time Grades 1-9 classes or After School tutoring programs designed for those enrolled in Public or Private schools. There is also a part-time program for home schooled students.


Home Therapy


Solutions Right Here in El Paso | By: DENISE NELSON-PRIETO |

s we age, we can be faced with many health issues. Certain ailments that affect those 65 and older include musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fractures and loss of muscle mass. Cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure and stroke are also common. Fortunately, Elite Therapy Solutions has a team of occupational and physical therapists who specialize in senior care. “The reason [the] elderly need therapy, most of the time, is because they’ve had surgery, like hip replacements and knee replacements,” said Priscilla Grajeda, Human Resources Manager for the company. She added that these are the types of injuries and afflictions that physical therapists focus on, which is good news considering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates every year more than 2.8 million older people are treated for falls in emergency departments and 300,000 are hospitalized for hip fractures. For more upper body related conditions, such as the effects of brain damage and cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, occupational therapists come into play.



“Our OT’s [occupational therapists] treat people who have to learn how to do everyday things all over again . . . like washing their hair or going to the bathroom,” Grajeda said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost three quarters of stroke victims are people age 65 and older and that the risk for stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55. Currently the therapists at Elite are concentrating 100 percent of their efforts on home health. However, this is due to change come January or February. According to Grajeda the company has filed for its Medicare number. Once the company jumps through all of the bureaucratic hoops and successfully navigates the government red tape, Elite will be able to open a facility and provide outpatient therapeutic services. “Transitioning to an outpatient facility . . . is a little bit of a time-consuming process,” Grajeda said. “[Once approved] we’re looking to open in far west El Paso, by the new Hospitals of Providence. We chose that location because there really isn’t any kind of therapy clinic in that area.”


Another project Elite has in the works, is a collaborative effort with the office of Congressman Beto O’Rourke to provide physical and occupational therapy to armed services veterans. O’Rourke, who is a member of the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee, is leading a diligent effort to improve veterans’ health services. One of the chief components of his efforts is to get the embattled administration to contract most of its routine medical care to local providers, such as Elite, that are outside the VA system.

Grajeda explained her company’s efforts to help veterans: “A lot of the veterans are underserved and don’t have the ability to go to a facility to get therapy services; we’re working on seeing how we can actually go to the veterans’ homes to do therapy, instead of them having to get a ride or having to be transported to a facility. We’re still trying to get approval from the V.A.”

and in-laws. She said the decision to establish the company resulted in her family’s desire to provide better, more comprehensive care to their clients. “After years of working in the industry. . . my family saw how many therapy companies operated. They weren’t really that happy with what they were seeing and decided to make some changes,” Grajeda said. The typical chain of events that occurs for a client to receive services from Elite is a surgery or procedure in the hospital, a stay at an in-patient rehabilitation hospital, and then care from one of the company’s therapists. To receive treatment from Elite, however, the patient must have doctor’s referral. Elite Therapy Solutions offers high quality care in the convenience of your own home!

Elite is a fairly new company. The group opened its doors last January and is comprised of three occupational therapists and two physical therapists. Grajeda describes the company as “family based” with some of the staff comprised of her husband



Fifty, Fabulous, and

Loving Life



f you’ve ever traveled with children, you know that it’s never a vacation. In my house we simply call it a trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than life itself, but I am going to sing Hallelujah to the highest when I can go out of town without packing three suitcases, hearing “Are we there yet?”, or doing all of the things. All the things, meaning the things that I really don’t want to do but do because if I don’t, I will feel that terrible mom guilt. Let’s be honest, I dream of the day when I don’t have to buy one more “California” key chain or dinky souvenir because they just “have to have it.” So for all of you mamas and papas who have made it through this phase of life, cheers to you! You deserve a real vacation! Even if you’ve never had kids, you’ve trudged on through this life long enough to deserve the best travels. Some ventures that I dream to take one day and that are also highly rated as top notch are listed below. Here’s to 50, fabulous and loving life!



Top Tropical Spots

Sandals Emerald Bay in The Bahamas, specifically in Great Exumas (also called The Cays) includes butlers, spacious rooms, a Greg Norman golf course, seven on-site restaurants, and in case you aren’t already relaxed from the rolling waves and breaths of fresh air, a deluxe spa.

The Virgin Islands-2 top spots to visit are St. Maarten and St. John: In St. Maarten, one of the best adults-only hotels is Sonesta Great Bay Beach. This boutique-style hotel is all-inclusive, which I love! All-inclusive makes vacation so much

more stress-free knowing you’ve already paid for everything available. It has three swimming pools, four bars, four restaurants, a spa and casino. Butlers will also serve you lunch on the beach. Swoon! What more could you want? If you DO want more, guests can visit their sister property (though familyfriendly), Sonesto Maho Beach, for more fun. St. John is another one of The Virgin Islands that is gorgeous. Stay in a bungalow on the beach at Caneel Bay Resort, formerly a Rockerfeller Estate. If that doesn’t make you feel fancy, I don’t know what will. The resort has seven private beaches and several are adult-only. 67

F i f t y, Fa b u l o u s , a n d L o v i n g L i f e

The Rustic and Natural in the U.S.

Dunton Hot Springs Dolores, Colorado - close to Telluride, Colo., this resort makes you feel like you are in the Wild West because the 19th Century cabins were around during that time. They have been restored to luxurious, relaxing, and even romantic, abodes. Dunton Springs is proud to serve wine from its own award-winning winery, which accompanies their delicious and unique organic menu. The spa on site is fed by natural hot springs, creating a more than idyllic view, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready for more life. Close to Telluride, skiing is an option if it’s the season, or it is also driving distance to several historical markers, including the great Anasazi archeological sites of The Southwest.


many activities during the day such as horseback riding, zip-lining, as well as admiring the treehouses and serenity. This place is definitely on my bucket list.

Out ‘N About Treehouse Treesort - even though your kids would LOVE this, this treehouse if for adults only. Located in Cave Junction, Ore., this resort has 12 treehouses that are reserved one year in advance (as early as they will take them). Although it’s more of a bed and breakfast, they offer 68

F i f t y, Fa b u l o u s , a n d L o v i n g L i f e


Cruise Away

Viking Cruise Lines There are so many great cruise lines out there with discounts steadily available, but one that has become very popular is Viking Cruise Lines. This company needs an entire article to cover all of its wonders. You can choose between an ocean or river cruise to so many different places: The Baltic and Northern Europe, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. The beauty of a cruise is getting to visit all the places you want without having to pack and unpack for each city. This cruise line is different in that their meals are gourmet and regional according to your travels. If you want to learn more about the culture, this cruise line offers that, too. “All Viking cruises include the exclusive Viking Culture Curriculum program that brings history and culture to life through onboard enrichment lectures; language classes; hands-on cooking demonstrations and classes; and local entertainment to complement included shore excursions.”

What an amazing experience! Who wants to go with me? Christmas Markets of Europe One Viking Cruise that caught my attention was one that travels during the holidays. I know I talked a big game before about being ready to travel without my kids, but just this once I might relent. This is just one of the holiday cruises Viking provides. Handcrafted gifts such as nutcrackers, candles, knitted wool goods, and treats from the area (think homemade gingerbread) are found while visiting Vienna, Cologne, Budapest, Nuremberg, and Rudesheim. Why yes, Santa, I’ll take one, please. Fellow El Pasoans and friends, you don’t need to wait until you’re 50 to take one of these amazing vacations; however, those of you that are 50, get busy with your planning and Godspeed. You deserve this.


83 2016




f “busy is the new happy,” it’s time you met June and Al Bourland. Still working at 83, these two extraordinary people are giving retirement a bad name.

June has worked at Costco for 17 years, starting in Colorado and transferring to the El Paso store when she and her husband, Al, moved here. “It’s the longest job I’ve ever had and definitely my favorite! The best thing about my job is that I enjoy people. At the front entrance of Costco, I get to talk to tons of people—I enjoy watching the little kids, the parents and the grandparents. I feed off their energy, they’re important to me.” June works eight hours a day, five days a week. When asked if she ever wishes she could sleep in, she replied, “I can use my days off to sleep in, sleep is overrated anyway!” Al, on the other hand, wishes he could sleep in every day. “It’s my nature,” he confesses. He works an average of 25 hours a week at Lowe’s and enjoys his job in the nursery tremendously. As a part-timer, he does not receive typical employee benefits but that’s ok with Al. “I don’t do it for the money, I don’t do it for the benefits, I do it to stay active and it’s a constant challenge to my brain, so it’s the perfect job for me.” “Also, I like having a lot of regular customers that feel like friends. I’m the man who answers their questions and because they understand that I really want them to have beautiful yards, I have a huge following of customers. Seventy years ago, a man I truly respected told me if you quit working, you die. I believed him. In most cases, retirement shortens your life span— playing golf and watching TV can diminish your mental capacity. I am grateful for my job.” Al and June’s adult daughter thinks it’s crucial for them to have a purpose, to feel valued and to contribute a service to others. “It’s critical for them to have a sense of belonging and a reason to get up and go. Yes, I worry that they may overdo it and get tired.

“The best thing about my job is that I enjoy people, I enjoy watching the little kids, the parents and the grandparents. I feed off their energy, they’re important to me.” Yes, I worry about them being well rested when they get behind the steering wheel in rush hour traffic, but I’m just so proud of them for the example they set!” All three agree that Lowe’s and Costco are fantastic companies. June gets five weeks of vacation, which is enough time to spend with her growing family. Al is allowed to book time off when he needs it and both have been treated with nothing but respect and courtesy by their employers. Does working at the age of 83 not have a detrimental effect on your health, I asked June? “Well, I’ve had some joints replaced, but 83 years is a lot of wear and tear. I guess my doctor feels the same way I do. The benefits of working far outweigh the consequences of not doing it at all.” And as June and Al would both say, you can’t argue with that! 71


Design Function



Written and Styled By: LADONNA APODACA Photography: TOMMIE MORELOS Interior Design: RON TAYLOR, RONOVATIONS, INC.



hile Parkinson’s disease may have deprived a prominent local doctor of some of life’s many “taken for granted” pleasures, a longtime family friend, who’s also an interior designer, helped him to maintain a modified life of independence by altering a newly acquired home. Life, for the most part, has been extremely kind to our homeowner. As a one-time prominent doctor in El Paso, he enjoyed a thriving career, a beautiful family and a great circle of friends. Travel was a welcome adventure and the collecting of fine art and other objects of beauty wasn’t just a passion but also a joy. Nearly a decade ago, however, life as the doctor knew it took a sudden change when Parkinson’s disease was unexpectedly announced. Parkinson’s is a disease of the central nervous system. Its progression is usually slow and often manifests with symptoms such as stiffness, slow movement and loss of balance. Parkinson’s disease can often be managed with treatment; however, it’s monumentally life changing.

After decades of living in a sprawling 8,500 sq. ft. home, it was determined a year or so ago, that downsizing and finding an abode better acclimated to the doctors changing lifestyle, was now in his best interest. In order to modify his new home to adapt to the progressing symptoms of Parkinson’s, the assistance of a longtime family friend was enlisted. Enter residential interior designer, Ron Taylor. Taylor, who originally hales from El Paso, met the doctor and his family several decades prior and the opportunity to work on the home for his beloved friend was not only a welcomed project, but would also become a labor of love. Taylor, who’s firm is Ronovations Inc., specializes in upscale residential design that has been described 73

as, “bridging the gap between interior design and art.” Perfectly apropos for the work that lied ahead.

elevated approximately six inches, to make access to drawers and seating that much easier.

The primary concern was to create a way for the doctor to be able to maneuver throughout the house as independently as possible. It took no time at all to note that hanging handrails all along the walls at waist height would provide the necessary form of stability that the doctor needed. Taylor devised an attractive wooden railing system that easily accommodated his client while at the same time added an unexpected, yet attractive, decorative element.

Taylor pointed out that, “As we age, even the simplest of tasks seem to get harder and harder. By elevating the chest of drawers, for example, the doctor no longer has to bend over as much as he used to in order to access his belongings. Just the simple act of bending forward in the wrong way, can easily throw my client off balance. Now, that concern isn’t quite as much of an issue.” Another example of modification that the doctor appreciates on a daily basis is that the comfortable chair he uses in the master bedroom is now elevated as well. This simple change has made getting in and out of the chair a much more doable process.

Other changes that made daily tasks in the new home much easier are the sitting and resting space and the addition of strategically placed grab bars by the doorways of the master bedroom and master bath. The installation of a floor-to-ceiling metal pole finished to blend with the master bedrooms décor, enabled the doctor to be able to get in and out of bed with greater ease. Another concept that was considered genius by friends and family was how Taylor modified all of the main furnishings of the master bedroom to be 74

The biggest change that took place in the makeover was to change the flooring throughout. Originally, the house had dark bamboo floors. Taylor laughed as he reminisced about what he first saw when he walked in the front door, “Please tell your readers that bamboo in the desert is not a good mix. What we inherited here was crazy! The original flooring had warped in a number of places all over the house.


design & function

Because the doctor shuffles, rather than walks, I knew we couldn’t use carpeting and we needed something that was smooth and level. In its original state the bamboo was an accident just waiting to happen.” As an alternative, Taylor selected new mid-toned grey wood flooring and had it installed in an uncommon herringbone pattern. Tommy’s Floor Coverings of El Paso was hired to do the installation and all parties concerned could not have been more delighted with the end result. Taylor says that, “the craftsmanship was magnificent. The installation was clean, tight and perfect. Everyone that enters the home for the first time always comments on the beauty and interest of the floors. Juxtaposed against all the artwork on clean white walls, the flooring became somewhat of a sculptural element as well.” “The placement of the furniture was the last thing of importance that I had to take into consideration,” Taylor noted, “there needed to be ample space for a possible wheel chair in the future or even a hospital bed. By positioning the open living area as we did, it created an inviting area for entertaining while maintaining the spaciousness that suits this new

house so well. I was also in a quandary as to how to display a lifetime of family photos in a place that was showcasing such large scale and powerful art.” Contrasting the bold framed pieces, Taylor played off the custom support railings by adding a long beam down both sides of the main hallway. Here, he leaned a multitude of old and new framed photos that not only make it easy for the doctor to appreciate these treasured memories while passing by, but also has become a nice conversation piece for visiting friends and family. I asked if the doctor was around much for the duration of the transformation from house to home. Taylor replied that he actually wasn’t. “In fact,” he remembered, “they had just come back from being out of town when it was time for the big reveal.” Taylor replied that the response was very fitting of a quiet man in the midst of transition. “The doctor smiled at me,” Taylor said, “and told me, ‘you did good!’ That was all I needed to know.”




Discovering the Fountain of Youth Through the eyes of super athletes who are between

the ages of

50&85 | By: ELAINE GORDON |





D i s c o v e r i n g t h e F o u n ta i n o f Yo u t h

hile eating right and being physically active is crucial during our lifetime, it is absolutely a necessity to adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially during the years of 50 and over. That is the time of our lives when we can reduce the risk of developing, or even reversing, various age-related problems, like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and some cancers. Also, studies suggest that exercise on a regular basis can lower the risk of dementia and frailty as we age. In order to eliminate age-related decline in muscle mass and function, which tends to start in the 40s and picks up speed after the age of 50, diet and exercise play a key role in the age-reversal process. Poor nutrition, hormonal changes and body-wide inflammation are also responsible for our bodies

aging at a faster rate. This can be remedied simply by changing your lifestyle and incorporating a daily regime of the right exercises and eating a diet that is rich in protein, fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), nuts and seeds. The tools that everyone agrees work to shore up muscles are a progressive strength-training program, coupled with an aerobic fitness routine, flexibility and balance exercises, and core-promoting rituals. Now that you have a basic knowledge that is simple and easy to integrate into your lifestyle, I would like to introduce to you five athletes that are incredibly remarkable. All of them are local residents of El Paso, Texas and my respect and admiration goes out to each and every one of these amazing people.

Gretchen McElroy, 51-years-old,

is an amazing woman who is a mother, wife and co-owner of “Core Performance Coaching.” As a certified USAT Coach, and certified personal trainer, McElroy coaches high school track, as well as runners and triathletes who want to be the best at their sport. McElroy has competed in triathlons and duathlons for nearly 30 years. “I came into these sports by doing what I loved and what made me feel good, day to day. Endurance exercise gives me the ability to get away from it all, and to have one on one time with my head and work out problems and find solutions,” says McElroy. She is a National Champion for both duathlons and triathlons while making the elite list with multiple “All American Honors.” McElroy has also qualified and competed in the “Best of the U.S.” “We are athletes just for trying!” is a motto McElroy always lives by.

McElroy’s workout schedule consists of running five days a week, cycling two days a week and swimming. On the weekends, back to back, cycling (1 1/2 hrs.) and swimming (two miles) mixed sets of intervals. McElroy’s diet consists of a healthy mixture, leaning towards vegetarianism, but with a love for fish and eggs.


D i s c o v e r i n g t h e F o u n ta i n o f Yo u t h


Robert Anthony “Bobbie” Gonzales, 56-years-old,

began his athletic career at El Paso High School where he competed in basketball, tennis and swimming. In the spring of 1989 he entered his first triathlon and the rest is history, as he would build up his body, mind and spirit to become one of the Southwest’s most decorated triathletes. Over his career to date, he has received 17 All American Honors (1994-2015). In 2014, Gonzalez was the National Sprint Triathlon Champion in the 50-54 age group category in Burlington, Vt. and runner-up in 2015 Milwaukee, Wis. National Sprint Triathlon. He is the only multi-sport athlete to ever win the Rocky Mountain Regional Sprint Triathlon six times (1994-2003). Gonzalez, proving that age is no obstacle, was a three time Hawaiian Ironman Finisher (1998-2001). Gonzalez is promptly in bed each day no later than 10 p.m. He religiously trains seven days a week and his average weekly training includes: biking (214 miles), swimming (7500 yards), and running (20 miles)! In recent years, he has focused his attention on providing inspiration to the youth of El Paso by giving presentations on the dangers of drug use and by mentoring young athletes as they embark on their own athletic careers.

56 6 78


D i s c o v e r i n g t h e F o u n ta i n o f Yo u t h

Axel Johnson is an elite athlete just shy of his 60th birthday. He is an elite cyclist, former competitive triathlete and veteran of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, as well as a big proponent of cross training.

In Johnson’s earlier days of training for triathlons, he would focus on big training miles, multiple workouts of running and cycling, swimming and weight training for 3-6 plus hours per day; seven days a week with an occasional rest day in between. Johnson recalls, “While those long days of training daily at that pace are in the past, I have incorporated the principles into a lifestyle that continues. One of the keys is finding and maintaining balance.” Johnson has noticed zero decrease in strength over the past 20 years, while making workouts a priority. Johnson currently cycles 200-300 miles per week, and includes running, swimming, weight training and yoga in his regime. His diet consists of a balanced “Mediterranean Diet” which includes good “clean” food and fine wine. He does not follow an extremely low-fat diet and does not believe in low or non-fat products. He also believes in drinking lots of water and starts his morning with drinking at least 25oz. right after he wakes. Whole grain carbs are a favorite of his, along with an adequate amount of protein.

Johnson reflects, “I have no regrets about my aging, I actually embrace getting older and revel in it. That is mainly due to the fact that I do what I can each day through self-discovery and self-realization, which enables me to change and grow and become the best person I can be.”


D i s c o v e r i n g t h e F o u n ta i n o f Yo u t h


“The truth, I’m not elite, just determined,” states Nora Karam, age 63. Her tall, slender body, youthful appearance, and warmth about her, never gives way to the fact that she is known as a super, elite competitive athlete who is extremely driven. She has a spirit that thrives like a champion, and a will that is insatiable when it comes to competing in triathlon races. She is one of the best triathletes in her age division and a woman who is determined to always do her best. Karam started her love for athletics in Junior High School and only competed for one year. It wasn’t until her late 40s that she got back into running. Her first race was a half marathon in Virginia Beach in 2001, with many half marathons to follow, but it wasn’t until a race in San Diego where she completed her first marathon. “I didn’t have a coach, Runner’s World was my only training guide,” Karam reflects. “I thought about triathlons, but I didn’t even know how to get involved in competing in a race. I prayed about it and dreamed about competing, but I didn’t even own a bike, much less one for racing,” says Karam. It wasn’t until a friend of hers introduced her to triathlons. They trained together and competed in the “Mighty Mujer” in El Paso, Texas where Karam came in first place in her age division. Karam would go on to race in triathlons for the next five years, placing in more than 20 triathlons, She now has her eyes set on her first half-Ironman in October 2016 in Tempe, Ariz. “Finishing is winning,” and Karam is stronger than ever. She has also won seven gold medals in track and field and cycling at the “El Paso, Texas Senior Games” in 2015, without competing in track and field since she was in junior high school. Karam’s training schedule changes daily, but each week she maintains three days of swimming, several days of running, and several bike rides. She maintains a healthy and clean diet of whole grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and an occasional burger for her treat. Maybe someday you too might decide to train and compete in your first triathlon! Learning from our super “Senior” athletes, we can realize that age should never be a deterrent that keeps us from embarking on a new adventure or a new lifestyle.




Quick Tips From a Therapist | By: CORY A. MEDINA, COTA DOR |

Joints and Muscles After 50 1. Joints begin to deteriorate slowly after 50 but that does not mean doing less is better. Being active strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints, which allows for more support and less strain throughout physical activities. 2. Being active is crucial for the human body; age should not be a limitation on physical activities. 3. Exercise can be most beneficial when done correctly and safely. Build up your endurance for lasting results.

Tips Before Every Physical Activity 1. Warm-up. Every physical activity should begin with a quick warm-up to allow muscles and joints to be as agile as possible 2. Stretch. Stretching is essential throughout the day, it allows muscles that are tense to relax and decreases your level of anxiety 3. Don’t over do it. Listen to your body when it says to slow down. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. 4. Always be aware of your surroundings

Best Ways to Prevent Knee Pain 1. Strengthen your butt 2. Stretch the muscles that support your knees 3. Tone your core muscles 4. Maintain a healthy weight







orty is the new 20? Or 60 is the new 40? Whatever the age, “seniors” comprise the evergrowing population of baby boomers reaching their golden years. According to AARP (formerly American Association for Retired Persons), a senior citizen is someone over the age of 50. Senior citizens are one of the fastest growing and trendsetting segments of our population. This group also seems to be more interested in taking care of themselves and they are looking healthier and younger. There is a myriad of programs and activities designed specifically for them through the agencies and organizations who realize the benefit of catering to people over 50. The Adult Senior Program of the El Paso Community College offers over 60 classes for seniors. Some of these

programs include ballroom dancing, painting, drawing, yoga, guitar, gardening, choral singing, English as a second language, genealogy, jewelry making, introduction to healing herbs, intro to alternative medicine, various levels of exercise programs, caregiving for the elderly, and many, many more! There are also specific classes to introduce technology to seniors. These classes get the student familiar with the digital age that has encompassed all of our lives. One of the more popular classes in this category is the “Digital Devices for Smart Seniors” which gives them the opportunity to learn about smart technology, such as phones and tablets. The classes are offered year round, and vary each semester and location. They


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B e yo n d b i n g o are available throughout the city at the different community college campuses and at many of the city’s recreation and senior citizen centers. One of the greatest benefits to the classes offered through the Adult Senior Program is that they are all free to any individual over the age of 55. In addition to the El Paso Community College, many other agencies and organizations have programs specifically for the aging baby boomer population. The City of El Paso’s Parks and Recreation Department has 10 senior citizen centers that are open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day. The centers are specifically for citizens 55 years of age and older, and each senior center has their own list of classes, events and activities, of which there are many. Anyone interested can call the center that is convenient for them to get more information about what they offer. Both the YMCA and the YWCA offer the Silver Sneakers, a national program for individuals over the age of 65. This program is included in most insurance plans that are Medicare based. The goal of Silver Sneakers is to help senior citizens become more aware of their health and wellbeing through exercise and fitness. The University of Texas at El Paso, through the continuing education department, also provides options each semester for senior citizens to expand their learning. Learning is life long and there is no end to the valuable opportunities available to the aging population. For more information on programs check out our resource guide in the back of the magazine!




Charitable Giving Through Life Insurance Michael C. Graham, CLTC Managing Director Principal Advisor Network Financial Representative Principal Securities Registered Representative Financial Advisor 416 N. Stanton, Suite 420 El Paso, TX 79901 office (915) 598-8885 
 fax (915) 598-6116 
 cell (915) 820-3407

| By MICHAEL C. GRAHAM, CLTC, Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representative, Principal Securities Registered Representative |

Most people could not write a check today for $100,000 to their chosen charity. But through life insurance, it can cost you very little to be very generous. Life insurance enables you to make a substantial future gift by making small premium payments over time. The advantages of using life insurance as the instrument to fund a charitable giving plan include: • You may qualify for income, gift and estate tax deductions. • The gift is given without disrupting other assets reserved for your family. • Death benefits are paid promptly to the charity. • Gifts of life insurance do not increase estate liquidity needs. • The policy’s growing cash value also may be borrowed by the charitable institution for special needs. The federal government has structured income, gift and estate tax laws to encourage you to share your assets with charitable organizations. The tax benefits you may receive include lower: • Income tax liability • Gift tax liability • Estate tax liability

Options for funding charitable donations through life insurance There are two common options to consider when making charitable donations through life insurance. Choose the one that best meets your needs.

Option 1-


Name a charitable beneficiary to receive all or a portion of the proceeds of a policy you already own or purchase a new policy, naming a favorite charity as beneficiary. In either case, you own the policy and you pay premiums. You cannot deduct the



premium payments, but you maintain control of the policy (should you decide to change the beneficiary at some point).

Option 2 Donate an existing policy* to a favorite charity, or make cash donations to the charity for the purpose of purchasing life insurance. This provides you with a current income tax deduction, while the charity pays the premiums and maintains ownership of the policy. Estate planning needs If you have more sophisticated estate planning needs, charitable giving may be a necessary and valuable component of a comprehensive

estate plan. In this case, life insurance in combination with various estate planning instruments can provide you with current income tax deductions and may generate income for you and your family. If you are interested in making a charitable gift through life insurance, or if you have complicated estate planning needs, consult your insurance representative and tax advisor or attorney for further information. No matter how you look at it, charitable giving through life insurance can be a winwin situation. Your generous support of charitable organizations will help fulfill their missions while providing you with financial benefits.

*Dividends are not guaranteed. Michael C. Graham is a Financial Representative of Principal National Life Insurance Company and Principal Life Insurance Company and a Registered Representative of Princor Financial Services Corporation. Securities offered through Principal Securities Corporation, (800) 247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National (except in New York) and Principal Life are issuing insurance companies of the Principal Financial Group. Principal National, Principal Life and PrincorÂŽ are members of the Principal Financial GroupÂŽ, Des Moines, IA 50392. Michael can be reached at (915) 598-8885. The subject matter in this communication is provided with the understanding that The PrincipalÂŽ is not rendering legal, accounting or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements. BB11020-01 | 09/2015 | t15090303iw


Choosing the to Care for 2016


Right One Your Elder 2016



t can be difficult to convince an elderly parent to accept help when it becomes obvious they need help at home. Living independently is something valuable for everyone. The thought of having someone step into our home to help us with such intimate tasks, once done with ease, such as bathing and dressing, can be very stressful.

It is important that family members make it their priority to first see their loved ones’ needs before introducing help. Safety in their home should be the priority in order to keep the elder living in their home. So, how can one choose the best home care providers in El Paso?

Executive Director of Visiting Angels, Jacob Boggs, advises families looking to find the right services for their loved one to “be sure the person in need of help still feels that sense of independence and allowing them also to


C h o o s i n g t h e R i g h t o n e to C a r e f o r Yo u r E l d e r

have the final say in choices being made.� He says often times, while the adult child may know what is best for their parents, it still might not be what mom or dad desires. Boggs suggests when deciding on the type of assistance for an elderly parent that all parties involved educate themselves on what is offered by each service and what sort of expenses are included. Visiting Angels is a personal assistance care company that assists people needing help with activities of daily living. According to Boggs, services are, but not limited to; hygiene assistance, companionship and supervision, meal planning and preparation, medication reminders, transferring and ambulation assistance, toileting and incontinence care, transportation, respite care and benefit verification and coordination with long term care insurance. While there is not a particular website that lists all elderly care services in El Paso, companies that also



offer services for the elderly include Bienvivir All Inclusive Senior Health, The Rio Grande Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Helping Hand Adult Daycare and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). In fact, LULAC, which is a non-profit organization, offers assistance with civic participation, civil rights and economic empowerment such as voting and/or getting involved in the community. Individuals who are 50 years of age and over may also find assistance with education, health, housing, immigration, public service and technology through LULAC. Another non-profit organization that provides extensive health care is Bienvivir All Inclusive Senior Health. Their four state-of-the-art facilities located in North Central, East Central and Southeast El Paso “provide healthrelated services, including but not limited to, inpatient and outpatient medical care, specialty services and support services, while emphasizing preventive care.�


C h o o s i n g t h e R i g h t o n e to C a r e f o r Yo u r E l d e r

\Be sure the person in need of help still feels that sense of independence and allowing them also to have the final say in choices being made.

Some of their day health care center services include occupational therapy, Alzheimer’s care, recreational therapy, transportation and much more. With our population now living longer, it is important to make sure to research the right service for the right need. Once a decision has been made and implemented, one must continue to follow up on the type of care being provided. This can help prevent potential problems such as physical, emotional and financial abuse, which affects millions of seniors in this day and age. Family members of loved ones needing assistance should make it a point to see for themselves the facility they are interested in. Word of mouth recommendations from friends and relatives may also help to make the decision easier.






ore often than I want to hear it, my retired friends ask the question, “So, when are you going to retire?” My answer is always the same. Are you kidding? Why would I do that?

The simple fact is I don’t have hobbies that take hours and hours to do. I like to read but I never read a book in one sitting. Being still that long is just not my nature. I’m too busy doing the things I love most. As a sales professional with the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, I’m with people most of the time, either at our downtown office (next to the new ball park) or at a number of business, networking and social events. I exist in an environment where members graciously accept most of my advice and my friendship, I am never lonely, never bored and certainly never unhappy. Honestly, I’m not really sure if it’s the job or the reluctance to age but work keeps me young. I’m the oldest employee at our office (and just about everywhere else my job takes me) but younger associates usually treat me as one of their own and through that interaction, I stay in touch with progressive trends, share current interests, enjoy their energy and embrace their genuine love of life. Sometimes I impart what experience has taught me but I think I get more than I give. For example, let’s look at technology. I’m on Facebook, I ‘Google’ all the time and have ‘Star Status’ with more than 3,000 contacts on the LinkedIn network. Spending time with the younger crowd keeps me on my toes and aware of what’s happening with Social Media. So, what’s the biggest difference between my life and the lives my retired friends lead? Well, for starters, I get up at 5:15 every morning and spend

most days in the company of fascinating people. I’m continuously expanding my horizons by meeting potential members from every business sector. I think I have a very exciting life! I don’t go to bed until 10:00 either so it’s FULL, FRESH and FUN. I want to work as long as I’m able, as long as my husband and I are still in good health. And speaking of my husband, I am so fortunate to have one that is willing to wake up and share breakfast with me every morning, send me off to work with a hug, enjoy his own day, and be waiting for me, when I get home. He knows I try not to overdo the after-hours activities my job exposes me to, because I am always aware that he’s at home but most of all because I look forward to spending my evenings with him. That and all the things he fills his days with, seems to keep him happy too and that is such a gift. So, I’m very lucky! Do I ever experience age discrimination? Well, aside from a few well-intended but often hilarious comments about my hearing (my office phone is set at the highest volume so everyone knows when my calls come in) I am fortunate to have colleagues that support and respect my position. I work hard at my job and perform well so that helps. But even more than that, they know I try to keep it real. I admit my age. There are no coy attempts to hide it because I’m proud of it. And, I’m happy to be at work. I appreciate my job. That attitude also conveys that I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working WITH THEM. Being productive, meeting new people, embracing and enjoying my life … retire? Why would I do that?



RESOURCE GUIDE Senior Centers Eastside Senior Center 3200 Fierro Dr., El Paso, TX 79935 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 591-4292 Activities available Line dance, 1-3 p.m. Mondays, $21 Computer, 9-10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, $22 Stained glass, 9-11 a.m. Monday, $24 Senior Center 9311 Alameda Ave., El Paso, TX 79907 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 860-9131 Grandview Senior Center 3134 Jefferson Ave., El Paso, TX 79930 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 566-1217 Happiness Senior Center 563 N. Carolina Dr., El Paso, TX 79915 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 592-8710 Activities available Yoga, 1-3 p.m., Monday and Wednesday, $21 Hilos De Plata Senior Center 4451 Delta Dr., El Paso, TX 79905 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 533-3207 Activities available Ceramics, 9-11 a.m. Monday, $24 Line dance, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, $21

Memorial Senior Center 1800 Byron St., El Paso, TX 79930 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 562-4260 Polly Harris Senior Center 650 Wallenberg Dr., El Paso, TX 79912 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 772-8365 Activities available AARP Defensive Driving, 9 a.m. Wednesday, $20 San Juan Senior Center 5701 Tamburo Ct., El Paso, TX 79905 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 772-8365 Activities available Low-impact aerobics, 10-11 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, $19 Scratch Art Club, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday Ceramics Club, 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday South El Paso Senior Center 600 S. Ochoa St., El Paso. TX 79901 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 577-9870 Activities available Advanced guitar, 11 a.m.-noon Tuesday, $11 Wellington Chew Senior Center 4430 Maxwell Ave., El Paso, TX 79904 M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | (915) 757-2523 *Senior Dances are also available monthly, call your preferred senior center to learn exact dates.

Senior Programs El Paso Senior Games The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will host the 35th year of the El Paso Senior Games in spring 2017. Registration forms and a full schedule of events will be available after January 2017 at any of the 10 Parks and Recreation Senior Centers. senior-centers/senior-games 94

Senior Program at EPCC Senior adult program provides and promotes educational and cultural opportunity and support services to improve the quality of life for seniors in our community. The program is for senior citizens 55 and older. Courses offered Computer Training, Writing, Language, Literacy, Art, Music, Dancing, Gardening, and Personal Wellness SeniorAdultProgram/Pages/default.aspx


resource guide

Senior Programs (continued) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute OLLI at UTEP 500 W. University Ave., El Paso TX 79968 (915) 747-8848 OLLI is a not-for-profit organization run by members, which provides continuing education on the UTEP campus for those over the age of 50. Every type of class from Art to History, OLLI offers something for everyone. Water Aerobics & Water Relief at the SISD Aquatic Center 1300 Joe Battle, El Paso, TX 79928 (915) 937-0551 Water Aerobics is a fitness class provided in their indoor, zero entry, 3’6” recreational pool. It is designed for men and women of all fitness levels. Each class includes warm-up, training, cool down, stretching and toning. Water Relief is a low impact aerobics class for seniors and individuals with rehabilitation needs. The class includes numerous exercises geared towards muscle and joint relief as well as stretching and toning of connective tissues. Senior Fitness Program at Spectrum Fitness 1700 Cliff Dr. El Paso, TX 79902 (915) 500-6600 A Senior Fit Program, you are trained by a certified Wellness Coach/Trainer that will help you with posture, balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance all at your own pace. silversneakers-fitness/senior-fit-club/

Fitness Program for Seniors Las Palmas Lifecare Center 3333 N. Mesa St., 79902 (915) 533-2217 Classes are designed with seniors in mind offering bone-friendly toning and stretching. YWCA Joyce Whitfield Jaynes Branch 1600 Brown St. (915) 519-0002 SilverSneakers® is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events. Participants of this program receive: - Access to conditioning classes, all exercise equipment, pools and other amenities - Customized Silver Sneakers® classes - Health education seminars and healthy lifestyle events - Program Advisors - Member-only online support to help you lose weight, quit smoking or reduce stress. Classes such as chair aerobics and yoga are also offered. Senior Nutrition Program Valley Services 900 Hawkins Blvd. El Paso, TX 79915 (915) 778-1861 A senior nutrition program providing a 1/3 required dietary allowance noon-time meal to El Pasoans for 60+ older. Center-based meals are served in the Senior Centers throughout the city. Home delivered meals are also offered to the homebound, frail elderly or handicapped individuals. Delivery and preparation of meals by Valley Services.



El Paso/Las Cruces’ premier Lifestyle Magazine



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Pick up a copy of this month’s issue at your local Walgreens and check out THE CITY WEDDINGS magazine, THE CITY SPACES Home & Design Magazine and The CITY FITNESS MAGAZINE.


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Sun City Emergency Room East Sun City Emergency Room West 3281 Joe Battle Blvd 351 East Redd Road El Paso, TX 79936 El Paso, TX 79932 www .S un C ity ER. com 915-304-5900 915-255-4575



The Hospitals of Providence and MedPost Urgent Care are here for your BIG emergencies and small ones too.

Memorial Campus 2001 N Oregon St. (915) 577-6011

Providence Children's Hospital 2001 N Oregon St. (915) 577-6011

Sierra Campus 1625 Medical Center St. (915) 747-4000

Trawood Emergency Room 2400 Trawood (915) 577-8100

East Campus 3280 Joe Battle Blvd. (915) 832-2000

Northeast Emergency Room 11380 Gateway North (915) 577-8221

West 601 Sunland Park Dr. (915) 577-8223

12371 Edgemere Blvd. Ste. 207 (915) 856-0008

Transmountain Campus Opening 2017!

East 9100 Viscount (915) 594-4475


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