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Julie Shackley: A Woman of Intense and Compassionate Leadership Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice (AHCH) is commemorating its 50th year of service to central and western Maine; the tenth anniversary of its first-in-the state inpatient Hospice House; and at the same time, the tenth anniversary of leadership by Julie Shackley, President and CEO. “I certainly never saw myself in this role,” Julie Shackley said, “I didn’t aspire to it. The opportunity came along at just the right time.” As leader of the agency which is the largest provider of home healthcare and of hospice services in Maine, Shackley oversees a staff of more than 430 – about half of whom are professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers; speech, occupational and physical therapists; chaplains; serving more than
10,000 patients in more than 122 communities in parts of seven counties. The organization provides a continuum of home-centered health care services ranging from skilled nursing for patients recently discharged from a hospital, often post-surgery; chronic disease management; supportive care for assistance with the activities of daily living; and palliative end of life support in patients’ own
community resource providers. And she has just been recognized by The Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine (HCHA/MHC) and Maine Hospice Council & Center for End-of-Life Care as the recipient of its prestigious 2015 Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to the employee of any member home care and/ or hospice agency who consistently demon-
homes or in the Hospice House. Through her decade at the helm of the largest independent, nonprofit healthcare agency in Maine, Shackley has also served on numerous boards of directors, committees and
strates outstanding leadership qualities. Julie has served as president of HCHA/MHC since 2011, and was nominated for the 2015 award by: Donna DeBlois, President/ CEO, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses (VP, Alliance Board of Directors),
“I’m surrounded by really good people.”
Greg Pizzo, Director of Finance, MaineGeneral Community Care (Treasurer, Alliance Board of Directors) and Colleen Hilton, President & CEO, VNA Home Health Hospice (Board Member). Shackley was named interim president of AHCH in March, 2005, and promoted into the permanent title in December of that year. A Registered Nurse since 1980, Shackley acquired more than 15 years of clinical experience in both hospital and home care environments, gradually adding supervisory responsibilities to her resume, including five years as a nursing supervisor at AHCH. She eventually transitioned into full time management. “I found I really enjoy the opportunity to think strategically, to participate in community
Julie, third from the right, is pictured with Susan Collins and others at the NAHC Policy Conference in Washington D.C.
Julie Shackley, President and CEO of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice. outreach, and to work closely with healthcare partners,” she said. Leading AHCH places Shackley among the foremost healthcare administrators in Maine, but Julie explains that “there are lots of women nurses who have become CEOs or directors of nonprofit home and hospice care agencies around the country.” Balancing the differing patient needs among those receiving homebased acute nursing care and those who require palliative or hospice care, and among the different staff who deliver those services, requires a special combination of skills, empathy and compassion, attributes immediately evident when Julie speaks about the unique mission AHCH serves in its communities. “I love my organization,” she says. “I’m sur-
rounded by really good people.” In addition to its prominent headquarters building, on the corner of Strawberry Ave. and Main St. in Lewiston, AHCH provides services throughout Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties, as well as portions of northern Cumberland County, Kennebec, Somerset and Sagadahoc. The agency maintains offices in Bridgton, Norway and Wilton, plus unstaffed offices where homecare nurses can find some refuge and access services in Rumford and Manchester. Perhaps its most distinctive venue is the Hospice House, situated on an idyllic campus on Stetson Ave. in Auburn, the first in-patient hospice facility in Maine. “We helped create new Continued on page 4
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Letter from the Publisher
Jodi R. Cornelio, Publisher Welcome to the Fall/Winter edition of the Maine Boomers. The chill is in the air and I have pleasant thoughts of this season as I prepare for snowfall and holiday gatherings. It’s a playful time of year with the leaves falling and the wind is howling making leaf blowing and raking a game of how many
leaves will return tomorrow. Why don’t they all fall at the same time? It’s all up to Mother Nature now whether or not this is going to get done before snowfall. One of the best things about the changing of this season in Maine is all the hot comfort foods like soups and chili and meatloaf that seem to naturally take the place of the summer salads. I always plan my weekend around a crockpot full of soup which is so delightful and rewarding after a day of raking. Rising early and throwing leftovers and vegetables into a crockpot to simmer for the day is my kind of cooking when there is outdoor work to be done. The aroma it brings is so inviting at the end of the day. I also treasure this time of year because it brings thoughts of tradition and
family celebrations. The smell of apple pie and pumpkin bread is abundant in my house. Pumpkin bread was always a favorite of mine at Thanksgiving. Mom’s delicious warm homemade pumpkin bread brought out the holiday season for all of us growing up in a large family. Holidays for us were big family gatherings sharing laughter and food. As a kid, Thanksgiving dinner was a huge celebration with not only us six kids but it included many of my cousins and aunts and uncles too. We had anywhere from 25 to 30 plates at the dinner table and mom did all the cooking while the men hunted for the day. Us kids played Christmas carols and watched the parade as mom ran around frantically cleaning and cooking. It seemed liked she
would prepare and cook for weeks. She always had plenty of yummy snacks decorated on each end table, strategically placed throughout the house so no one went hungry. These decorated dishes were filled with fudge, nuts and homemade goodies. As we got older we all had assignments to help mom out in preparing this Thanksgiving feast of the year. I was responsible for making the pies and breads for many years as I was a curious kid and my mom taught me how to bake at a young age to keep me out of mischief. I thank her especially around the holidays for this gift as I can make a mean apple pie and any pie really. I graduated from pie making to turkey stuffing as I got into college. I have to admit that in my college days the late night turkey stuffing duty became very creative especially
just coming home for school break. There were a couple of Thanksgiving celebrations that I wasn’t sure what I put into the stuffing after spending most of the evening out with my friends catching up at the local pub. Being the baby of the family, my father had a third eye on me and that is probably why my family never got food poisoning and I stayed safe throughout my college days. I could go on forever talking about my family traditions and the memories around the holidays. I’m thankful that the crisp cool chill in the air brings out these thoughts and hope that your Holiday seasons are filled with pleasant events, memories and traditions. Enjoy your Holiday season, your traditions and enjoy reading the Maine Boomers.n
Gaining Kitchen Confidence: MaineGeneral’s Rehab Kitchen
By John D. Begin Pam Theriault was always very independent – working two jobs and living an active life – until her medical conditions and long hospitalizations changed that. When the Farmingdale resident arrived at the inpatient physical rehabilitation unit at MaineGeneral’s Alfond Center for Health (ACH), she lacked the strength and stamina to stand, walk or be physically active. Recently, Theriault was back in the kitchen doing something she enjoys – preparing a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. The kitchen wasn’t hers, however, and she wasn’t alone. With support from certified occupational therapy assistant Carmen Bernhardt, Theriault was receiving therapy in a hospital-based rehab kitchen that helps prepare individuals for their return home following an extended hospital stay. Cass Redwine, manager of the ACH’s physical rehabilitation unit, said the kitchen is part of a comprehensive program that provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services to individuals recovering from such things as stroke, brain injuries, joint replacement surgery and other conditions or illnesses. In addition to helping patients regain strength, mobility and stamina, the pro-
gram helps them reclaim confidence to safely return to activities that once were part of their daily lives. “We want them patients to practice everything here that they’re going to do at home because our staff can help them and make recommendations to keep them as safe as possible,” Redwine said. Therapy in the rehab kitchen is a perfect example of that, she said. While patients may have cooked for years, the familiar may now be unfamiliar because of physical limitations or equipment impediments such as walkers, wheelchairs or other devices. “We look at physical mobility but also the cognitive aspect. If patients are having problems with memory, attention or concentration, we assess if they’re safe with the stove or how they cut things,” Redwine noted. “Sometimes we’ll present the patient with scenarios to see what his or her reaction and thought process will be.” In her recent session with Theriault, Bernhardt offered many practical tips about how to do familiar tasks a new Farmingdale resident Pam Theriault adds milk to a scrambled egg mix under the watchful eye of Carmen Bernhardt, a certified occupational therapy assistant, in way. “This isn’t teaching Pam how to cook; the rehabilitation kitchen at MaineGeneral’s Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. it’s teaching her how to be resourceful Theriault said she was thrilled when sit on my electric scooter and vacuum, and safe in the kitchen. Part of the exercise also gives patients an apprecia- Bernhardt asked her if she would like things like that,” she said. “The staff here tion for how much energy they use just to participate in the meal-prep exercise is the best. They’ve encouraged me to be to cook an egg and a simple breakfast,” and share her experience of returning to active and I feel confident that I can go the kitchen “with an audience.” home and take care of what I need to.” Bernhardt said. The effort is another sign of the progTo learn more, visit http://www.mairess she’s made in her recovery and an- negeneral.org/Physical_Rehab_Unit or other step toward returning home. call (207) 248-0000. “I’ll probably never work again beJohn D. Begin is a communications speCounty Chamber cause of my medical issues, but I’d like cialist in MaineGeneral’s Office of Marketto get around the house, do laundry, ing and Communications. n
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Maine BOOMERS Continued from page 1 standards for hospice care in Maine,” Shackley explained. “There had never been anything like this before. We helped educate the state, the city, EMS, the hospitals; helped the state evolve regulations and licensing requirements.” The husband of a Hospice House patient said recently “I really don’t know how any of us could have managed without this incredible facility. It’s a really unique combination of people, place, and philosophy of care. It was a wonderful gift to my wife. There was nothing ‘clinical’ about it, and it was the most life-affirming experience anyone could imagine.” The agency provides acute nursing care for patients of all ages who
Kathleen Szostek Submitted by Kathleen Szostek At a recent home show I had a number of interesting conversations. With one gentleman,
might have a variety of health challenges, postsurgical conditions, or long-term illnesses. Nurses also provide palliative care such as pain management for chronic conditions, as well as end-of-life hospice care both in-home and in the Hospice House. “We put a lot of effort into professional staff development,” Shackley says, “and we’re committed to provide true staff development as part of the in-house quality management program.” AHCH is independent and not affiliated with any hospital system. As such, Shackley explains, “we are at the nexus of inter-hospital projects. We are a big part of healthcare reform implementation because we can engage all levels of practitioners
and help build relationships between different hospitals and physician practices.” “I made the professional transition from hospital-based nursing to homecare many years ago,” Julie explains, “because that’s where patients want to be. And home care meets quality-care-metrics while being more cost effective than institutional care. We are,” she added, “all about quality of life.” Everything the agency does is designed to help patients and families derive the most that their life will permit, to enhance the richness of everyday experiences, of family and friends. The agency’s mission is completely compatible with the desires of most of us to simply stay home, stay in our familiar sur-
his main question was: “What percentage does your company charge?” I told him, “That’s not the question to ask.” The main question to ask is: “What are you going to do to sell my home?” The percentage will not matter if there is no sale. At that point, it is zero. And it means you don’t move on with your life. It’s tempting to believe that the highest list price means more in the seller’s pocket. Or that the lowest realtor fee does as well. Neither of which are true. If you were
buying shoes, would you say: “Just give me the ones with the lowest price tag?” Heck, no. We look at how it is stitched. We assess the materials. We try them on for comfort. Selling a home is not so very different. What will you get for whatever fee you pay? What is the realtor’s marketing like? How extensive is it? Are the photos clear, bright, engaging? Do they tell a story? Do they communicate what is special and inviting about a property? Do they refer to the surrounding area?
Julie, at right, during the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine Advocacy Day at the Hall of Flags at the State House. roundings, our community and be among family and friends. Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice will be here to help, ideally positioned to promote
healing, comfort and serenity. Led by the commitment and the visionary leadership of a dedicated, knowledgeable, compassionate and versatile lead-
er it is a perfect convergence of anniversaries and recognitions, at exactly the right time. -Submitted by Rich Livingston n
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Do you believe that the realtor will educate you on the local market? It should raise a red flag if he/she comes to you with a ‘ballpark’ price on the top of their head— with no supporting data. Is the agent available to you? Does he/she answer the phone? Call you back? Some of this is difficult to know in advance. You may need to rely on the experience of friends or family to answer these questions. Does he/she listen to you - hearing your goals, fears and needs? Is it someone who you sense will really work for you? So...in the end it’s like the rest of life. It just may be that you get what you pay for. And in the arena of what might be one of your largest investments, it pays to be prudent. Is it the place for a discount broker? You decide. n
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Tips to Avoid the Holiday Feeding Frenzy Did you know that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season? Although that doesn't sound like much, for many of us, those pounds are there to stay. Years of these holiday indulgence pounds can add up, and before you know it, you don't recognize your own reflection. Holiday eating does not have to put a strain on your waistband. Use the following tips to avoid the holiday feeding frenzy and weight gain: • Don’t hover around the food table. Keep a safe distance away from the food table – at least two arm lengths away. This will prevent the mindless nibbling that often occurs at gatherings. • Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is high in calories, lowers inhibitions, and can stimulate your appetite.
• When attending a gathering, supply a healthy food item. This will guarantee that there will be at least one dish you can eat that will not derail your healthy eating efforts. • Make time for exercise. The holidays are busy, but abandoning your usual exercise routine will only set you up for weight gain. Break up activity into two 10 to 15 minute segments. Take a walk around the neighborhood and take in the holiday lights, or enjoy the quiet and peace of the early morning. • Don't show up to an event with an empty stomach. When overly hungry, best intentions fly out the window. We become less likely to make healthy food selections and maintain reasonable portion sizes. • Preview the buffet or
food table before plating up. Be sure to include vegetables and fruit to balance out your plate. Allow a controlled portion of your favorite foods and skip the other stuff (you don't want to waste your calories on a ho hum item that you could have any time of year). • Move to the back of the line at the buffet table. The buffet always looks best to those at the front of the line. After a large amount of people have
served themselves, the food loses some of its appeal. You will be less likely to dish up an excessive portion if there is only a small amount in the serving dish. • Try using a smaller plate like a dessert or salad plate. A smaller plate limits the amount of food you can pile on. That being said, there is still no need to tower your food like a mealtime game of Jenga. • It takes 3,500 calories
On Monday, August 24, 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,089 points in the first 10 minutes of trading, the largest intraday point drop in the history of America’s oldest stock index. The benchmark rallied, regaining almost 1,000 points, only to slip again and close down 588 points - the most volatile day in a turbulent stretch that has seen the market bounce around while trending downward.1 As an investor, you might feel nervous about volatility, especially when the trend seems to be heading lower. However, it’s important to consider the reasons behind the market swings and maintain a long-term perspective. China, Oil, and the Dollar Three international concerns are at the heart of current volatility: economic weakness in China, low oil prices, and a strong dollar. All three are interconnected, but though they may slow the global economy, their effect on the U.S. economy and stock market reflects fear and uncertainty more than a direct threat. A faltering Chinese economy, including reduced
demand for oil, may affect trading partners that depend on exports to China. However, China accounts for only 7% of U.S. exports, and exports are a relatively small sector of the U.S. economy. Low gas prices and a strong dollar are a mixed bag — good for U.S. consumers while challenging for some multinational businesses.2 Balanced against these international issues is a stronger U.S. economy, as well as improving business results. On September 25, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its third estimate of secondquarter 2015 economic performance, revising annual real GDP growth from the advance estimate of 2.3% (released before the big market drop) to a more robust 3.9%. Though consumer spending drove the overall increase, the revision also reflected increased business investment. Corporate profits rose at a 3.5% quarterly rate after falling by 5.8% in the first quarter.3 These are strong economic indicators that bode well for the long term, but uncertainty often has an outsized effect on shortterm market performance.
What Will the Fed Do? Adding to the uncertainty is concern about when the Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds rate. Despite expectations that it might pull the trigger at its September meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held steady, saying “recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat.” At the same time, the FOMC affirmed its belief that the U.S. economy is on the right track, and most members still anticipate raising the federal funds rate this year.4 In a measure of how interest-rate uncertainty makes investors nervous, the Dow dropped 121 points in four minutes after the Fed announcement and regained 119 points in the next eight minutes. It closed with a modest loss of 65 points or 0.39%.5 New Trading Strategies Along with concerns about the global economy and domestic interest rates, new trading strategies may be adding to the volatility, creating rapid large-scale market shifts that do not always reflect investor sentiment about individual stocks. In one
telling statistic, during the 15 trading sessions ending September 9, there were 11 “all or nothing” days when at least 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 index either rose or fell - a daily mass movement unmatched in records dating back to 1990.6 Maintaining Perspective Although a market loss may be difficult to accept, it’s important to keep the numbers in perspective. The S&P 500 index more than tripled in value from its recession low in March 2009 to its most recent high on July 20, 2015. The 9% loss from July 20 to September 25 still left the index up 185% over the last six-and-a-half years.No bull market lasts forever, but the recent pullback doesn’t necessarily mean the market has no more potential for gain, and it may be healthy in the long term. Some analysts think stocks may have become overvalued during the long bull run, and a pullback or a correction (defined as a market drop of 10% from a previous high) can set a more realistic “floor” for future market growth.8 Fleeing the market during a downturn means you are not in a position to take
to gain one pound. One slice of pie with a scoop of ice cream (465 calories) will not cause the numbers on the scale to creep up, but if, over the course of the week, you add to that a glass of eggnog (350 calories before the alcohol), mashed potatoes and gravy (198 calories), peanut butter fudge (170 calories), two buttery sugar cookies topped with icing and a glass of milk (534 calories), a large Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate and a doughnut (750 calories), a slice of meat lovers pizza, 20 oz Mountain Dew, and 4 buffalo wings (1080 calories), you are now one pound heavier. • Drink plenty of water. Having 8oz to 16oz of water before each meal helps to quench your thirst and feel full. • Just because you are out on a shopping spree
doesn't mean you need to eat with the same abandon. Do your research before you leave home – what foods are available in the area? Can you look up the nutrition information on their website? If there is nothing healthy in the area, stop at a grocery store and build yourself a salad. Or grab a piece of fruit from home and a small bag of nuts to tide you over. The holiday season is busy, but it is still possible to make good choices. Strive for balance, celebration and good cheer. Courtesy of Rachel McGarry, RD, LD, CDE, a member of the team of caring specialists dedicated to improving the lives of those with diabetes and endocrine disorders at St. Mary’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology. She has been working as a diabetes educator since 2001. n
advantage of growth on the upswing, as many investors learned when they left the market during the recession. In fact, a down market may be a buying opportunity, but it’s just as important to be careful about purchasing investments as it is to be careful about selling. In most cases, it would be wise to maintain a steady course and stick to the sound investment principles you used in building your portfolio. All investments are subject to market fluctuation, risk, and loss of principal. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. The S&P 500 index is an unmanaged group of securities that is considered to be representative of U.S. stocks in general. The performance of an unmanaged index is not indicative of the performance of any specific investment. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Actual results will vary. 1, 8) money.cnn.com, August 24, 2015 2) The Wall Street Jour-
nal, August 24, 2015 3) U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015 4) Federal Reserve, 2015 5, 7) Yahoo! Finance, 2015 6) barrons.com, September 10, 2015 The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. Copyright 2015 Emerald Connect, LLC. Article provided by Michael Roderigue Services. Registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. n
A Wild Ride: Understanding Market Volatility
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Meditation and High Blood Pressure Did you know that there are 76 proven benefits to meditation? Helping to reduce high blood pressure is one of them according to a study written by The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, NPR News. Have you ever tried it? Can you believe that meditating just 10 to 20 minutes a day could have such positive effects on your life? Clinical research has demonstrated that the practice of Zen Meditation (also known as â€œZazenâ€?) reduces stress and high blood pressure. Another experiment, this time with a technique called â€œrelaxation response,â€? yielded similar results, with 2/3 of high blood pressure patients showing significant drops in blood pres-
sure after three months of meditation, and, consequently, less need for medication. This is because relaxation results in the formation of nitric oxide, which opens up your blood vessels. (Source: The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, NPR News). If you are struggling with high blood pressure or feeling stressed over the Holidays try this meditation technique to relax you and open up your blood vessels. Sit alone in a private space with soothing background music with no vocals. You will need a focal point. My favorite focal point is the flame from the fireplace. If you do not have a fireplace use a candle. Focus on the candle flame. Clear your mind by watch-
ing the flame dance and move. If you start thinking about something that happened during the day or if a thought comes into your head, let it come in and quickly let go of it and focus on the flame. As you are focusing on the flame also be aware of your breathing and feel every inhale and exhale. You may want to put your hand on your chest to feel your breath enter and leave your body. You see, when you give yourself the assignment of focusing on a gentle dance of a flame and you give yourself permission to adjust your inward focus on your breath, it allows you to let your thoughts drift in and out. Stress occurs when we hold on to those thoughts, especially if theyâ€™re negative
thoughts. The first few times meditating can be challenging as many of us do not know what stillness feels like. The mission in
meditation is to be still and mindless. Stillness can be uncomfortable and feel abnormal at first and the only way to overcome that is to practice.
So practice your meditation daily, first for 5 minutes then for 10 minutes and enjoy a healthier life. n
You Know Youâ€™re In Maine...
â€˘ If you own more than four pair of gloves. â€˘ If every other vehicle is a 4X4. â€˘ If in March your vehicle is 43% mud. â€˘ If you're on the shoulder of the highway with your hood up and somebody stops to help you. â€˘ If your central heating system is fueled by large logs. â€˘ If people drive 100 miles to shop in a real mall. â€˘ If you got a set of new snow tires for Valentines day. â€˘ If more than 1/2 the meat in your freezer is moose. â€˘ If you enjoy a hot chocolate more than you do a margarita. â€˘ If you put the car heater on your list of best friends. â€˘ If you think you're in a traffic jam when you're in the second car at the light. â€˘ If you don't use your blinker because everyone already knows where you're going. â€˘ If your long john's don't come off until mid-May. - www.ahajokes.com
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from all of us at Turner Publishing
Maine BOOMERS John McDonald
The older folks back home like to tell the story about the first motorcycle ever seen in Down East Maine. It wasn’t driven through town by some loud summer-complaint but by hometown boy Harold Hupper. Harold had joined the army after graduating high school and when he came back home on leave
for a visit he was astride a brand new shiny Harley Davidson motorcycle. Most people in town had seen pictures of motorcycles in magazines and newspapers and in the movies, but most folks had never seen a real one up close. So when Harold came rumbling through town and parked his big, bad shiny, new bike in front of the store, it drew a crowd, in short order. Lots of folks thought it was kind of funny that Harold, of all people, should be the first in town to get himself a mo-
torcycle. Harold wasn’t on what we might call today the “cutting edge” of anything, except maybe a buck saw. And older people remembered that he could barely ride a bicycle until he was almost old enough to shave. After showing his Harley to the folks in front of the store, someone suggested to Harold that he might ride his snappy new vehicle out to Wink Dalrymple’s place, to see how old Wink would react to such a loud contraption. Harold agreed it would be fun, so, after taking a few hair-raising
turns around the square, he headed out to Wink’s place. Wink Dalrymple and his wife Florence lived as far out in the country you could live and still get mail delivery and a country radio station. He came to town once a month, whether he wanted to or not, and most of the time he made it real plain to all that he didn’t like coming to town at all. But sometimes he just had to. Harold headed out to Route 9, the airline, and from there took a turn onto the tote road that
lead to the Dalrymple place. Wink was sitting on his front porch, smoking a pipe and looking through “The Saturday Evening Post” when Harold came racing up the drive and into the clearing on his roaring, snorting, ear-splitting Harley. Without hesitating, Wink, not one to panic, dashed into the house, took down his hunting rifle, came back out on the porch and blasted away at the strange contraption. Well, the motorcycle went flying toward one
side of Wink’s driveway and sailed into a patch of puckerbrush. Harold went flying toward the opposite side of the driveway and into another patch of puckerbrush. Wink’s wife, Florence, who heard all the commotion, came running to the door to watch the whole thing. When things quieted down a bit, Florence said: “Did you get that critter, Wink? “Don’t know,” said Wink, but I think I got it to let go of poor Harold.”n
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Choice. enry, M.D.
Pau ul Mailhot, M
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Benefits of Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Karen Vasil-Busch, BA, LMT
Submitted by Karen Vasil-Busch, LMT According to Ayurveda, the science of life, our body is designed to be healthy throughout our lives. Health maintenance and preservation is paramount and aided by establishing simple daily routines that keep
L.L. Bean will host it’s Northern Lights Celebration November 20 to December 31 at their flagship campus in Freeport. Some of the many activities include: November 28: Holiday Music Enjoy performances from the Freeport High School Chamber Choir. They’ll be singing an array of Christmas music, plus they’ll host sing-alongs so everyone can join in to catch the Christmas spirit! The Chamber Choir Performance will be from 10:30 -11 a.m. and 12:30-1 p.m. The Christ-
us in balance. One routine, called oil massage, revives the energy in our bodies, matching and resetting it to the season at hand. For example, in the autumn when the leaves are falling and air is becoming dry and cool, we add protection of a warm sweater or jacket to keep us warm. If we perform an oil massage to our body in the morning, before a shower we are adding warmth and subtleness to our skin, the largest organ of our body. Ayurveda texts refer to the exhausted human body as being like a dry stick that easily breaks.
Oil massage produces suppleness, preserving and maintaining positive health. Abhyanga or oil massage works on the lymph system whose superficial branches lie a mere 5 mm beneath the skin. The lymph system is a transport system that contains plasma, amino acids, glucose, fats, hormones, enzymes, salts and lymphocytes, which fight infection. When lymph flow is unimpeded, through Abhyanga, positive results occur. Abhyanga is the traditional word for oil massage in India and it means, ‘love.’ Taking loving care of our physical
body has far reaching effects. It can be argued that there is little separation between your mind and your body. With Abhyanga we create a state of health. This gentle massage creates a sense of calmness you can carry with you. Performed by a trained practitioner, or done daily by yourself, there are specific instructions that aid in loosening toxins, increasing circulation and calming the nerve endings. For more information contact me. One of the great texts of Ayurveda states: “The body of one who uses oil massage regu-
larly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and
least affected by old age” Charka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89 To learn more contact: Karen Vasil-Busch, LMT, Registered Ayurvedic Practitioner, owner of Body Wise Therapy, 207.336.2065. n
December 5-6: Winter Sports Weekend Get ready for outdoor winter fun! Check out the great selection of cross-country skis, snowshoes, sleds, ice skates and accessories. Join us throughout the weekend and learn more about exciting new products available for winter with special clinics by vendors like Bkool, MSR, Fischer, Tubbs and Rossignol. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. L.L.Bean Ice Walk: SubZero IceCarvings
has carved very special ice sculptures that will amaze you. Be sure to see them all while you’re here— and don’t forget your camera! Sculputures wll be throughout the L.L.Bean Campus. December 12: Kids’ Holiday Fun Day Get Outdoors with the Boy Scouts! The Boy Scouts will be here to encourage everyone to get outside by offering fun activities in Discovery Park. Join them and be ready to have some fun—hot chocolate will be available too. Family-Friendly Fun: Join us for Nutcrackerinspired craft projects with Julie Yeo, book readings of A Merry Moosey Christmas by the author, Lynn Plourde, and illustrator, Russ Cox, with special guest L.L. Bear. Plus a kids’ clinic on knot tying, book signings, a store-wide scavenger hunt, and more. Visit llbean.com/ northernlights for more details.n
L.L. Bean Has Much to Offer During Northern Lights Celebration
mas Carol Sing-Along from 1:30-noon and
Body Wise Therapy Karen Vasil-Busch, BA, LMT since 1982 336-2065 • www.bodywise.info Registered Ayurvedic Practitioner Licensed Massage Therapist
1:30-2 p.m. December 4-6: Free-
port’s Sparkle Celebration The whole town gets into the holiday spirit! We’ll kick things off with The Parade of Lights, and the fun continues with visits with Santa at L.L.Bean following the parade, a Sparkle Express Adventure aboard the Amtrak Downeaster, the Jingle Bell Fun Run and much more. Parade at 6 p.m. on Friday in Downtown Freeport. Visit sparklecelebration. com for details.
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Housing for the Aging Boomers
Mercy Kennedy McAllister, author of The Wrinkle Ranch. Commentary by Mer- outlive her money as the cy Kennedy McAllister, fees increase annually. author of The Wrinkle I know I’m not alone. Many boomers are findRanch. There’s talk in the me- ing themselves in simidia these days about the lar positions providing future of health care and either direct or long diswhat impact this will tance care for their aging have on the elderly popu- parent, friend or relalation. In case you’re just tive. So, when I learned tuning in, that means us, the size of the boomer the baby boomers. What population I almost colI don’t hear people talk- lapsed, realizing that in ing about is where the all probability I will not 74 million boomers are be as fortunate as my going to live. And while friend. In fact, I’m thinkI’m not an expert on ing of moving in with data analysis or elder her. Three meals and a care, one might think pool? Check me in! Each independent livthat number might be reduced by mortality ing, assisted living or rates, except the 74 mil- nursing home care plan lion figure cited by the is based upon individual 2010 census did not need. Some may be able include immigrants. So to age in place, which how many boomers are means living in their own private home where there anyway? I have an elderly they can receive comfriend who resides in a munity based services studio apartment inside directly. Or, if they want a hotel-like facility in the to avoid being alone, southwest. One ingredi- they can reside in a lient to her longevity is censed group home or the fact that she is active with a friend or relative and engaged socially in a private home. The with others daily. Stay- success of both plans reing connected with oth- quire that home health ers is of vital importance services and personal to maintaining good care attendant services mental health and cogni- be well-funded, welltive function. Not only is staffed and accessible. she happy and healthy, Examples of in-home but she has the energy care would include perof a Jack Russell and has sonal care attendants, more friends than I do. home care and shopping professional It is the perfect place services, for her to live and meets visiting nurses and all of her needs. She is physical therapy servery fortunate. But each vices, meals on wheels, month when I sit down medical alert devices, and write a check to pay access to transportafor rent and other ser- tion, etc. In my view, vices, I get heart palpi- the impact aging baby tations. I’ve been doing boomers may have on this for almost six years these services could be now and worry if she’ll the equivalent of a pro-
tracted human tsunami. To prepare, we need to fortify these services nationwide through funding, recruitment, education & training and SBA loans for small business start-ups. There has never been a better time to enter the field of nursing or personal attendant work. And while aging in place is a solution for some, it may not be the right choice for others. Thinking about where boomers will live out their remaining years takes me back to that annual rent increase for my friend in the southwest, where it’s cheaper to live than in New England which hosts four states with the fastest growing aging population: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. If there was an exodus of all boomers in New England to the sunny south, you’d hear nothing but the sound of crickets and an occasional ‘moo’. You don’t need to be an actuary to predict that the cost of housing for the elderly here and elsewhere will increase to the point of being unaffordable for many, if not most. I wonder what the monthly rates will be in the year 2030 or 2040 nationwide for those retirement communities with sweeping stairways, manicured greens and heated pools, the hotel-like assisted living centers that serve three meals a day with an open bar and a band on Friday nights or the Co-ops with rising monthly fees as the cost of utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and food increase. These establishments are wellmeaning businesses, some of which are nonprofits. In fact, they are fabulous. But for all their good care and meaningful intentions the pricing may be beyond the reach of many if not most on a fixed income in the years ahead. And please don’t refer me to your
Did you know?
The “boom” peaked in 1957, with 4,300,000 babies born in the U.S. As of 2015, there were 75.4 million Baby Boomers. On December 31, 2029, the last of the Boomers will turn 65. -cnn.com
financial planner. The last one I had is wanted in five states. Let’s be realistic. Boomers are living longer than their parents lived (and are living) well into their mid-90’s. Unless you are a ‘one percenter’ or have over half a million dollars saved to spend for an assisted living plan or nursing home plan after the age of 80/85…well, the reminder of this sentence is unprintable. We may be looking at three tiers: 1) those that can afford whatever it is they want or need 2) those who cannot and will rely on Medicaid to cover the costs and 3) those in the middle, with some cash, but who cannot afford the high rents, yet are ineligible for state or federal assistance due to their income/resources. Those who can afford the higher rents and fees will indeed fill those high end establishments to capacity all over the country. For those who cannot, let’s make certain community based alterna-
tives are available and accessible to all. While cost is just a part of the discussion influenced by individual needs, choices, health, income and resources, the real heart of the issue is access and availability. Regardless of our ability or inability to pay, the question still remains: Will there be any room at the Inn? Will there be enough licensed group homes, enough assisted living apartments/facilities, enough retirement communities and enough nursing homes available when we are making choices or when we are clinically unable? Let’s get that discussion going. The issue is timely and I’d encourage citizens to talk with their local, state and federal policy leaders about the ‘forecast’ to help identify steps we can take to insure there’ll be adequate housing for baby boomers. I’d also encourage people to have discussions with their local areas on aging and
local home health agencies. Ask representatives in Congress to weigh in on the issue. Maybe it’s time to think about alternatives and re-examine the playing field. What worked in the last 40 years may not work for us boomers because there are simply too many of us. Should we turn back the clock and live in communes like some people did in the 60’s? And what if we do nothing? Maybe in the end the government will be forced to set up mash tents in abandoned pastures in Vermont… in the prairies of South Dakota… in the blue hills of Kentucky or in the desserts of Utah, where we’ll find hand-painted wooden street signs that read: Haight & Ashbury. Is there a mash tent in our future? If so, you’ll find me at the intersection of the Carefree & Ventura Highways still searching for that financial planner. Peace & Love, Mercy.n
Czech Republic: Charming and Diverse
A central Square in the “New Town” part of Prague. By Victor Block More than two-thirds of Americans who visit the Czech Republic confine their stay to Prague, its majestic capital – and with good reason. “The city of a hundred spires” not only challenges the likes of Paris in its beauty, it also boasts a history that stretches back over a millennium, along with one of the most vibrant cultural settings in all of Europe. Yet during a recent visit, I learned that those who fail to explore the countless treasures that abound throughout the rest of the country miss a lot. For starters, the varied landscape is strewn with shimmering lakes and criss-crossed by sparkling rivers. Rolling farm fields and orchards lead to forested highlands that are overlooked by mountain ranges which virtually surround the small nation. Even with these magnificent examples of Mother Nature’s handiworks, the Czech Repub-
lic’s greatest assets are man-made. Hilltop castles, ornate cathedrals and imperial palaces dot the landscape and decorate cities and towns. Adding to the appeal for visitors is the ease of being immersed among these varied riches in a compact country that is about the size of Maine. My wife I and explored the major attractions of Prague (Praha) for three days, and could have spent much longer. That splendid city overwhelms visitors with its architecture, then envelopes them in an aura of living history. The entire city center is a designated UNESCO heritage site, and the fact that its buildings survived World War II remarkably intact, unlike many throughout Europe, adds to its appeal. The 13th century “Old Town” (Stare Mesto) consists of a labyrinth of winding alleys and picturesque squares, as does the not-quite-soold “New Town” (Nove Mesto), which dates
A typical town scene in the Czech Republic. back to 1348. Only a few buildings from that time survive today, including magnificent Gothic and Baroque churches. The sprawling Prague Castle, one of the largest in the world, overlooks the city from a steep hill. It was the seat of power for a parade of kings and emperors, and today is the official residence of the president of the Czech Republic. Another must-see is the Charles Bridge, which has spanned the Vltava River since the 14th century. A line of statues which were placed along the balustrade in the 17th and early 18th centuries depicts saints who were venerated at that time. Despite the attractions and appeals of Prague, visitors who fail to explore the inviting and diverse towns scattered throughout the Czech Republic miss out on a lot. Many towns have a charming central square surrounded by narrow winding streets and church steeples pointing toward the sky. In addi-
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tion, each has its own unique attributes. The central square of tiny Telc could have been lifted from the pages of a Hans Christian Andersen story. The fairytale setting is lined by the decorative facades of arcade-fronted Renaissance townhouses painted a variety of pastel hues and set off by ornate gables and intricate designs and decorations. Visitors to the Czech Republic seeking to explore its Jewish heritage often head for Trebic, about 100 miles from Prague. Among many vestiges of the Jewish aspect of the country's history, that small city stands out. The presence of Jewish people in presentday Trebic was first documented in 1338, but it wasn't until the early 18th century that a ghetto was established. Today, it's one of the best preserved ghettos in Europe and the only Jewish monument outside Israel included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The neighborhood encompasses 123 historic buildings, including two synagogues, a rabbi's house, hospital and two schools. It’s primarily what lies beneath the ground that makes Jihlava worth a visit. The story began in the 13th century when cellars were built under most houses in the town center for the storage of food, beer, wine and other items. Over several centuries, the storage areas were connected by tunnels, which stretched over 15 miles. Visitors today may take a tour through sections of the catacombs, past exhibits that tell the story of the tunnels and how they were created.
Ostrava, which is home to about 300,000 residents, is overlooked by many travelers to the Czech Republic because of its reputation as a faded industrial and mining center. The upside is that it introduces visitors to a “real” city free of trappings of tourism. Its attractions are interesting and varied. Not surprisingly, a castle tops the list. The Silesian Ostrava Castle was built in the 13th century as a border fortress, then rebuilt in 1534 as a Renaissance chateau. Along with its fortifications and lookout tower, the castle cellars contain a small aquarium, museum of witches and gruesome exhibits of torture instruments. The Wallachian Open Air Museum just outside of Ostrava recreates traditional rural life by means of old buildings that have been moved to the site and newer replicas. Costumed interpreters and programs of music, dance and longforgotten crafts add to the appeal. Completing the living history feel are farm animals and plots planted in crops that were grown in the area centuries ago. Two other places, among several that made me glad I included Ostrava on my itinerary, also stand out. The Miniuni is a collection of close to three dozen miniscule models of famous European structures, built in perfect detail. My favorites were London’s Big Ben, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. Strolling along Stodolni Street, it soon became clear why it’s called “the street that never sleeps.” More than 60 clubs, bars and restaurants are
packed with mostly locals who eat good traditional food, drink mostly beer and make merry until the wee hours of the morning. Among names of pubs I checked out were the Wounded Goose and Blue Moose. I chose to skip the one called Hell. “Taking the waters” at mineral spring spas has been an inherent part of life over centuries for people living in the present-day Czech Republic. Today, close to two dozen spa towns attract visitors in search of healing various ailments, or simply a relaxing experience. Among the most famous spas are Marianske Lazne, which is surrounded by nearly 100 natural springs, and Luhacovice Spa, which has been been providing healing and hedonism for nearly 350 years. It’s hard to beat the excitement and enjoyment of taking in the major attractions of Prague, as well as strolling through its hidden back streets and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Visiting other history-rich towns throughout the Czech Republic that share similarities, yet which also have their own unique stories to tell, adds much to a visit to that enticing nation. For more information about visiting the Czech Republic, log onto czechtourism.com. Victor Block is an award-winning travel journalist who lives in Washington, D.C., and spends summers in Rangeley, Maine. He is a guidebook author who has traveled to more than 70 countries. His articles appear in newspapers around the country, and on travel websites. n
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Staying Ahead of the Scammers Submitted by Jane Margesson, AARP Maine Communications Director The statistics we hear about scams and fraud are nothing short of staggering. Imposter scams such as the grandparent scam, the sweetheart scam, the IRS scam and many other variations claim millions of victims across the US each year. Another type of fraud, identity theft, occurs when someone steals enough personal information about an individual in order to pretend to be that person. Across the country, every two seconds someone’s identity is stolen. There is, however, some good news. All Maine residents, including minors, can now fight back
at no cost. By turning on a “credit freeze,” we can protect our hard-earned money from this most destructive crime. Identity theft can be devastating because once armed with enough personal information, a thief can access their victim’s credit report. With access to the credit report, an identity thief can then open a credit card, apply for a loan or even apply for government benefits, all in the name of their victim. The most common use of stolen information is to fraudulently obtain a credit card. Unfortunately, many victims don’t discover that their identity has been stolen until long after the fact. Some people are tipped off when they receive a
bill for an item they never purchased or when they are denied credit. By then, the damage to one’s credit and financial situation could be sizable. The best way we can protect ourselves from identity theft is to prevent criminals from obtaining our sensitive
By Nate Littlefield, ACSM EP-C, CMMC Health and Fitness Center The reality that regular physical activity is of great benefit to everyone is certainly no surprise in our culture today. For many, however, the predominant form of physical activity that is deemed beneficial is cardiovascular exercise – and make no mistake: it is highly beneficial! But what about weight training? Isn’t that really just for the younger crowd that wants to have big muscles? An abundance of research tells us NO: weight training is for ALL adults, including seniors!
Why? How will it provide benefit that we can’t already get from cardiovascular exercise? First of all, weight training leads to improvements in strength, stamina, stability, and balance – all of which translates to an improved ability to maintain independence in our activities of daily living. None of us desires to have to rely on others to take care of the basic needs of day to day life; we’d prefer to continue mowing the grass, doing our laundry, cleaning up around the house, etc. on our own. And weight training can help with this, while re-
ducing the risk of falls and other injuries. Secondly, weight training helps reduce the risk of a large variety of illnesses that we become more prone to as we age. Consider the following, which is a compelling (but incomplete) list of examples: • Osteoporosis: As we age, we lose bone density – as much as 1-2% per year in post-menopausal women. Regular resistance training with weights, bands, or machines helps to not only slow this process, but potentially even reverse it by leading to an increase in
information in the first place. This is why placing a credit freeze with all three major credit bureaus is considered the most effective way to block identity thieves. When the freeze is in place, our credit reports are protected. Thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator
Rodney Whittemore (RSkowhegan), Maine is now the third state in the nation to make turning the credit freeze on and off absolutely free. To find out more information about how to take advantage of this new law which was just enacted on October 15th, call the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection at 1-800-332-8529 or visit the Maine Attorney General’s website at www.maine.gov/ag or call 1-800-436-2131. Certain other scams emerge regularly during specific times of the year and are often associated with health benefits. For example, Medicare Open Enrollment is underway until December 7th. Any contact from supposed Medicare representa-
Why Weight Training?
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bone density! • Diabetes: Weight training has been shown to be equally as effective – if not more effective – at managing blood sugar levels when compared to cardiovascular exercise. This means reducing risk of diabetes, or helping to manage the disease for those who have it. • Arthritis: Regular weight training, performed at an appropriate workload and with proper form, can help alleviate
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ing helps to improve aerobic capacity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that we make weight training a regular part of our exercise program to help reduce heart disease risk, or manage heart disease in those who have it. That’s an impressive list! All in all, the benefits of regular strength training outweigh the risks, provided it is conducted safely and appropriately. If you are unfamiliar with how to safely and effectively perform weight training exercises, come visit us at the CMMC Health and Fitness Center, or check out our basic weight training videos on the CMMC website: www. cmmc.org/wellnesscenterexercise-video-demonstrations. n
Veteran’s, Spouses & their Widows, would you benefit from...
HOW? A new law requires hospitals to record the name of a patient’s designated family caregiver upon admission and to keep that caregiver informed of the patient’s discharge plans. It also ensures that family caregivers have the instructions needed to safely care for loved ones when they return home. AARP Maine fought for the CARE Act because supporting family caregivers is a top priority for all of us. On behalf of Maine’s 178,000 caregivers, we thank Rep. Drew Gattine for sponsoring this important legislation.
the frequency and severity of osteoarthritis symptoms. Less pain means more freedom! • Depression and Anxiety: Strength training done on a consistent basis produces similar improvements in depression symptoms as antidepressant medications! • Heart Health: Yes, cardio exercise rightly gets much of the attention when it comes to heart health, but studies show that regular weight train-
tives should be verified at www.medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE. Sadly, as we approach the holidays, many fake charity scams also surface each year. Fake charity representatives may target us for “donations.” Please make sure you verify any charity with which you aren’t familiar at www.charitywatch.org so you know your donation is going where it should be. It has never been more important for each of us to take an active role and be our own best fraud fighter. We can start by taking advantage of Maine’s free Credit Freeze law. Let’s turn on the freeze and keep the thieves out in the cold. n
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Charting A Course Of Care Through Expert Evaluation By John D. Begin Like many adult children with aging parents, Sue Bell was concerned when her mother began showing signs of memory loss seven years ago. Bell, who lives in Augusta, wanted to know what was causing the symptoms and whether they were physical or cognitive in nature. Fortunately for her family, MaineGeneral’s Geriatric Consultation Clinic was there to help. Located at the Family Medicine Institute in Augusta, the clinic is a key and longstanding part of MaineGeneral’s comprehensive geriatric medicine program. The information and recommendations the clinic provides patients and their caregivers and primary care providers - through diagnostic testing and a thorough patient evaluation - are invaluable, said Bell,
whose father also was evaluated in 2013 for different issues. “It’s a great service and the staff takes a comprehensive approach diagnostically, both in terms of the patient’s medical history and cognitive capability,” she said. “This has helped me provide care, support and comfort to my parents and work more effectively with their physicians.” Bell said her mother and father, who now are 87 and 93, respectively, still live independently in the area. The support the family received through the clinic and other MaineGeneral geriatric services helped make that possible. “The proactive steps we took following my mother’s 2008 evaluation allowed us to prevent further disease progression,” she said. “When she was reevaluated in 2015, we learned
Create your own traditional Christmas experience and have fun in the process! Don’t worry, it isn’t nearly as hard or intimidating as you may think! Do Your Research Research the available tree farms in your area and know their hours of operation. There is nothing like arriving after they have closed for the day. Wear the Proper Clothes Keep in mind you will be walking through snow,
in cold weather, during this process. Be sure to wear waterproof boots, heavy socks, warm pants, coat and hat, as well as sturdy work gloves you won’t mind getting dirty. Bring the Proper Tools Many Tree Farms have saws that you can borrow, however, it’s best to bring your own just in case. Don’t forget to bring rope to tie your tree to your vehicle. Some people even
that while there were other symptoms, we had done everything possible to keep her comfortable and functional.” Geriatrician Annette Beyea, DO, MPH, who oversees the clinic in addition to her work as director of the Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency’s Geriatric Fellowship Program, said the services it provides empowers caregivers like Bell to make the best, most informed decisions about their loved one’s care. “The more we can equip them to feel they have support and people to turn to, the better off they’re going to be in terms of keeping their loved one at home longer,” she said. What the clinic evaluates Beyea said the clinic has been privileged to offer primarily memory disorder evaluations over the years.
Now, with a growing faculty, a fellowship training program and a commitment to expanded collaborative partnerships with primary care, the interdisciplinary geriatric team wants to be a resource to primary care providers and specialists supporting healthy aging and serving patients and caregivers facing complex chronic illnesses and many geriatric conditions. Patients can be referred to the clinic by their primary care providers for many issues, including: • Memory loss, dementia or delirium • A review of their medications if they are taking multiple medications or are concerned about showing adverse medication effects • Signs of the onset of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease • Issues with falling or a risk for falls and relat-
MaineGeneral’s Geriatric Consultation Clinic has been a blessing to Augusta resident Sue Bell and her siblings in assessing their parents’ aging-related medical issues and developing care plans that meet their needs while still allowing them to live independently.
ed injuries • Symptoms of functional decline • Issues related to advance care planning and end-of-life care To learn more about the clinic, please speak with your primary care provider or call the Fam-
ily Medicine Institute at (207) 626-1561 to make a referral or be transferred to geriatric nurse Sandi Taker, RN. John D. Begin is a communications specialist in MaineGeneral’s Office of Marketing and Communications. n
bring a sheet to rest on top of the vehicle before securing the tree to prevent scratches. Know Your Measurements Before you leave the house, write down the measurements you’re working with. You need to know how much space there is from floor to ceiling and how wide you can go with the branches. You’ll want to pick a tree that allows at least a foot of space between its top and the ceiling so you
can add your tree topper. How to Fasten the Tree to your Vehicle Keep in mind that the bottom of the tree belongs at the front of the car. Proper tree tying varies depending on the size of tree and type of car, so don’t hesitate to get help from the staff to ensure attaching it safely. The last thing you want is for your tree to come loose on the highway, so make sure a professional helps you secure it in place.n
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Tourtière: A Holiday Tradition The tourtière is a French-Canadian meat pie that originated in the province of Quebec in Canada as early as 1600. Most recipes for tourtière include ground pork and other ground meats. The tourtière is a traditional part of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Quebec, but the pie is also enjoyed at other times and throughout Canada and the upper midwest and eastern United States. There is some debate about the origin of the name of the dish. Some believe that the dish is named after the now extinct passenger pigeons, called “tourtes,” that were cooked into the original pies. Others argue that the pie is named
after the deep ceramic baking dish that families used to create the pies. It is, however, agreed that by 1611, the word tourtière had come to refer to the pastry containing meat or fish that was cooked in this mediumdeep, round or rectangular dish. There are arguments as well about what variations of the dish are the “original” or “authentic” pies. Regional variations depend on what foods were available in the area and family recipes have been passed down and altered through the years. (courtesy of tourtiere.weebly.com) Here is a simple tourtière recipe for you to enjoy this holiday season:
Ingredients • 2 ½ pounds : lean ground pork • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 large onion, chopped • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 stalk celery, chopped • 1 bay leaf • 3 cups water • 4 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed • 2 (15-ounce) pack ages refrigerated pie crusts Directions: In a large saucepan, mix together the ground pork, cloves, cinnamon, onion, salt, celery, bay leaf and water. The water will help break up the raw pork. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 3 hours, or until the water has evapo-
rated. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Towards the end of the pork cooking time, place the potatoes into a separate saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes. When the pork is done, stir the mashed potatoes into that pan until evenly blended. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two 9 -inch pie plates with bottom crusts. Spoon equal amounts of the pork filling into each crust. Cover with top crusts and flute the edges to seal. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crust is golden brown.n
quirky fruit has vitamins C and K, folate and potassium and is a good source of fiber. Pomegranate has anti-inflammato ry properties, which can help in reducing joint pain and preventing strokes. Pomegranate may also help the body fight viruses. •Cinnamon: Cinnamon has high levels of antioxidants, and some studies point to cinnamon
as a natural antibacterial agent. Cinnamon also can help regulate bloodglucose levels, which is beneficial for those with diabetes. •Prunes: Now widely referred to as “dried p l u m s ,” prunes are an important source of boron, which could prevent osteoporosis. High in antioxidants, prunes help the body fight a variety of ill-
nesses. •Cabbage: Cabbage may be a key element in the fight against cancer. Cabbage has phytochemicals that can protect the body against cancercausing free radicals. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, which can stimulate a sluggish digestive system. •Butternut squash: This food is packed with
carotenoids, which are stellar antioxidants. The starches in this squash also have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. •Chestnuts: Chestnuts are worthy of inclusion in anyone’s diet. Unlike many nuts, chestnuts are relatively low in fat but have high levels of protein. They’re also packed with vitamin C and B vitamins. - Metro n
Winter Superfoods for Optimal Health en superfoods in their winter diets. •Avocado: Avocado has high levels of essential fatty acids and vitamin B6, which is important in the biosynthesis of important neurotransmitters. Foods high in B vitamins may be able to counteract some of the symptoms of winterrelated depression. •Pomegranate: This
Simple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cinnamon • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • Salt, to taste
Directions: Prepare squash. Heat oven to 425º F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Toss squash cubes with olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until coated. Pour coated squash onto baking sheets and spread into one layer. Try not to crowd them too much or else they will not brown. Roast squash, turning once and rotating pans once, until edges are lightly browned and centers are tender; 40 to 45 minutes. Helpful hint: Use an ice cream scoop to easily clean the seeds out of the squash.
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Illnesses seem to peak during the winter months. A tapped-out immune system as well as dry, cold air may encourage the spread of common viruses and bacterial infections more easily. As a result, it’s important that men, women and children take every step possible to ward off sickness when the temperatures drop. Dietary changes can make a world of difference, and more and more people are including these prov-
4 Tips for Back
Article by Jodi Cornelio Mother-nature tries to naturally prepare us for winter snow shoveling by putting us through leaf raking and bagging season. We all know how our backs feel after a day of that and I hope we all know the importance of back stretches to help relieve sore and stiff muscles and protect our backs. Shoveling snow is a similar motion but takes a greater toll on the back due to the cold of the season and the weight of the snow. Please take caution and protect your back by focusing on these 4 simple tips for back safety. 1. Warm up before shoveling or attempting to lift heavy snow. You can warm up your body by first just dressing warm. It surprises me how many people I see shoveling snow in their t-
shirts after the first winter storm. Is it because they haven’t dug out their winter clothes yet or are they just trying to get it done quickly before or after work. I don’t get it. They are opening themselves up to injuries that will slow them down later. Dress warm and peel off layers as you heat up your body. It’s what your back muscles require. 2. Start slow. Starting slow at any exercise is a natural warm up. Muscles do not like to perform quickly
Safety When Shoveling
and when they are cold. A cold tense muscle can easily tear and be strained with quick m o ve m e n t s . As your body warms you can ease into the motion of lifting and pick up the pace as you continue. 3. Always stretch. The best time to stretch is during your shoveling. Take a break every 10 to 15 minutes. Put both hands on your lower back and lean back to reverse the forward kinked up position of your back.
Hold that stretch for 30 seconds. When you’re done shoveling spend more time stretching your back. Take 5 to 10 minutes and lie on your living room floor and simply bring your knees into your chest and hold for a minute. This motion will relieve back tension and will stretch the lower back muscles. Remember stretches should feel good not painful. If you experience pain back off a little as you are over stretching. From there, lay your body out straight on your back and reach your hand above your head on the floor as if you were pulling your hands away from your feet. Hold for a minute while wiggling toes and fingers. Next roll over onto your belly then come up on knees and hands and gently sit back onto your heels. “Child Pose” my favor-
ite. Hold for another minute. Repeat all 3 stretches if you feel you need a little more relief. If you make it a habit to perform these 4 simple stretches every time you shovel or exercise you will be amazed how much better your back feels this winter. 4. Lastly, while shoveling never twist and use your legs to lift: Proper shoveling involves 4 steps in order to protect your back. Bending your knees and lifting with your legs is the proper way to lift. You should always turn your entire body and then throw the snow. Repeat after me while shoveling: Squat, Lift, Turn and Throw. I hope these 4 tips have helped you in thinking about ways to protect your back for a safe winter season. Live Long, Live Well. n
Did you know?
Much like many of their human counterparts, pets do not always relish winter. Animals can experience arthritis pain or fatigue when the cold sets in. Shorter periods of daylight also may make them less active and likely to sleep for longer periods of time. In an effort to stay warm, some pets get creative. Cats can unintentionally put themselves in danger
just to chase a chill away. The American Animal Hospital Association says cats will curl up against almost anything, including car engines, to stay warm. Before you turn your engine on, check beneath the car or make a lot of noise by honking the horn or rapping on the hood. Also, if you have exposed radiators in a home or apartment, construct a cover to prevent cats and dogs from climb-
ing on the exposed coils. The hot water pumping through radiators can cause burns. Cats and dogs also may get too close to fireplaces, so use a protective screen to keep them away from hot embers. Pets also can knock over portable heaters in an attempt to get warm. Look for models that automatically shut off if they fall over to reduce your risk of fire. - Metro
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