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Connection Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyle Magazine


A publication of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

Bucket List


Make sure you’ve done it all in the Metro Valdosta Area!

CuraCare Inc., is a private, non-profit health

We are here for you!

care management company, providing administrative support and management oversight to Public Health Home Health Inc., and Public Health Personal Support Services Inc.

OUR MISSION is to provide the highest quality health care services available in order to rehabilitate our patients to their optimal level of functioning or to assist them in coping with disability or terminal illness. Public Health Home Health Inc. was organized in 1966 to meet the needs of people throughout our ten county area. We are a Medicare and Medicaid certified, not-for-profit, home health agency committed to the concept of community service. Public Health Home Health Inc. offers patients personal, professional Health Care services…AT HOME! • Speech Language Pathology Services Including: • Occupational Therapy • Skilled In-Home Nursing Care • Medical Social Services • Home Health Aides • IV Therapy • Physical Therapy  WHO QUALIFIES FOR HOME HEALTH CARE? • Patients discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility, needing additional care at home. • Patients requiring short-term assistance at home because of outpatient surgery. • Patients requiring medication assistance and teaching.

• Chemotherapy • Enteral Feedings • Pain Management

• Patients diagnosed with acute conditions such as congestive heart disease, diabetes or respiratory disorders that require assessment and instruction. • Patients requiring wound care or dressing changes. • Patients requiring IV administration or enteral nutrition therapy

Public Health Personal Support Services, Inc., was formed in 1994 to provide private duty nursing, aides and sitter services. We are a licensed, private non-profit organization. • Personal support aides Public Health Personal Support • Companion/Sitter services • Respite Services Inc. provides: • Community Care • Homemaking • Private duty nursing care • SOURCE

Public Health Home Health, Inc.: VALDOSTA 3169 Inner Perimeter Road (229) 253-1242 or (800) 822-4590 Serving Brooks, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes Counties TIFTON (229) 382-3916 or (800) 658-1165 Serving Berrien, Cook and Tift Counties

FITZGERALD (229) 423-5425 or (800) 611-7299 Serving Ben Hill, Irwin, and Turner Counties

Public Health Personal Support Services, Inc.: VALDOSTA (229) 253-1164 or (800) 323-7966 Serving Brooks, Echols, Lanier & Lowndes WAYCROSS (912) 285-1728 or (800) 837-6066 Serving Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Jeff Davis, Pierce, Ware, and Wayne Counties

FITZGERALD (229) 423-8578 or (800) 288-3876 Serving Berrien, Cook,Tift, Ben Hill, Irwin,Turner, Bleckley Dodge, Laurens, Pulaski,Telfair,Wheeler, and Wilcox Counties(Coffee and Jeff Davis Counties are also served from this office


Connection Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyle Magazine


features: Join Our Silver Star Community.....4 Are Your Mornings Ho-Hum?..........5 Senior Discounts It Pays to Age!.......................................6 Using Your GREEN Thumb in Metro Valdosta................................7 Don’t Let Low Rates SINK Your Retirement Plans.......................8


Getting Involved In Metro Valdosta’s Art Scene............................9 Your Aging Loved Ones.................. 11

Are You Keeping Up with Today’s Tech-Savvy Society?......... 27 Celebrate the Valdosta’s Theatre Guild 25th Season............ 30

Helpful Tips to Eating Healthy as you Age..................... 14

Should I Sign My House Over to My KIDS?............... 31

Paint and Pour................................... 16 Exercise Unique Options for Getting Active!............................ 19

Restaurant & Dining Guide........... 32 Learning In Retirement.................. 34

Your Community Supported Hospice of South Georgia............. 20

Assisted Living - Choosing The BEST Fit....................................... 36

Langdale Place The Good Life..................................... 21

Major Retirement Planning Mistakes............................ 38

Getting the BEST Hearing Improvement.................... 23 100 FUN Things to do in Metro Valdosta............................. 24

About the Cover:

Rejuvenate Your Legs...................... 26


This special moment of Dr. Louis and JeriAnn Levy was captured by Steven Heddon of Fusion Creative Marketing. See page 27 for information about Dr. Levy and how he became tech savvy.

Connection Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyl e Magazine

A publication of the Valdosta-L

owndes County Chamber of

Bucket List




Make sure you’ve done these things in the Metro-Valdosta Area!



Invitation to Join our

Silver Star Community


Megan Smith Chamber Board Member

i ith its southern charm, friendly people and smalltown feel, it is easy to see why Metro Valdosta is known as an ideal place for seniors and retirees to settle down. When my husband and I first moved here in 1964 by way of the Air Force, we found a welcoming community that offers a variety of outlets and entertainment to keep seniors active and involved. We were stationed around the world, until we finally decided to retire here in Valdosta in 1985.

Our local Chamber helped me start my own business at the ripe age of 63 (or thereabouts). As I became more active in our Chamber, I saw the great things our community had to offer and jumped at the chance to get more involved. I currently sit on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and this year I have the opportunity to oversee its Member Services Division, which has a special focus on active retirees. While the Chamber strives to be a unifying force in the economic, social and cultural well-being of the community and its businesses, we realize that active retirees are often a community’s greatest asset. We want to extend a special invitation for you to join our Chamber as a Silver Star Member- where forming friendships, networking and staying in touch with everything the area has to offer, and having fun along the way, is all part of the package. Designed for active seniors and retirees, membership in our group gives you access to events, luncheons, the benefits of Chamber membership and more! Please consider the Silver Stars membership and contact us if it’s something that interests you. As always, feel free to visit your Chamber and take a tour of the beautiful Barber-Pittman house, which will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015. We hope you enjoy this magazine, which serves to keep you “connected” to the great things happening in ValdostaLowndes County!

Sincerely, 4


cONNECTION Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyle Magazine

Megan Smith


APRIL 2013 / Volume 1 Publisher: Myrna Ballard Executive Editor: Erika Bennett Creative Director: Wanda Stanley Contributing Writers: Danielle Reynolds, Amy Wisenbaker (Valdosta State University Interns)

Cover Photo: Fusion Creative Marketing Advertising: Betty Morgan Advertising for the 2014 edition of Connection magazine will be available in the fall. For information please call 229-247-8100.


Copyright by Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. © All rights reserved. Connection Magazine is produced and published annually by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication without the expressed written consent of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is prohibited. All claims, materials, photos appearing herein are believed by the editors to be accurate. However, no responsibility or liability is assumed, and is expressly disclaimed, by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Advertisements, articles, photos, editorial information, and other materials submitted for publication herein are subject to the unrestricted right to the edit of and by our editors and publisher. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Connection Magazine, 416 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Stay connected with the Chamber through social media.

416 North Ashley Street Valdosta, Georgia 31601 (229) 247-8100 Fax: (229) 245-0071

Are your mornings just ho-hum?


r re you tired of restless and sleepless nights, only to wake up sore, stiff, achy and worn out? Would you like to truly RELAX again? The sleep experts at Bed’r Mattress are offering a Bed’r way to get your next six to eight hours of pure comfort and rest.


i, my name is Mike Cunningham, the President of Bed’r Mattress! Comfort (how a mattress feels) and support (your natural spinal alignment) are instrumental in attaining a “Bed’r night’s sleep”. Before opening my first mattress store in Valdosta, Georgia, I too, was having issues with my lower back. I injured my back when I was nineteen. I had been diagnosed with a bulging disc at the age of twenty-five. Instead of taking my orthopedic doctor’s recommended back surgery, I opted instead, to seek relief through chiropractors. Whenever my back would stiffen up to a point of unbearable weakness, soreness, tenderness and pain (couldn’t pick up and hold my children when they were very

young) I would seek a chiropractor (four or five times a year on average). This continued for about twenty-six years. Today, twelve years later and only one visit to a chiropractor, I have finally realized the importance of proper COMFORT and SUPPORT that a quality mattress gives. Bed’r Mattress is the answer to most restless and sleepless nights. When you put your Bed’r Mattress on our new Rejuvenat’r Power Base, you get the best of both worlds. Comfort and support in customized and pre-programmed sleep positions. Relax and unwind in Zero-gravity, or elevate your head and legs for other health benefits. Would you like to

We offer

By Mike Cunningham

Relax by elevating yourself for reading comfort? You need the Rejuvenat’r! Do you have acid reflux? Poor circulation? Difficulty when breathing? Back discomfort or other health issues? Then I recommend the Rejuvenat’r Power Base combined with one of Bed’r Mattress’s customized @LAST mattresses, “the LAST word in sleep”. Stop by TODAY…and begin the process to relax and Rejuvenate your life again! Bed’r Mattress is at the top of its class when offering new technology and innovation to your sleep environment. *It is my recommendation that each person, according to their own specific health issues, seek the professional opinions and services from doctors of Orthopedic and/or Chiropractic practices.

0 $ Down, 0 % Financing!

(Up to 36 months. Ask for details.)

3268B Inner Perimeter Rd. 1602 Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 Valdosta, GA 31602



You will find these name brands: CONNECTION 2013


“It Pays to Age!” Do business with these Chamber members that offer a Senior Discount!

Best Western Plus................................................................................. 10% Discount for Seniors 4025 Northlake Drive..........................................................................................229-241-9221

Hilton Garden Inn................................................................................ 10% Discount for Seniors 1702 Gornton Road............................................................................................229-219-1011

Support Your Local Non-Profits & Churches Repeat Boutique Thrift Store 285 Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-333-0063



Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ 1515 North Forrest Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-242-7628

Elks Aidmore, Inc. 300 N. St. Augustine Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-3020

Brighter Day International Ministries, Inc. 512 S. Troup Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-219-7662

Using Your GREEN Thumb in Metro Valdosta One of the best things about living in the Metro Valdosta area is the warm, inviting climate which provides a year-round hobby to residents-



aldosta offers various ways to “grow” your gardening skills, which include participating in the Garden Center and community gardening events and the Lowndes County Extension Office. The Valdosta Garden Center, located at the historic Crescent home, offers local residents the opportunity to get involved with one of many gardening clubs. Garden club members help give tours of the Crescent, maintain the public gardens and get together once a month. “Every garden club offers programs on planting and design for home and show, landscaping, birds, special gardens, pruning, herbs, decorations for holidays, table-scapes and more,” states Madlyn Hightower, Garden Center president. “With the variety of garden clubs, there’s bound to be one suited for your interest.”

If joining a club isn’t for you, but you are still interested in learning more, don’t miss the Garden Center’s annual Flower Show, which is free and open to the public. National Flower Show judges’ present awards and visitors get to learn more about how to display, identify and grow plants in the area. For event details, call 229-244-6747. Need information on gardening and agriculture tips? Stop by the Lowndes

County Extension office or visit their website, www.caes.uga. edu. The Extension Office offers information and tips on issues your garden may be facing, such as insects, weeds and some of the most desirable plants to grow in this area, such as crepe myrtles. If you’re looking to put your gardening skills to good use, the Lowndes County Extension Office is always looking for volunteers to share their knowledge with the 4-H Youth Development program.

Call the Chamber to get a list of the best businesses to meet your gardening needs in Valdosta-Lowndes County at 229-247-8100 or visit our directory at CONNECTION 2013


Don’t Let Low Rates SINK –

Your Retirement Plans


ver the past few years, if you’ve taken out a mortgage or another consumer loan, you’ve probably welcomed the low interest rates you may have received. But as an investor, if you’ve kept any retirement savings in fixedrate investment vehicles, you may have seen low rates in a less favorable light. And that’s why it may be time for you take a closer look at your financial strategy for working toward the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned. Of course, you can always hope that interest rates will rise, and perhaps they will. As you may know, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at record lows in recent years to stimulate lending and thereby boost the economy. But rates can’t get much lower, and if inflation were to heat up, the Fed could reverse course by starting to raise rates. However, if you’re going to do a good job of building financial assets for retirement, you really can’t afford to play “wait-and-see” with interest rates. Instead, consider the following moves:


Rebalance your portfolio. No matter what your situation, it’s a good idea to periodically rebalance your investment portfolio to help ensure it still reflects your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals. If you’re concerned about low rates harming your future investment income, you have more reason than ever to review your portfolio and make adjustments as needed, relative to your objectives. For example, if it seems that your

portfolio has become “overweighted” in any one vehicle, you may need to change your investment mix, keeping in mind your individual risk tolerance.


Redefine “retirement.” Retiring from one career doesn’t have to mean retiring from work altogether. If you decide to work part time, do some consulting or even open your own small business. You may be able to earn enough income to take some of the “pressure” off your investment portfolio in terms of providing you with the money you need to live on during retirement. Also, by working during your nominal retirement years, you may be able to delay taking Social Security until you’re a little older, when your monthly checks can be larger.



Review your withdrawal strategy. During your retirement, the amount you choose to withdraw from your investments each year will depend on several factors, including the size of your portfolio and the amount of income it is providing. As you chart your retirement strategy, you’ll need to factor in a realistic withdrawal rate.

w Re-examine sources of investment income. You may want part of your retirement income to come from investments that offer protection of principal. If so, you don’t have to settle for the lowest-rate vehicles. By looking at the various alternatives and blending them with your overall portfolio, you may be able to boost your income without significantly increasing your investment risk. In short, just because interest rates are low, you don’t have to lower your retirement expectations — as long as you plan ahead and explore your options.

113 West Brookwood Drive, Suite C Valdosta, GA 31601

229.242-8800 Member SIPC


This article was written by Edward Jones.

Greg Reid Financial Advisor

Getting Involved in Metro Valdosta’s Art Scene


o ou may not be the next Picasso, but don’t let that keep you from visiting the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. Whether you’re looking to buy, create or admire, something is sure to strike your fancy! “The Turner Center for the Arts is EVERYBODY’S art center,” exclaims Cheryl Oliver, Executive Director. “We love to welcome kids of all ages, and that certainly includes retirees. Our volunteer network and guest log abound with people who’ve found the secret to happy living in retirement. If you have time to nurture your spirit, you have time to visit the art center for a gallery opening reception, a class activity, a shift at our reception desk as an art ambassador, a special event, or a stroll through our galleries and gift shop. It’s a place where you can learn, relax, enjoy, savor and be appreciated! Come visit us soon!!” The Center continually updates its galleries with an array of exhibits

Behavioral Health Services of South Georgia Mental Health Center – Valdosta 3120 N. Oak Street Ext., Suite C Valdosta, GA 31602 Contact: 229-671-6170

from local and national artists. If cially visiting the gallery inspires your ‘yard creative side, discover one of greenery’ their classes which range from as I call it, pottery, painting or writing workfor arrangements,” Jane Stanaland, a shops, and develop skills you didn’t local resident, said. “Lyn is so creative, know you had! And in the event and we were so fortunate to have her your masterpieces don’t turn out as share her talents. I came home inplanned, don’t worry! Several pieces spired and impressed my family with from the galleries are for sale, but a simple table decoration.” many students find the classes easy This is just one of the many classes and fun. offered at the Center. To receive more Lyn Vallotton, master floral information, call 229-247-ARTS designer, offers a Creative Greenery (2787) or visit www.turnercenter. class, which focuses on creating org. works of art from local plant life. “I would highly recommend this class,” says Beverly Langdale, a local Valdosta resident. “It was a large, but easy, class. Lyn showed 2704 N. Oak Street, Bldg. A-2 ■ Valdosta, GA 31602 us a lot of great Office (229) 245-1480 ■ Fax (229) 245-1483 things we could E-mail: do.” Dealing with the “I love to use prevention, diagnosis the simplicity of and treatment greenery, espe-

of adult diseases.

Mental Health Center – Adel 1905 S. Hutchinson St Adel, GA 31620 Contact: 229-896-4559 Mental Health Center – Tifton 334 Tift Eldorado Rd Tifton, GA 31794 Contact: 229-391-2300

Developmental Disability Day Centers: Lowndes, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Turner


Visit our website:

2704 N. Oak Street, Bldg. A-2 Valdosta, GA 31602

Dr. Jarod F. Bailey, D.O.


Office 229-245-1480

Fax 229-245-1483 CONNECTION 2013


Proudly serving South Georgia for over 33


We provide: • Skilled Nursing • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Speech Therapy • Medical Social Workers • Home Health Aides


Our services are covered by: • Medicare • Medicaid • BC/BS of GA • United Health Care



• Commercial Insurance • Veterans Administration • Private Pay





We serve ten counties in South Georgia: Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes,Tift & Turner

We offer 80 - 100 classes 3 times a year: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Call us to be put on the mailing list.



Your Aging Loved Ones:

They Took Good Care of You, Now You Can Take Good Care of Them With Comfort Keepers®. The Very Best in In-Home Care Services.


aregiving can be complicated. Finding resources and making decisions for an aging loved one is not an easy task. Owners of the local Comfort Keepers® in Valdosta, Scott and Lisa Register, understand the daily dilemma that families are faced with when looking to provide the best possible care for their aging loved ones. “I am constantly amazed at how many families I encounter on a daily basis are dealing with these stressful issues,” Scott Register said. Once we place our Comfort Keepers® in the home to lend a hand, the families often say that they didn’t realize just how stressed they really were.” But with Comfor Keepers, adult children can come and just enjoy a visit, spending quality time with their parent rather than feeling like they have to work. Caregiving can often be a 24-hour-a-day responsibility. When family caregivers do not take a much needed break, they run the risk of emotional burnout and a decline in their own health. Comfort Keepers’ Client Care Manager, Lisa Register, works everyday with families who find themselves feeling desperate. “We understand that in the case of illness, injury and even natural aging, families find themselves hurled into unfamiliar territory. The situation can be overwhelming, stressful and confusing,” she said. Comfort Keepers can be in the home, assisting with personal care tasks, such as bathing, dressing and toileting. They also provide companion tasks, such as meal

preparation, light housekeeping and transportation. Often, adult children are trying to provide adult care for one or both parents from a distance. Comfort Keepers can be the “eyes and ears” of the son or daughter who lives on the other side of the country and give them peace of mind. “Our services coordinate perfectly with those of medical and health care providers like home health care, physical therapy and hospice that your loved on may be getting,” Register said. “In-home care from Comfort Keepers compliments those medical services and helps preserve their dignity and provide a quality of life that can only be achieved at home. Every Comfort Keepers engagement begins with a free in-home assessment and then develops an individualized plan of care to meet each client’s needs. Services range from four hours per visit up to 24-hour care. “We take great pride in helping seniors maintain their independent lifestyle within the comfort and privacy of their own homes, while relieving the stress felt by families,” Register continued. “By providing the appropriate care, Comfort Keepers gives peace of mind in uncertain times.”



Service Provider Ch a mb er M e m b e r s

Need a service or looking for reputable businesses in Valdosta? Our Chamber is here to help you out. Chamber members are the BEST of the BEST!

Carla M. Penny Owner

1601 Baytree Rd. (by Valdosta Mall) Valdosta, GA 31602 • 229-244-1143 • Fax 229-244-1443



Need to know what’s happening in


Check out the Chamber’s Community Calendar for local events and activities. You will find events such as: • Major Community Events (Dinner Dances, Banquets, Annual Meetings, Carnivals, etc.) • Significant Entertainment Events (Community Arts Concerts, College/University Theatrical Productions, etc.) • Significant Activities (Kiwanis Pancake Festival, Lakeland Derby, etc.)

Pool Supplies & Equipment, Patio Furniture, Above Ground Pools, Saunas, Water Sport Equipment, Primo Grills & Accessories, Free Water Analysis & monthly or weekly pool service.

Scan the code or visit look for the little Green Man!



Helpful tips to EATING healthy as you AGE Our bodies don’t change overnight, and neither should our diet.


veryone knows staying active and eating healthy is important. Of course this is easier said than done, because doesn’t everyone wish they could live like a teenager and not see or feel the consequences? As you grow older, your body starts to need a different lifestyle, and this lifestyle sadly doesn’t include a daily candy bar anymore. “A healthy diet for seniors is about far more than just managing weight,” states Chef Buddy Boswell, a certified dietary manager with Daily Dinners. “As we age, our bodies go through many changes, including a change in the type of calories we need.” When first adjusting your diet, don’t do anything drastic advises Boswell. “Gradual changes are key and not as difficult as people originally think. People often cut back on food intake and calories, which leaves their bodies with less energy and vital nutrients. Our bodies don’t change overnight, and neither should our diet.” The amount of meals you eat

each day may be more important than calorie intake. The traditional three big meals a day doesn’t cut it anymore, but instead it’s helpful to eat more, smaller meals. Eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day can actually boost your metabolism and give your body more energy. Keep in mind, the food you consume should be enriched with protein, minerals, vitamins and healthy carbohydrates. “While having a healthy weight is very important, the foods you eat as you get older also play a significant role in keeping your body running smoothly,” says Boswell. Boswell suggests ensuring your diet is full of fruits, vegetables and fiber. A common mistake consumers make is drinking fruit juice as a substitute for eating fresh fruit which can actually lead to sugar spikes. Boswell recommends taking advantage of Valdosta’s plethora of fresh produce markets such as Farmer Browns and Carters Fresh Produce. Also, Downtown

Valdosta Farm Days offer even more options for local produce and food items. Chef Boswell has been preparing daily, healthy meals for families and individuals for decades now, and specializes in meal preparation for various health issues such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, COPD, lactose intolerance, gastro esophageal reflux disease, celiac disease, cancer, and diabetes. “Remember, healthy eating is an evolution, not a revolution. You not only become healthier physically, but also spiritually and emotionally. These changes take time, in order to last,” says Boswell. Anyone interested in learning more from Chef Boswell can visit

For more information on where to find fresh produce, visit 14


“Where Southern Hospitality Meets Championship Golf ” • Great rates year round • 18 Hole Championship Golf Course covering over 600 acres of hardwoods and lakes • Clubhouse with fully stocked Pro Shop and Restaurant • Driving range and practice facility • PGA Professionals on staff • Golf packages available

(229) 247-2527 4553 Greenway Dr. • Valdosta, GA CONNECTION 2013


A Unique Way to Express Your Artistic Side


ruits of the Garden Winery, located in Downtown Valdosta, now offers a unique art class for those with an interest in painting and a palette for delicious wine!

“Paint and Pour” is an art class that teaches you how to paint with the unique option of taste-testing delicious, Georgia-made wines. Amy Wisenbaker, a Valdosta local, recently participated in the Paint and Pour class. “My group of friends and I really enjoyed this unique chance to relax, be creative, and enjoy some tasty wine. Even if you aren’t an experienced artist, you get to take home a pretty canvas to keep forever.” The Paint and Pour class is instructed by Stefanie Huguet, a



South Georgia resident who has a bachelor’s degree in art from Valdosta State University. Huguet has been painting since she was 12 and gained her interest in art from her grandmother growing up. Huguet teaches you how to paint at the beginner level and will offer step-by-step instructions on how to complete your one of a kind canvas. “It is more of a party than a class,” says Huguet. ”We hope that everyone who attends has a good time and gets to learn more about art.” Classes are typically held Friday evening and require a reservation ahead of time. Other class times and

reservations can be made for groups 10 or fewer people. The class can be tailored to your group’s interests. Previous class themes include Valentine’s couple night and classes focused on famous hotspots such as the Eiffel Tower. Groups may choose their artwork topic ahead of time. With a payment of $30, you receive a complimentary glass of wine and completed canvas to take home and share with friends and family. Additional glasses and bottles of wine are available for purchase throughout the class. Fruits of the Garden offers a large selection of local made wines for your tasting pleasure.


o register for a Paint and Pour class, or to schedule a group party, contact Mrs. Huguet at 229-589-1388 or Ms. Blanche from the Fruits of the Garden Winery at 229-242-0578 or visit www.



Rewarding your success. When you achieve success, it’s nice when someone notices. We do, and we created the Preferred Account to show our appreciation. This account rewards you by combining balances on multiple accounts to lower or eliminate your overall banking costs. We reward your trust in us with exclusive features like: • Free wallet-style checks and unlimited check writing • 50% discount on designer checks and safe deposit box rentals • Free official checks and notary service • And so much more Experience the many benefits of relationship banking with the Preferred Account at First State Bank and Trust. 229-242-5725 All accounts subject to approval. First State Bank and Trust is a division of Synovus Bank. Synovus Bank, Member FDIC, is chartered in the state of Georgia and operates under multiple trade names across the southeast. Divisions of Synovus Bank are not separately FDIC-insured banks. The FDIC coverage extended to deposit customers is that of one insured bank.



Exercise (dunt, dunt, duh),

Unique options for getting active!


ost people have heard Newton’s First Law of Motion, “a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion.” Yes, it is cliché, but it certainly remains true, especially when pertaining to the subject of staying active as you get older. Tension relief, increased muscle strength, improved mobility, stress release and better sleep! Hey, we all know the benefits of exercise, but for those who have made it their lifelong goal to avoid the gym, where do you start? Luckily, Metro Valdosta offers numerous avenues to get your body

moving! For a workout that is low impact, yet highly beneficial, head down to the Turner Center for the Arts. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Roberta George leads a free yoga class which may have anywhere from 15-30 participants. “All you need to bring is your body and your mat, and we’ll make sure you get a great workout that’s proven to help lower blood pressure, increase concentration and memory, and improve flexibility,” states George. “It’s fun, relaxing and you get to enjoy beautiful art, all the while.” If you find yourself needing the many benefits of a gym membership, the Valdosta-Lake Park YMCA offers various classes, such as yoga, pilates and water aerobics. Most importantly, you can enjoy these classes, and more, at little or no cost to you through the Silver Sneakers Program. Seniors can apply to join the Silver Sneakers for free through their health plan. Silver Sneakers members have access to all the perks of

YMCA membership including exercise equipment, group classes, sauna, steam room and even personal trainers. “We understand that figuring out how to approach exercise can be a bit tricky, and our staff is here to help,” says Cheryl Marshall, Senior Programs Director. “We encourage seniors to try things like strength training and with one of our personal trainers, you can figure out what method of exercise is best for you, while developing a personalized exercise to focus on your individual health needs.” To get more information about the YMCA, the Turner Center for the Arts or for a full list of fitness facilities associated with the Chamber, call 229-247-8100 or visit



Hospice of South Georgia — Your Community-Supported Hospice

Hospice of South Georgia really helped my family during a difficult time. Not only did they provide loving, attentive care for my mom, they showed compassion and concern for me, as a daughter and primary caregiver. In fact, eight months have now passed and Connie, the bereavement coordinator, still calls to check on me. That’s exemplary service that I will never forget.

Sue S., daughter of renal failure patient

For more than 25 years, Hospice of South Georgia has provided physical, emotional, social and spiritual support during the end-of-life journey for more than 5,000 patients. We are a not-for-profit hospice with services available in Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, Echols, Berrien, Cook, Atkinson and Clinch counties. Hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, or in the region’s only inpatient hospice facility, the Langdale Hospice House. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances. Hospice clinicians are specially trained to provide: • Regularly scheduled staff visits with 24-hour, on-call services • Training of family in patient’s care • Coordination of care with patient’s physician • Emotional and spiritual support by our social workers, counselors and chaplain • Supportive care by trained volunteers • Assistance with medications, equipment and supplies that relate to the life-limiting illness • Grief support with comprehensive services for all ages • Access to the Langdale Hospice House You can find information about Hospice of South Georgia’s services at, calling 1.800.HOSPICE from any local telephone number within our eight county service area, or by calling 229.249.4100.



Langdale Place — The Good Life “The one quality I love most about Langdale Place is the family-like atmosphere,” said Jan Brice, executive director. “Langdale Place is not a ‘nursing home’ or an ‘old folk’s home’ but a premier retirement community consisting of 65 independent apartments and 42 assisted living suites. Residents of Langdale Place don’t move in because of any one particular need; they move in for the lifestyle and freedom to enjoy everyday living!” Owned and operated by the South Georgia Health Alliance, LLC, Langdale Place is a beautiful, 3-story 107-unit senior living facility located on six wooded acres in the heart of Valdosta. With options that include independent living suites, standard and deluxe personal care suites as well as a secured unit, Langdale Place strives to offer choices for many of the various needs that come with senior living. • No more housework, cooking or lawn maintenance • No more homeowner’s insurance, taxes, maintenance costs or security worries • Independent residents may come and go as they please (with guest access) • Full social activities, from symphonies to in-house activities such as bridge & bingo • Complimentary bus service to doctors’ offices • On-site movie theatre, fitness center and walking trails

We endeavor to nourish the human spirit and preserve personal dignity by addressing the spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs of each resident. At Langdale Place, residents are more than just a number, each individual is a valuable member of our family.

Jan Brice, Langdale Place Executive Director

For active seniors who want to experience “the good life,” look no further than Langdale Place! If this is a change or decision you are considering, contact us at 229.247.4300 or visit us at



What makes

United Hospice Different? U

nited Hospice has been providing palliative care both in the home and/or a care center setting since 1993. Services begin and end with compassion and the preservation of dignity and comfort. Resources are available to patients 7 days a week and include certified professional consulting on pain management, wound care, pharmaceutical care and advanced clinical nursing. Quality of life treatments such as palliative radiation and chemo, blood transfusions and IV Therapy are covered services. United Hospice also has an on-call policy that allows patients and family to call for a visit from an RN to provide a hands-on assessment when conditions change. This on-call process is part of the proprietary Uni-Guard Program as a way to prevent unnecessary re-hospitalizations for our patients.

Local: 229-242-1187

Corey Davis 300-0639

Sherri Askew 460-3880

• • • • • • • •

Ron Borders 560-2079

More about United Hospice:

Laura Keller 251-8008

Weeknight, weekend and holiday admissions. New referral response time of less than two hours. Language interpretation services available for all nationalities. Bereavement support services for the patient’s loved ones as well as the Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Hospital staff. A non-profit affiliate, United Hospice Foundation, which provides scholarships, hardship grants and bereavement support initiatives to community members and staff. Acceptance of all hospice eligible patients regardless of ability to pay. Customized full continuum of care programs to meet the transitional needs of the patient and family. There are several hospice providers, but it is yoUr right to chose a hospice provider of yoUr choice.

Thomas Peacock 263-2700

Allison Stokes 269-3629

Linda Adle 560-8880

Real Living is associated with Berkshire Hathaway*

Terry DeCoudres 560-0956 Aija Shrader 269-3803

Andy Deal 292-2021

Tammy Borders 560-5889

229-333-4622 Bill Sineath 560-8250

Morris Cook 947-0006

Shari Hunt 507-6725

1817 Green Circle Valdosta, GA 31602


Jennifer Stracener 548-1877

Belinda Davis 977-1380

Melinda Thomas 563-6556

Lincy Hurtado 561-4622

Jerry Buchanan 561-3436

Jamie Harris 560-5024


Elizabeth Norman 560-7856

Clay Browning 834-7486

Chasity Luke 251-4032

Monet Coles 412-7545

Abigail Davis 300-6980

*”Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise brand built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices”, said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathawy Inc. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”



Getting the

BEST Hearing


By Danny Jones


veryone has a story of a friend who purchased hearing aids and according to the friend, “it was the worst mistake I ever made.” Maybe the hearing aids never fit right, never worked or never helped the friend hear anything. “Well you know John got a hearing aid and he could not hear with it and he spent $10,000 for one hearing aid!” I have heard the stories and I am always interested in separating the fact from fiction. (I have not known anyone to ever pay $10,000 for one hearing aid.) Very few people want hearing aids, even though 10% of our population needs them and only 2% really ever get hearing help. I’d like to talk to you about being successful with hearing aids and what you need to know to achieve the benefit you really want and need. Being successful with just about everything is dependent first on attitude. Attitude can make or break a person’s success. Combine a positive attitude with admitting you have

111 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Ste. A


Very few people want hearing aids, even though 10% of our population needs them and only 2% really ever get hearing help.

a problem and the hardest part is over. When people come to see me I can tell if they are going to hear better or not just by how they act. Mr. Grumpy will never be happy, but he also cannot find a decent restaurant in Valdosta to eat at either. Mrs. Happy just seems to have everything fall right into place, and ends up doing well hearing her girlfriends while having lunch downtown because of her positive attitude. The second key to hearing success is to research where to go for hearing aids in Valdosta. No one office can please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but also keep in mind you want to make sure the business you choose can promise success. Ask friends and acquaintances about their experiences. Valdosta is typically a very friendly community and people are willing to share their experiences, good and bad. The last thing you want is to buy hearing aids and hate to go back to the same place for service. Third, commit to success. The

Danny Jones

typical person loses their hearing over a period of 7 to 10 years and then expects a hearing aid to restore their hearing as soon as it is put on and hear perfectly. I have seen very few cases where this has happened. I have clients who can put a hearing aid on and instantly hear the way they want to, but I have some who I have worked with over 6 months to slowly acquire moderate improvement. Not everyone wears the same size shoes and not everyone experiences the same hearing improvement.


n a final note, Consumer Reports in 2009 conducted a study of hearing aids and hearing aid users and came up with some interesting facts. We have copies at my office and you can search online for the article. It could be very helpful in making sure you experience the best hearing improvement. Call or visit Advanced Hearing Solutions TODAY!

All hearing aids may be created equal, but not all hearing aid fittings will help you hear your best. At Advanced Hearing Solutions we use the most advanced diagnostic and fitting systems in the South to make sure our clients hear better than anyone else. Want to check it out? Google GN Otometrics and check out the world’s most advanced fitting systems and then come see it live at our office. CONNECTION 2013



has so much to offer seniors and we wanted to make sure you don’t miss anything! Check out the list below and enjoy...

1. View local and regional artwork at Spring Into Art or the Draw Project at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. 2. Print out a copy of Valdosta’s Historic Driving Tour and discover over 50 historic buildings as you drive through Valdosta’s four National Registered Historic Districts. 3. Art After Dark - Experience fabulous artwork, bands & shopping discounts in downtown Valdosta on the third Friday of every month. 4. Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY! Visit the petting zoo or take an excursion tour at Tiger Stripes Exotic Animal Sanctuary. 5. Born to be Wild! Join a local riding club. 6. Sneak a peek at some of the most beautiful and well-appointed homes at Valdosta’s Home and Garden Tour every spring. 7. Give your time to one of many local service clubs to make the community a better place. 8. Polish your public speaking skills with the Valdosta Toastmasters. 9. Get festive! Be a part of a tradition by attending a local festival. 10. Tune up your musical skills by taking piano, guitar or voice lessons. 11. Enroll in a cooking seminar or learn new computer skills in a Continuing Education Class. 12. Fish at the Withlacoochee River. 13. Shop for old and new merchandise, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, clothing and much more at a local flea market or consignment shop. 14. Go wild at Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park! 15. Experience a glimpse of life in the 1920’s by viewing the Milltown Murals in Lakeland. 16. Gaze at the night sky and learn about constellations and visible planets at VSU’s Planetarium Show. 17. Attend one of three musicals put on every summer by Peach State Summer Theatre, the Official Musical Theater of the State of GA. 18. Practice your putting and more at Jungle Jym’s Family Fun Center! 19. Hang out at a local coffee shop. 20. What’s for dinner? Head to the local farmer’s market for fresh produce and meats.



21. Take a guided tour of The Crescent House and gardens, an 1898 neoclassical mansion. 22. Ride your bike down the Azalea Trail or join the Azalea Bicyclists. 23. Fish, canoe, hike or camp at Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area. 24. Shop discount prices at the Preferred Outlets at Lake Park or visit the Valdosta Mall for the latest fashion. 25. Play a round or two at one of Valdosta’s best golf courses. 26. Sample and learn about a variety of different wines at wine tastings sponsored by local wineries and establishments. 27. Go quail hunting at the Quail Creek Shooting Preserve. 28. Kick off the holiday season by attending Merry Marketplace, an art and craft show in which all proceeds go to local charities. 29. Train your dog to tackle the dog obstacle-course at the dog park. 30. Learn about our local area by visiting one of our local museums. 31. Enjoy beautiful music performed by the Valdosta Choral Guild at their annual Christmas or Spring Concert. 32. Thrifty? Spend your Saturday finding treasures at local yard sales. 33. Investigate paranormal activity in Valdosta with the Vapir Paranormal club, the closest thing towards becoming a Ghost buster in Valdosta, Ga. 34. Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day. 35. Visit the VSU Fine Arts Gallery to see exhibitions showcasing both student, faculty and regional artwork. 36. Check out a book, listen to a story or join a book club at one of many public libraries. 37. Tap into your creative side and take an art class. 38. Buy a corned beef sandwich from Temple Israel. 39. Looking for the perfect outfit for a special occasion? Check out what the local boutiques offer. 40. Farm Days – Shop Local! Head to Downtown Valdosta on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from May to September to buy locallygrown produce and locallyproduced artisan items. 41. Practice your shot at one of Valdosta’s shooting ranges. 42. Attend a Moody Air Force Base air show.

43. Enjoy a Valdosta Theatre Guild theatrical production at the ‘Dosta Playhouse. 44. Fly your remote control plane with the Valdosta RCA Flyers. 45. TITLETOWN for a Reason! Cheer on our local high school athletes. 46. Sample international cuisine at a local restaurant. 47. Attend the South Georgia Classic, a Nationwide PGA tour annual event at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. 48. Lace up your running shoes and participate in one of Valdosta’s 5K races. 49. Garden with one of nine gardening clubs with the Valdosta Garden Center. 50. Bowl a strike at Jac’s Lane. 51. First Fridays Downtown! Gather to eat and socialize in our beautiful, historic downtown area the first Friday of each month. 52. Unwind from a long day or work week by singing karaoke, playing trivia, shooting pool or throwing darts. 53. Catch a flick on the big screen. 54. Get organic and healthy at an organic or natural food store. 55. Enjoy a ballet production put on by one of the local dance companies. 56. Sample a variety of foods while raising money for local charities at the annual Taste of Valdosta event. 57. Load up the kids and head to an inflatable playground. 58. Vroom! Vroom! Start your engines and head to the South Georgia Motor Sports Park, a racing facility consisting of a ¼ mile NHRA drag strip and ½ mile paved oval racetrack. 59. Try out a new look and get a makeover at a local salon. 60. Enjoy a fine dining experience in restaurants offering delicious cuisine and intimate atmospheres. 61. It’s great to be a VSU Blazer! Dress in your red and black gear and enjoy VSU Athletics. 62. Have a party! Let someone else do the cooking and hire a caterer. 63. Get it while it’s hot! Eat a hot, fresh doughnut from Daylight Donuts or Dixie Cream. 64. Surprise a loved one with flowers from a local florist. 65. Have a picnic at one of Lowndes County’s 36 public parks. 66. Listen to classical music performed by the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, comprised of the region’s finest and musicians. 67. Take a leisurely walk or go for a jog on the Camellia Trail at Valdosta State University. 68. Indulge in a southern BBQ sandwich. 69. Peruse the works of local artists in local art galleries. 70. Grab the girls & head to the annual South Georgia Bridal Expo. 71. Re-fuel your body with a refreshing fresh-squeezed juice, smoothie or wheatgrass shot. 72. It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A. Join the local “Y”! 73. Head out to the fields and pick seasonal fresh fruits at a local farmer vendor.

74. Help preserve the art of quilting with fellowship as a member of a local quilter’s guild. 75. Pitch a tent and go camping at a local campground. 76. Greet newcomers or get to know others new to the area with South Georgia Newcomers’ Club. 77. Decorate your home or find the perfect house-warming gift at one of several home interior stores. 78. Enjoy a VSU Theatre production at Whitehead Auditorium. 79. Take a guided hunting tour. 80. Play frisbee or work on your tan on the front lawn of Valdosta State University’s campus. 81. Earn a black belt or learn self defense at a martial arts class. 82. Looking for some bling? See what local jewelry stores have to offer. 83. Attend a local place of worship. 84. Grab your lawn chair and line the streets to watch a parade in Downtown Valdosta. 85. Head out to Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy South Georgia’s natural beauty. 86. Mentor a child or train to be an advocate with children. 87. Get involved at a City Council meeting at the historic City Hall building or a County Commission meeting at the Lowndes County Judicial Administrative Complex. 88. Visit Sunset Hill Cemetery, a Victorian style cemetery established in 1861, where you can see the graves of many of Valdosta’s notable and historic persons. 89. Beat the heat and enjoy an ice cream or fro-yo treat. 90. Attend a FREE Lunch and Learn at the City Hall Annex. 91. Design on a Dime. Take home improvement classes and do it yourself. 92. Channel your inner Yogi at a yoga class 93. Experience life in a cotton mill town by strolling through the mill houses in the City of Remerton, developed after Strickland Cotton Mills was built in 1899. 94. Hear a band at a local venue. 95. Broadway comes to Valdosta! Purchase season tickets to the Presenter Series and enjoy award-winning musicals and plays performed by traveling companies. 96. Attend the annual 100 Black Men of Valdosta Top Barbecue Chefs Cook-off on the courthouse lawn in August. 97. Give back! Donate blood or build a house. 98. Join an underground beer and wine club and try new beers and wines every month. 99. Get in shape and have fun doing it! Take a Zumba, ballroom, latin or ballet dance class. 100. Join the roller derby with the Valdosta Venom-Roller Derby Team!

...and then relax!

Visit to print out this list and learn more about fun things to do in Metro Valdosta! CONNECTION 2013


Rejuvenate Your Legs Dr. Martin specializes in spider and varicose veins treatments with outpatient service – for women AND men. By G. Robin Gilmore for Gregory Martin, MD.


ver the last decade, Dr. Greg Martin has become recognized as one of the most respected and influential vein surgeons in the nation, with many relying upon his vast experience to alleviate their pain, discomfort and appearance of their varicose and spider veins. Varicose veins often follow pregnancy and may be caused by prolonged standing or they could be the result of heredity. As we age, small valves inside the vein cease working properly, and allow blood to remain in the leg, or actually fall back into the vein, preventing proper circulation when standing for long periods of time. This reversed blood flow leads to increased blood pressure in the veins of the lower legs, which can cause the veins to dilate, or grow larger than normal, and thus become varicose veins. To quickly and painlessly remedy this condition, a small surgical laser is inserted into the leg vein in a pain-free, quick procedure done in Dr. Martin’s private offices, and

South Georgia Vein Center 3338 Country Club Road, Suite M Valdosta, GA 31605

229.259.9666 26


doesn’t require the use of general anesthesia. In fact, the procedure requires no “healing” whatsoever: the patient is treated in the office, and is able to go home or back to work immediately without any after effects of anesthesia or pain. His practices, South Georgia Vein Center in Valdosta and Coastal Georgia Vein Center in Brunswick, have become synonymous with expert care, high-quality out-patient venous surgery and a return to active, healthy lifestyles by his many, many happy patients. Of course, Dr. Martin offers professional cosmetic and beauty treatments, and his well-trained, courteous staff in both locations makes the patient comfortable and happy.

Call or visit Dr. Martin’s offices soon…begin the process of rejuvenating your legs – and your active lifestyle right away.

Greg Martin M.D., F.A.C.S., A.B.S. Coastal Georgia Vein Center 650 Scranton Road, Suite C Brunswick, GA 31520 912.267.9550

Are You Keeping up with Today’s Tech-Savvy Society?


here’s no denying that technology is everywhere. People can browse the news on their iPads, speak face-to-face while miles apart and access information instantaneously. While the majority would agree that technology is helpful, many are still skeptical or simply feel overwhelmed. Such feelings are natural, especially for those born before the technology boom. But not to worry, there is hope for the technologically challenged! Becoming tech-savvy isn’t as hard as it seems, and can be greatly beneficial. Several seniors and retirees make use of cell-phones and computers, but many are hesitant to jump on the social media band-wagon.

However, that is quickly changing. Social media has evolved beyond its juvenile origins and has become useful for people of all ages. Chamber Community Council Member and retired Valdosta State University President Dr. Louis Levy describes his technological journey. “In my younger years, I was usually an ‘early adopter’ of technology. In the 1970’s and 80’s, I taught a course in statistics for the social sciences using computer software before statistical software for microcomputers became widespread. I found that my students enjoyed using microcomputers, especially when they could improve their understanding of the course through using technology. “I started using email in the 1980’s as a way of communication with colleagues across the U.S. and around the world. I first started us-

Why should you jump on the social media bandwagon? • To stay in touch with friends and family. Everyone has that long-lost friend or busy grandchild away at college. Social media lets you communicate with the important people in your life with very little effort. Aside from talking, you can view photos and videos as well. Facebook users post pictures of special events, and quite often, their day-to-day lives.

ing Facebook as a means of keeping up with my children. My ‘friends’ network has expanded over the years, and then came LinkedIn. I haven’t adopted some of the more recent technologies (Twitter, etc.) as I don’t want to become a slave to high tech. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a world without high definition TV and DVR’s!” And with the more flexible schedule retirees might have, joining a social media site may be your outlet to stay connected and up-to-date! While there aren’t many classes specializing in the art of social media, your children or grandchildren are often your best teachers. Learning In Retirement offers a number of computer classes for retirees. Check out the LIR spring catalog conted/

• Connect with your community. Facebook lets you “like” local businesses and organizations, which then allows you to receive their updates in your newsfeed. You’ll always be ready for the next big event and have access to promotions and coupons.

Don’t forget to “Like” the Chamber on Facebook! CONNECTION 2013


For over 20 years, 1st America Home Medical Equipment has been improving the lives of our patients by providing quality products and superior customer service. This is our focus, our mission, and our number one priority!

From Oxygen for respiratory issues, CPAP and BIPAP for sleep apnea, Hospital Beds for convalescing at home, Walkers for mobility, Wheelchairs-Power Chairs-or Scooters for your ambulatory needs, and much more, we are here to help you when you need it.

Our Certified Mastectomy fitter for post-surgical mastectomy needs is rated number one by patients. 1st America’s Certified Pedorthist is available to assist you with stylish shoes designed especially for diabetics, or for your hurting feet.

With our Homefill System, you can fill portable tanks in the comfort and convenience of your home. This allows unlimited portable oxygen, and it is safe and easy to use.

Homefill Oxygen System



1st America provides high quality patient care, in the comfort of your home. 1st America offers a complete line of sleep equipment to treat multiple diagnoses including: Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea, Complex Sleep Apnea, COPD, Respiratory Failure, and complications from Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). We work with many manufacturers to offer over 50 different styles of masks that are always in stock. Our sleep team will find what works best for you by providing the smallest masks or nasal pillow systems on the market.

Custom Rehab Mike Daniels, our Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), has greatly expanded our scope of medical equipment we provide. From a simple crutch tip, to a complex Sip-and-Puff wheelchair that patients drive by using their mouth, 1st America meets all your needs!

Even children with special needs are a primary focus for our ATP. Working with occupational and physical therapists throughout the state, we provide custom options for patients requiring specialty equipment. Custom seating solutions are an integral part of most specialty wheelchairs. 1st America can meet any seating and mobility need a patient may have. Should a patient have orthopedic deformities which prevent using a simple seating system, we provide custom molded seating that positions the patient in the best posture for their condition.

Visit us at 212 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA or call


Stop by today and experience our World Class customer service with that hometown, personal feel!



Come Out and Celebrate

the Theatre Guild Valdosta’s 25th Season, 2013-14!


he ‘Dosta Playhouse, home of the Theatre Guild Valdosta, brings the excitement of live theater to Valdosta year round. Check out some of this year’s upcoming shows, and don’t forget to enjoy the Theatre Guild’s “Downtown Dinner and a Show” program! Be seated by 6 p.m. at any of the participating restaurants downtown and receive 10 percent discount off your bill! A Revival of “Driving Miss Daisy”: The show will be playing in late August for a weekend at the ‘Dosta Playhouse. This year’s stage will be

graced with the same great cast from years past: Dr. John Gaston, Dean of the College of the Arts at VSU, Robert Hatton, local pharmacist and Joanne Griner as Miss Daisy! “The Dixie Swim Club”: Don’t miss this humorous and poignant production, telling the story of female college friends who gather once a year to catch up on each other’s lives. The story, which is in the genre of Steel Magnolias, will keep you laughing throughout the performance. The show is part of the 2013-14 season and will be coming to the stage January 2014.

Golden Stagers Performance: The Theatre Guild Valdosta’s senior players will be choosing a special show to be performed later this year. The show will be a done in the entertaining readers’ theater style. For information on tickets, dates, membership opportunities, patron packages and a list of this season’s shows, visit or call


Hearing Loss or Just Earwax? Find Out Now Using A Tiny Video Camera.

Video Otoscope exams will be held by appointment!

Chris Youngblood Hearing Instrument Specialist



Should I sign my House over to my

By Walt Moody



any people attempt to engineer their own estate plan by not leaving any property in their name when they die. They use tools such as beneficiary designations, payable on death provisions or named beneficiaries on retirement accounts to simplify the settlement of their estate. While these techniques can be useful, one area where this approach can do much more harm than good is real property. Adding another name as a joint owner to a piece of property (legally known as “Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship”) or completely transferring ownership of the property can open the door to tax and other problems for homeowners and their loved ones. One of the biggest motivators for creating a joint tenancy or transferring property is the desire to prevent the property from having to go through probate. While either technique will avoid probate, they may cause a large capital gains tax liability. Generally, inherited property receives much better tax treatment than property the owner gives away before he or she dies. Inherited property can often be sold with no capital gains tax. Property received as a gift is taxed on gains made above the cost paid by the original owner. This can result in a large tax bill for property held for a long time that has increased in value, such as a home.

“One of the biggest motivators

for creating a joint tenancy or transferring property is the desire to prevent the property from having to go through probate.

applying for assistance, the applicaAnother pitfall of this type of tion will likely be denied. do-it-yourself estate planning is that As far as the state recovering property transferred as a gift can be against the house later, the most imused to satisfy creditor clams. If a faportant rule to remember is that the ther transfers part or all of the title to state will not force the sale of a home his home to his son, the home can be used to satisfy current or future claims that is still being used as a residence by the homeowner’s spouse. against the son resulting from lawMost people want to transfer their suits, divorce, medical bills or some wealth as simply as possible. However, other reason. it is important to have the right guidAnxiety about the costs of longance to keep good intentions from term care is another common reason for transferring a home. Homeowners leading to unanticipated problems for yourself and for those you love the may want to “spend down” wealth in order to qualify for government most. assistance or out of fear that the state will later take the house to recover the cost of benefits. In addition to other types of problems gifts could create, if the Specializing in: Wills,Trusts & Estates transfer is Probate & Trust Settlement • Asset Protection made within Long-Term Care Planning • Business Planning the five years prior to 2904G North Patterson Street • Valdosta, GA 31602

(229) 460-3035



Dining Guide

You won’t go hungry with this dining guide!

Proudly Sponsored by

Restaurants in red offer discounts to Seniors. Baytree Area Baytree Pizza** 607 Baytree Road, Suite C 229.253.0634 C.J.’s Pub & Pool 1201 Baytree Road 229.333.0903 Jimmy Johns 1337 Baytree Road 229.333.9747 Manny’s Sub Shop 1211 Baytree Road 229.249.0050

Downtown Area

City Market 101 N. Patterson Street 229.219.0007

McDonald’s 715 S. Patterson Street 229.671.9908

Hill Avenue & Mall Area

Covington’s Dining & Catering** 310 N. Patterson Street 229.242.2261

Steel Magnolias 132 N. Patterson Street 229.259.0010

Applebee’s 1301 N. St. Augustine Road 229.241.9933

Dairy Queen 701 N. Ashley Street 229.242.4095 El Cazador 1600 N. Ashley Street 229.333.0554 Giulio’s Greek Italian 105 E. Ann Street 229.333.0929 20% from 5 -6 p.m. 10% at other times

306 North 310 N. Patterson Street 229.249.5333

Hibachi Express 1701 N. Ashley Street 229.244.8880

bas bleu 121 N. Patterson Street 229.244.2248

Jessie’s Eats and Treats** 111 West Central Avenue 229.247.4670

bleu PUB 116 West Hill Avenue 229.219.2289

Kentucky Fried Chicken 1203 N. Ashley Street 229.247.2395



Hahira & Lake Park Area Church Street Coffee @ Hahira 107 S. Church Street 229.794.3383 McDonald’s @ Lake Park 7207 Lakes Blvd. 229.559.9552 Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q** @ Lake Park 1088 Lakes Blvd. 229.241.8090 The Fish Net Restaurant @ Lake Park 3949 Sportsman Cove Rd. 229.559.5410

Austins Cattle Co. 2101 West Hill Avenue 229.259.9333 Azalea’s Restaurant & Lounge** 1805 West Hill Avenue 229.247.9500 10% Senior Discount off Menu. Does not include alcoholic beverages

Beijing Cafe 1715-C Norman Drive 229.253.0808 Blimpie Subs & Salads 414 Northside Drive 229.245.1885 Bojangles 1725 West Hill Avenue 229.242.4202 Senior drinks for .39 cent

Buffalo Wild Wings 1553 Baytree Road 229.241.7246

Ole Times Country Buffet 1193 N. St. Augustine Road 229.253.1600

McDonald’s 2102 N. Ashley Street 229.671.9833

Sweets and Treats, Bakeries & More

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe 270 Norman Drive 229.247.5551

Olive Garden 1315 St. Augustine Road 229.244.9990

McDonald’s 4185 N.Valdosta Road 229.242.8444

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 3100 N. Patterson Street 229.333.2346

Chick-fil-A 1100 N. St. Augustine Road 229.247.2625

Outback Steak House 1824 Clubhouse Drive 229.242.4329

Papa John’s/SARPJ 2139 Bemiss Road 229.241.1000

Ellianos Coffee Company 108 E. Northside Drive 229.671.1003

Chow Town Grill & Buffet 1550 Baytree Road 229.293.0642

Sonic Drive In 1520 West Hill Avenue 229.671.9571

Rodeo Mexican Restaurant 2801 N. Ashley Street 229.671.1866

PammyCakes (Bakery) 1900 E. Gornto Road 229.249.9866

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 1195 St. Augustine Road 229.244.5258

Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q** 1701 Norman Drive 229.241.8090

Smok’n Pig B-B-Q** 4228 N.Valdosta Road 229.245.8227

Smallcakes (Bakery) 3209-A N. Oak St. Ext. 662.889-4444

Texas Roadhouse 1874 Clubhouse Drive 229.242.7700

Southern Landing Restaurant 4479 N. Valdosta Road 229.247.0366

The Beanery Coffee Roasters 1009 1/2 Williams Street 229.242.1979

Crystal River Seafood 958 St. Augustine Road 229.249.9515

Zaxby’s** 1102 N. St. Augustine Road 229.254.0799

Dairy Queen 1836 West Hill Avenue 229.242.5446

Summit Point & North Valdosta Area

Denny’s Restaurant 1328 N. St. Augustine Road 229.253.9388

Applebee’s 3254 Inner Perimeter Road 229.257.0003

Fazoli’s 1307 N. St. Augustine Road 229.241.7780

Burger King 4464 Shiloh Road 229.247.6593

Honey Baked Ham** 1601 Baytree Road 229.244.6833

Chicken Salad Chick 3249 North Oak St. EXT. 229.848.3190

IHOP of Valdosta 1821 West Hill Avenue 229.249.8444

Chick-fil-A @ North Valdosta 3147 Inner Perimeter Road 229.245.0144

Kentucky Fried Chicken 1300 N. St. Augustine Road 229.242.2145

Dairy Queen & Stuckeys 4598 N.Valdosta Road 229.219.7772

Longhorn Steakhouse 1110 N. St. Augustine Road 229.333.0100

Hungry Howie’s Pizza 118A Northside Drive 229.242.6936

McDonald’s 1177 St. Augustine Road 229.251.1457

Subway 4622 Bemiss Road 229.245.8090 SurEste Cantina 3209 B. North Oak St. Ext. 229.249.0057 The Egg & I Restaurant 4421 Woodhollow Circle 229.333.2960 10% Senior Discount Two Friends Cafe’ & Market 3338-B Country Club Drive 229.242.3282

Catering Only Ahh...David! R. S.V. P.** 112 West Rogers Street 229.242.3425 Chartwells** 1500 N. Patterson Street 229.333-7823 Sparkles Weddings & Special Events** 3715 N.Valdosta Road #155 229.232.4825

Wooden Nickel Pub 3269 Inner Perimeter Road 229.247.7750


Zaxby’s** 3250 Inner Perimeter Road 229.219.0402

Restaurant Guide Proudly Sponsored by


Kentucky Fried Chicken 1406 N. Ashley Street 229.247.0666

McDonald’s 1840 West Hill Avenue 229.671.9883 Mori Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar 1709 Norman Drive 229.244.5299

Marcos Pizza 4320 Kings Way 229.245.9595 McDonald’s 4109 Bemiss Road 229.671.9940

*Red = Offers Senior Discounts

Dedicated to being our customers favorite. CONNECTION 2013


Seniors having fun at a Learning In Retirement yoga class.

Learning in Retirement By Alice DeVane


odern seniors ages 50 to 100 chuckle at the definition of retirement: “To withdraw from office, business, or active life, usually because of age.” They know that “Retirees, they are achanging,” to paraphrase Bob Dylan’s song. While many seniors do retire, many members of the 50-plus generation are so busy that they wonder how they ever found time to work full-time. Some start second careers; others travel the world; still others volunteer, and many choose to return to school to earn a degree, sometimes through the 62+ program for eligible Georgians, which allows seniors to take classes without paying most of the normal fees and tuition. While all seniors want to keep learning, most don’t want to take tests or to do homework. To fulfill both wishes, many seek out the VSU Learning in Retirement (LIR) program which provides 50-plus seniors of all educational levels both the



coursework and the camaraderie they desire in a friendly, laid-back setting. Dr. Julie Halter, VSU Director of Continuing Education says, “People understand that there is a value in life-long learning. At LIR, learning is going on when taking tours and participating in dance, yoga, and other physical activities. When you take classes and talk about ideas, you feel better.” In 1995 Dr. John Beale, who had seen a similar program elsewhere, and former VSU President Hugh Bailey set up LIR as part of Elder Hostel. It offers life-long learning, cultural growth, and recreation. At its inception, volunteers taught basic computer, along with a few other courses, like art appreciation. Approximately 30 people participated in that first term. Hubert Hintzen, a charter member of LIR, said, “It keeps the brain of an older person active. There are many things I’d like to learn and so many places I’d like to see. Members who travel bring in their slides and show their trips. They give you their personal approach. They’ve been there; they’ve seen places

like Easter Island, the Galapagos, and Antarctica. I know I will never get to the Antarctic, but I get to see it through their eyes,” Hintzen added. Approximately 250 people participate during each of the three terms, and many of the newer members are getting younger. “Even if they are not fully retired, Third Agers are active adults who are reinventing themselves. They still have a third of their lives. People are healthier; they’re living longer, and they want to be involved,” Dr. Halter explained. Computer courses are still offered every term. Members always brag

on the computer teacher, Debbie Seko, saying, “She’s so patient; she talks to us on our level; she is so great with us dum-dums.” Seko doesn’t mind teaching the same course to the same people for two or more times, and she probably agrees with Halter who says, “My heroes are those students 80 to 90 years old who are learning computers with the attitude that ‘I finally have time, so go for it!’” For $45 a term members can now “go for” approximately 100 different courses and tours. Courses include: arts and leisure; health and fitness; tours and miscellaneous; history, social studies, science, and nature; computers, and special activities. When members suggest courses and tours, the curriculum committee finds instructors and sets the schedules. Suzanne Ewing, long time LIR Coordinator, said, “Members are thrilled to have all the volunteer instructors willing to share their time with them and want them to come back and teach again.” In addition, instructors praise the members. One professor suggested that he’d rather teach LIR members than many of his students because they are attentive, want to learn and are happy and excited to be in class. One course members don’t want to miss is View of the News, dealing with news and current events offered each term; it’s always full. The instructor, Dr. James La Plant, and the members like to interact, argue, debate and keep their minds alert, necessary to maintaining a healthy mind. Other instructors include VSU professors, local professionals, talented artists and artisans from the area, as well as LIR members who

share their talents, career choices, interests, and hobbies. Anne Gunter, 81, said, “I love LIR because I get to share my passion for finding new authors with others who like to read as much as I do. Giving and getting help for other seniors is what LIR is all about, as well as rekindling old friendships and forging new ones.” The growth in classes also happens through the grapevine at the university or in the community. Dr. Leslie Jones, Science Education, has offered hands-on, sometimes controversial courses about evolution and genetics of race, and members beg her to return. In addition to classes, members take 15 to 20 tours each term, most in Lowndes County and the surrounding area. They can see tilapia, herb or olive farms, wineries, a water treatment plant, crime lab, fire and police departments, museums and parks. By carpooling, non-driving members get to visit places like Wakulla Springs, Gainesville’s Butterfly Rainforest, Albany’s Flint Riverquarium, and Tifton’s Agrirama and to absorb history, art, and science. LIR begins its term with a luncheon, general meeting and en-

tertainment from outside performers or members. Talented songstress and member Annette O’Neal has performed, and LIR drama members present plays, under the direction of Diane Tovar who also directs Little Actors’ Theater. Tovar, also past president of LIR, explained, “I’ve had several folks who had seen plays, but never had the opportunity to be in one until LIR. I get a thrill out of watching the actors put it together and pull off their show. All of us truly love to entertain.” Lynn and Jim Jennings have enjoyed the interaction and support they receive through LIR. Lynn explained, “LIR gave us an opportunity to meet people, to partake of all the wonderful classes and tours, and to become familiar with the area. We found out just before we got here that Jim has Alzheimer’s. So many people have been so supportive, just allowing us to be a part of LIR, to see people, and to be able to interact. Everybody has been so patient. I’m not sure what our situation would be without LIR.” The young-at-heart LIR members, who often have the aches and pains of aging, support each other, befriend each other, share their joys and woes, learn together, and fill each other’s lives with caring, excitement and fun. They accept anyone 50 plus who wishes to join their active family, but warn them that LIR is not for the faint-hearted. It takes work and energy to keep up with its members who are the youngest, most active 50 to 95 year olds in the world; well, maybe Valdosta!

Mission Statement:

Learning in Retirement (LIR) is an organization for individuals 50 years of age and above that provides a unique opportunity for cultural growth, lifelong learning, and recreation.

For More Information visit or 229.245.6484 CONNECTION 2013


Assisted Living – Choosing The Best Fit

and Avoiding The Most Common Mistakes

By John LaHood


hen families and their senior loved ones select an assisted living community, it’s a life changing decision. The decision involves several sensitive issues such as money, health and unique personal preferences. You want to get it right the first time. It can be such an intimidating choice that many families camp on Hesitation Hill and postpone a decision because of their fear of making the wrong choice. Fortunately, the decision becomes easier as you expand your knowledge. Fellowship Home has been helping families in the midst of these tough decisions since 1978. Here are some common mistakes we see families make when searching for assisted living and suggestions on how to avoid them:


Not Facing Reality About Current or Future Needs t’s important to balance optimism with realistic expectations. Be realistic about you or your loved one’s current care needs as well as their anticipated care needs. Ideally, you will choose a community that is equipped to provide care now and in the future as your loved one ages. This is called “aging in place”. If your loved one has mild dementia symptoms, it may be wise to choose a community where


specialized memory care is available, even if it’s not necessary at the present time. Families often come to us for assistance after initially choosing a facility that was not capable of offering the level of services required. Take a look at the health issues your parent has now, and then consider what support they might need in the future. Moving a loved one from facility to facility can not only be burdensome and costly to your family, it can also negatively impact the senior, particularly a loved one who has dementia, which makes adapting to changes especially difficult.


Judging a Book by its Cover eople provide care, not fancy buildings and furniture. An attractive setting can be very important, however, quality of care is not something you can detect just by driving past to see how green the grass is or by walking in the front door to gauge the quality of the atmosphere and whether or not it smells nice. After doing all the comparison and analysis you can, trust your gut instinct about which option is best for your situation. It is also beneficial to take time during your visits, if you have the opportu-




nity, to speak privately with residents and staff about their level of satisfaction. Happy staff are usually more caring staff, and a community full of cheerful residents is a very good sign. Before making a commitment, you might also consider arranging a respite stay or day only stay at a community your family is exploring. Fellowship Home offers short-term accommodations and also provides adult day services which can provide the family caregiver much needed relief, while giving them a chance to test the waters before moving completely in.


Placing Family Convenience Over the Best Fit nother mistake that we have seen families make is overemphasizing the importance of finding the closest community possible. Sometimes the adult child chooses the nearest community based on the intention of visiting their parent everyday. Remember your parent will be engaged in many activities at the community and visiting every day is usually an unrealistic expectation to put on yourself. Go with the best fit.


From our family to yours…

welcome home!


Making a Decision Under Pressure arlier we noted that some families become so overwhelmed with the choice that they need to make that they don’t make a decision at all. They are in such a rush to resolve a difficult crisis that they choose the very first open room they find in the very first facility they visit. We recommend that families visit more than one senior living community before making a decision, so that they can form a clear picture of the options that are available, how communities differ from one another and what makes each community unique. In order to make a good choice you need options.



Selecting a Community Fit for the Parent of Yesteryear Instead of the Parent of Today A Place For Mom is a senior care referral service, which uses a story in the book, Family Caregivers by Joan Lunden, as she described a mistake that she made while searching for care for her mother with advanced dementia. “I first moved my mom into a fancy-

schmancy assisted living facility. In my mind, it was a beautiful place where my mom belonged. I thought she would be able to go downstairs to the dining room and be a social butterfly with other seniors and then retreat to a beautifully decorated apartment where she could entertain friends. The problem with my well-meaning plan was that I was making arrangements for the mom that I used to know, and not who she had become. My mom now couldn’t remember who people were, would get frightened when taken downstairs to the dining hall and was afraid of being left alone in an apartment (no matter how pretty it looked).” It might be similarly misguided for a family to choose a community for reasons that may have been important when younger but now is memory impaired or has other special care needs. In conclusion, choosing a community that is the best fit for your loved one’s current and future situation can make the aging process a much better experience and can help you avoid many of the most common mistakes families tend to make when they do not plan appropriately.

470 Fellowship Home Lane Valdosta, GA 31602


Fellowship Home has been providing local, personalized assistance to families in need of senior living services across South Georgia for 35 years. We can help families evaluate issues such as care requirements, finances and amenity preferences. Where else can you find the unique amenities, personal care that allows aging in place, environment and fellowship that is specifically tailored to senior living?






Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyle Magazine

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Leading Businesses. Leading Communities. TM

416 North Ashley St. Valdosta, GA 31601

2013 Connection Magazine  

Valdosta's 55+ Lifestyle Magazine, a publication of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

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