Vermont Maturity July-August 2022 Issue

Page 1

July/August 2022 Issue


Century 21 MRC

Ephemeral and Entertaining: Vermont Farmers Markets in Full Swing Essential Home Elements for Aging in Place Take Your Medicine… A Different Perspective on Physical Activity

VERMONT MATURITY Product of RTN Publishing 6170 Forest Hills Drive Dubuque, IA 52002 Change Service Requested

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Table of Contents Vermont Maturity

For Vermonters Age 50 and Older

RTN PUBLISHING, INC. Phone – 802.332.3254



Century 21 MRC

Terri Nichols



Joshua Nichols

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS James Conner Carolee Duckworth Ben Durant Dr. Richard Houston Jim Miller

Phyl Newbeck Nick Thomas Clover Whitham Vicky Parra Tebbetts


IT & WEB DESIGN Mark Chaney

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Phone – 802.332.3254 Fax – 563.557.7641 Vermont Maturity is published times per year by RTN Publishing, Inc. and is distributed without charge to qualified subscribers in Vermont. Nonqualified reader subscription costs are $39 per year for United States residents. No international subscriptions are available. Subscription requests must include name, address, phone number and email address. The publisher makes no representation concerning any product or service advertised in this publication. Vermont Maturity and VermontMaturity. com serve only as a medium for sellers to reach potential buyers and does not warrant the accuracy of any advertisement. Vermont Maturity makes every effort to eliminate typographical errors and assumes no responsibility for misspelling names of people from handwritten copy. All editorial items submitted are subject to editing and alteration at the sole discretion of publisher. Design and format of this magazine is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent of the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Vermont Maturity, 6170 Forest Hills Drive, Asbury, IA 52002-9349.

Ephemeral and Entertaining: Vermont Farmers Markets in Full Swing by Clover Whitham

Why Staying Active is Key to Making the Most out of Life by Vicky Parra Tebbetts


Essential Home Elements for Aging in Place by Ben Durant

Use Locus of Control to Take Charge of Your Future by Dr. Richard Houston


Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity

by Dr. Sydney Swindell



What to Do With Cremated Ashes by Jim Miller

18 Take Your Medicine… A Different Perspective on Physical Activity


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Vermont Maturity Cover Story

Century 21 MRC


he real estate market is hot these days but one

thing. Bringing tools and resources to our local market

firm that can help you navigate the complexities

is important to us.”

is Century 21 MRC. This Vermont-based real

Callan started working in real estate in high school.

estate brokerage firm assists clients with real estate

After graduation she became an agent and although

sales, leases, and transfers throughout the state. “The

she took some time off to raise her kids, she went back

agents at Century 21 MRC are what sets us apart,” said

into the field. “I’ve been doing this for the majority

agency owner Stacie Callan. “Their extensive knowledge,

of my adult life,” she said. Callan started her agency

training, experience, and dedication to their clients

seven years ago with two agents and one administrative

shows in their performance.”

assistant. They grew to ten agents and then joined

Callan is extremely proud of what her agents can provide to prospective clients. “We offer state of the art

Century 21 at the end of last year after which they grew to almost 20 agents with two administrative assistants.

tools,” she said. “No other real estate company has access “We’ve never recruited,” Callan said, “but now we’re to those, and it allows us to keep our clients informed

looking to grow our family. We’re small in agent

every step along the way.” Callan said the agency prides

numbers but big in volume. In the last 12 months we’ve

itself on expanding their knowledge base. “The key

sold just under 80 million.”

to our success is staying ahead of the game,” she said. “We are constantly educating our agents and thinking outside the box while looking ahead for the next best 6 | July/August 2022 |

Callan described the conversion to Century 21 as a major transition but she’s happy to have made the changes so the firm could be part of something bigger.

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“The entire company was built upon the principles of

industry. The connections and resources made available

culture, work ethic, and honesty,” she said. “None of

to both our agents and customers are far better than I’ve

that has changed. We merely enhanced what was already

seen in any other brokerage. This will make for better

in place. We chose Century 21 because of the decades

transactions and will elevate our company.”

of history of the company, along with its amazing

Callan said the market is currently steady which

technology and assistance. Having worked under

pleases her. “My entire career has been either working

other franchises it is clear why they are a leader in the

really hard to feed my family during the last recession,”

We Specialize in Restoring Mobility and Balance to Maximize Function and Help our Patients Live the Life they Love. Our Programs Include: Improving Balance Neurologic Rehabilitation Orthopedic Rehabilitation Fitness and Wellness Programs Dr. Sydney R. Swindell, DPT & Zachary Wilson, PTA, RVT 62 Merchants Row, Ste 202, Williston, VT 05495 802-857-5407 •

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she said, “or working really hard just to keep up.” Callan

agents provide hundreds of donations every year to local

said that the housing inventory is increasing alongside

groups like the food shelf, Friends of Northern Lake

of the interest rates.” She believes that this winter, bank

Champlain, Special Olympics, Laurie’s House, Make-

foreclosures will also make a debut because of the end of

A-Wish, as well as national groups like the Alzheimer’s

Covid-related government assistance.

Foundation and the National Association for the Blind.”

Callan and her Franklin County-based crew used to

Last year, the firm sent out a survey looking for local

see single family homes as the most sought-after houses.

people in need to make direct donations. They chose

These days, however, there are more people looking for

three families including a single mother for whom they

luxury homes than in previous years. Although the firm

paid all of her back rent and helped purchase a new

used to deal principally with local clientele, Callan has

phone and car. “These were just regular families who fell

noticed more people from out of state with an emphasis

on bad luck,” Callan said. Callan enjoys the work she does. “I genuinely do this

on New York City and Boston. “There are a lot of account executives looking to escape the city and that

for my clients and agents,” she said. “I’m empathetic and

are now able to work from home,” she said.

try to look like I’m all business on the outside but it’s

Every year, Callan and her agents provide either

important for me to ensure that my clients and team of

time, money, or both to a variety of local non-profits as

agents are happy. I try to put myself in everyone’s shoes

well as individuals and families in need. “I’ve worked

and try to make their experience as an agent or a client

in a lot of companies where donations were targeted

as smooth as possible.”

around publicity,” Callan said “but that’s just not us. We

“Culture is one of the biggest foundations for a

don’t always publicize what we do. Our agents do things

strong, successful agency,” Callan said. “Although no

for the right reasons, not a pat on the back.” Callan said

two people are alike, we’ve done a really good job of

This holiday season, give back to those who have given us so much. Every donation helps make a difference. They depend on us - we rely on you.

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Helpline: 1-800-642-5119 Age Well is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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bringing on other driven, kind, and professional agents

are nice,” she said “but what sets us apart is our

who hold a vision of success. We find relationships to be

commitment to our clients. We hold a high standard

one of the most fundamental pieces of a strong culture.”

of putting the client and their needs first. We only

Callan credited Tom Murphy of Sweethearts and Heroes,

hire agents who are willing to put in the extra effort;

for bringing team building exercises to the office. “These

ones who are empathetic and have a great work ethic.

types of practices truly make a difference as they help to

We’ve found this to be the best recipe for a caring and

bring our agents back to a place of peace within a very

successful realtor.” VM

hectic industry,” she said, “allowing for them to be their best for their clients.” In the final analysis, Callan believes that it is the Century 21 agents who make the biggest difference for her agency. “The tools, resources, and marketing

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Ephemeral and Entertaining: Vermont Farmers Markets in Full Swing


by Clover Whitham

here are more farmers markets in Vermont than

try. Many, but not all, allow prepared or “value-added”

there are weeks in the summer but visiting a

products - something made with the farm-grown

new market each week would surely make the

produce such as salsa or samosas. And some farmers

best of the season. Many of the state’s farmers markets

markets are also part craft fair, with artists selling their

are held weekly, outdoors from May to October. A

wares beside those selling produce and food. Several

farmers market trip is as much culinary and artistic

feature live music.

entertainment as it is a chance to pick up fresh produce. What has remained unchanged is the chance to meet and befriend the farmer, producer, or artist behind what you find. Market regulars will get to know the vendors and

To whet your appetite, here’s a small sample of the more than 50 markets around the Green Mountain State: The Burlington Farmers Market is celebrating its 42nd year this summer. It remains at its South End location, at 345 Pine St., where it has been since 2019.

the seasonal rhythm of what’s available. Radishes

This is a large market, which runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

and baby greens in the early spring, squash and root

Saturdays through October 29.

vegetables in the fall and every year something new to Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 13

In addition to farm-fresh produce, Burlington vendors sell pre-made or made-to-order foods such as breakfast sandwiches, pastries, fresh bread and kimchis,

for a picnic lunch before roaming for art or new duds. The Shelburne Farmers Market is also on Saturdays,

to name just a few. The market boasts more than 70

from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 15. It’s held in

regular vendors and another 50 who will be there

the middle of Shelburne Village at 12 Church St. Expect

periodically, according to the market’s website.

locally grown produce, meats and dairy, including

In addition to food, the Burlington Farmers Market

Shelburne Farms cheese. This market also typically

includes artists and crafters selling clothing, jewelry,

includes prepared foods, flowers, and art.

paintings and more. Among the new-to-the-market


vendors this year are a local rock star who brews

The Winooski Farmers Market is another weekend

ginger beer, a mother-son duo who knit sweaters from

market in Chittenden County. This one is Sundays

Vermont-raised wool, a pasta maker, wine makers and a

from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Organizers call this market

farm that focuses on salad ingredients.

in downtown Winooski “small but mighty,” and it is

A visitor could easily spend an hour or more at this market. Go early and grab breakfast while shopping for the freshest dinner ingredients, or go later and pick up a baguette, local cheese, and a bunch of radishes

held on Winooski Falls Way. winooski-farmers-market Several of Chittenden County’s smaller towns have their own farmers markets where visitors can get a literal and figurative taste of the town. Some of these markets are on weekday afternoons and serve as a gathering place for locals to catch up with neighbors after school and work while shopping or even eating dinner. The Jericho Farmers Market is held on Thursdays, from 3-6:30 p.m. A Jericho librarian is often at a booth, sometimes sharing space with students promoting youth programs or projects. In the center of this market, which is held at Mills Riverside Park, a slate of local musicians entertain shoppers and dancing children. There are usually a handful of ready-to-eat meal options, including a popular Mediterranean food booth, pizza, and gyros. Maple products, spirits, and art are also on the market’s menu regularly. Among the new vendors this year are purveyors of baked goods, wine, and CBD products. The Richmond Farmers Market is held Fridays, from 3-6:30 p.m. at Volunteers Green, 286 Bridge St. This year’s list of vendors includes Prima Materia, which sells “small batch high quality gourmet and functional mushrooms and products;” a sheep creamery selling cheese and gelato as well as hand-dyed yarns; a vegan cheesecake maker and even Alaskan salmon caught and

14 | July/August 2022 |

frozen by a Vermont couple. Richmond-farmers-market.

felted hats and accessories and Wild Woogs, maker

of upcycled cuddly monster dolls. Of course, all the

The Champlain Islands have two summer farmers

traditional farmers market fare can also be found at

markets: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at St. Joseph’s

Stowe, which lists more than 50 vendors for its 2022

Church in Grand Isle and 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays

summer season.

at St. Rose of Lima Church in South Hero. Summer is

Families enrolled in 3SquaresVT can double their

a great time to take a drive to the Champlain Islands

buying power at participating farmers markets. With the

or bring your bike and take advantage of the relatively

Cash Crop program, $10 in 3SquaresVT benefits buys

flat terrain and Island Line Rail Trail. The markets

$20 worth of local food. See for

here offer a literal taste of the land: its vegetables,

more information and participating markets. Most of Vermont’s summer season farmers markets

meats and even wine. Plus, the talents of its residents who sell craft baked goods, spirits, and artwork. The

end their run in October. (Fewer towns continue with

Champlain Island Farmers Market website even

indoor winter markets.) Vermont’s most bountiful

promises “the friendliest salespeople you’ll ever meet.”

season is delicious, entertaining, and ephemeral, so grab

your market bag and get out there. VM

For a drive in the other direction, check out the Stowe Farmers Market, Sundays 10:30-3 p.m. at 2043

Clover Whitham has been a journalist at Vermont newspapers for more than a dozen years and is now a freelance writer and editor near Burlington.

Mountain Road. The vendor list for this summer includes some fabulous names, such as Rowdy Cow Farm, a local meat purveyor; Positive Purls, creator of


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Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 15

Essential Home Elements for Aging in Place


by Ben Durant

s a transition specialist, I help many Vermonters

To assist Vermonters with these tough decisions,

evaluate homes for suitability for aging in place.

I’ve put together a quick guide for evaluating homes for

This is serious business since one of the most

aging in place. I look for homes that have the following

important factors to aging well is a functioning home.

attributes or at a bare minimum, homes that can be

Polls indicate that most older Americans wish

easily adapted without making expensive structural

to age in place in their current home for as long as possible. A recent AARP poll indicates that nearly 80% of respondents intend to make minor changes to their current home to improve accessibility. Most older Vermonters live in older homes with two or more living levels that may not be compatible with simple upgrades

changes to the home.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ✔ Home layouts where all daily living occurs on one

floor. ✔ Stair free entry.

to age in place gracefully. This implies a mismatch between good hopes and good plans.

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Shopping for food,

clothing, and other essentials ✔

Public transportation

Community and social

centers, as well as family and friends If you’d like additional help evaluating your home or even finding contractors who can make your Vermont home just right ✔ Level, low resistance flooring, without tripping


for aging in place, you can contact the author. VM

✔ Sufficient lighting that assists navigation but is also

not so bright to hurt the eyes. ✔ Sufficient lighting that assists navigation but is also

not so bright to hurt the eyes.


Ben Durant is a Senior Real Estate Specialist® and Owner of Transitions Real Estate. He is dedicated to helping Vermont Seniors and Boomers find their best housing solutions. Ben lives with his wife and three children in Williston. He can be contacted by visiting Transitionsvt. com or by calling 802-355-6688.

✔ Low or no threshold showers. ✔ Grab bars at key locations for bathing and toileting. ✔ Layout sufficiently large enough to accommodate

turning around a wheelchair or walker. Caring for Life

KITCHEN CONSIDERATIONS ✔ Counter heights accessible when in a standing or

seated position. ✔ Appliances that are intuitive to operate, with easily

Live Life to the Fullest

graspable knobs and handles from a standing or seated position. ✔ Grab bars in key locations, especially near the sink. ✔ The layout must be sufficiently large enough to

accommodate turning around a wheelchair or walker. Beyond these key home interior features, it’s important to consider the home’s location. Ideally, the home should be located close to important community features including: ✔ Medical care ✔ Pharmacies Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 17

Welcome to Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity


arm summer weather is here, and our staff and volunteers are visiting older Vermonters at their homes, delivering Meals on Wheels,

coordinating care, and bringing them a friendly smile helping them to age with confidence and dignity. Keep

reading to learn more about our offerings, health, and wellness tips, and much more:

Health & Wellness – Stay Cool This Summer Vermont may have very cold winters, but we also have seriously hot weather in the summers. Older Vermonters and people with disabilities and chronic conditions are at greater risk for serious heat-related illnesses, and even death when the statewide average temperature reaches 87°F or hotter. Keep reading for tips to stay cool during hot weather: 1) Drink up! Drink plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit or vegetable juices. Stay away from drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Remember, start drinking water before you feel thirsty. If your doctor has told you to limit your liquids, ask what you should do when it is very hot. 2) Block the sun. Use blinds and curtains to help block the sun from heating your home. Be sure to still allow some light so you can still see and can safely navigate your home. 3) Cool your home at night. The late evenings and overnight are often cooler than during the day. Open your windows at night and let the night air cool down your home.

18 | July/August 2022 |

4) Stay downstairs. If your home has multiple levels, try to spend most of your time on the lower floors. Heat rises and can make the upper living areas much warmer. 5) Dress for the weather. Wear lighter-colored fabrics that absorb and store less heat. Some people find natural fabrics, such as cotton, to be cooler than synthetic fibers. 6) Limit your physical activity during times of high heat. Don’t try to exercise or do a lot of activities outdoors when it’s hot. Check the weather to see when the coolest part of the day will be. Often early morning and evening are cooler. 7) Cool down with a shower. Feeling warm? Cooldown by taking a shower. 8) Sign up for VT-Alert. VT-Alert will notify you of emergencies such as heat advisories: vtalert. 9) Watch for symptoms of heat illness. Muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache, or lightheadedness are symptoms of heat-related illness. Most can be treated with fluids and by resting in a cooler place. Dial 9-1-1 or get immediate medical help if you are concerned about your or someone else’s health.

The risk in our region for heat-related illnesses increases when temperatures reach the mid-to-upper 80s, especially on sunny, humid days. During the 2018 heatwave, four Vermonters died from excessive heat and there were 15 times more heat-related emergency department visits than normal. Don’t forget, when you do spend time in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and wear a hat. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. Have a safe, sunny, Spring & Summer.

SELF-NEGLECT DEFINITION: “The term ‘self-neglect’ means an adult’s inability, due to physical or mental impairment or diminished capacity, to perform essential self-care tasks including: (A) obtaining essential food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; (B) obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, or general safety; or (C) managing one’s own financial affairs. This definition excludes people who make a conscious and voluntary choice not to provide for certain basic needs as a matter of lifestyle, personal

Self-Neglect: What to Look For Have you noticed a sudden change in one of your loved ones over 60? Such as recent untidiness? Unwashed clothes? Poor hygiene? Do they seem to be confused or making unsafe decisions? They may be self-neglecting. Age Well is the designated agency in Northwestern Vermont to receive referrals for self-neglect.

preference, or religious belief and who understand the consequences of their decision.”

SELF-DETERMINATION DEFINITION: “Self-determination is the power or ability to make decisions about one’s life without outside compulsion. This means that all older Vermonters have the right to direct their own lives as they age. Whatever services, supports and protections are offered, older Vermonters

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✔ Resistance to necessary care services ✔ Weight loss ✔ Poor safety awareness

Note: Self-neglect does not refer to someone who makes these lifestyle decisions and is able to understand the consequences of their actions. Rather, an individual who is unable to meet their basic needs because of physical or cognitive impairment. deserve dignity and respect, must be at the core of all

Possible Causes of Self-Neglect: ✔ Dementia

decisions, and have the right to accept or refuse.”

✔ Mental health disorders

Definitions from the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL) Self-

✔ Medication

Neglect Task Force.

✔ Other medical condition ✔ Substance use

Warning Signs of Self-Neglect:

✔ Social Isolation

✔ Sudden or recent behavioral changes

What Happens After a Referral?

✔ Poor hygiene ✔ Physical environment in poor condition

Symptoms of self-neglect can be serious, so

✔ Untreated wounds ✔ No recent medical appointments or visits

referrals for suspected self-neglect are prioritized and

SENIOR REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST CALL ME TO GET YOUR FREE GUIDE TODAY! There is so much to consider before selling your family home. Let me be your resource! I’ve put together a complimentary guidebook that answers some of your biggest questions, such as: How to Know it’s the Right Time to Sell Your Family Home What to Look for in Your Next Home What to do Now to Best Prepare for Your Next Chapter

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assigned within one business day. Typically, self-neglect referrals are assigned to a Specialized Care and Service Coordinator, who will attempt to contact the individual right away to schedule a visit. The Care and Service Coordinator will continue working with the client as long as the client continues to engage and there are unresolved goals or self-neglecting behaviors. The selfneglect assessment is completed at regular intervals, no less than annually.

GETSETUP Age Well along with the other Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging have partnered with GetSetUp, the largest and fastest-growing online platform dedicated to virtual learning, specifically for older adults. GetSetUp provides live interactive classes by older adults for older adults, which they can access easily right at home. Learners can choose from a catalog of over 3,000 classes that shift weekly and are available

How to Help Someone who is Self-Neglecting: If you think a friend, loved one, or a patient may be self-neglecting, call the Helpline at 800-642-5119 to make a referral. Age Well’s Specialized Care & Service Coordinators will contact the individual within two business days (unless determined that the situation requires a faster response).

around the clock for the next year. Learn more and sign up for free classes at:

AGE WELL PROGRAMS & SERVICES Age Well believes that health happens at home and focuses on lifestyle, happiness, and wellness—not on age. For nearly 50 years, Age Well has provided adults 60 years and older in Northwestern Vermont with the necessary support to manage their daily living needs, to keep them active, healthy, and independent.


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Age Well offers care & service coordination, Meals on Wheels; community meals; wellness programs; social activities; transportation services; expertise on Medicare, insurance, and long and short-term care options; and a Helpline to older Vermonters, and their families and caregivers. Age Well services are provided at no cost throughout Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties. For more information about our services and other resources, call the Helpline at 800-642-5119.

GIVING BACK & VOLUNTEERING Join our network of over 1,000 dedicated volunteers, without whom our work would not be possible. There are many ways you can give back to the older adults in your community including providing transportation, friendly visits, grocery shopping, budgeting assistance,

accessible to those in need. To learn more about volunteer opportunities please call 802-662-5249, email or log onto our website:

How to Contact Age Well Learn more about Age Well services by calling

delivering Meals on Wheels, donating your used car,

the Helpline at 800-642-5119 or visiting our website

making a cash donation, and leaving a gift for Age Well You can also find stay up to date by

in your will or trust.

following us on social media on Facebook, Twitter,

Age Well’s services are provided free of charge, your support helps us keep these services free and

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Instagram, & LinkedIn. VM

Take Your Medicine… A Different Perspective on Physical Activity


by Dr. Sydney Swindell

ne afternoon a couple of months ago, my colleague stood up from his chair and declared “I need to stop for a minute and take

my medicine.” He then proceeded to roll out a yoga mat

Depression? We got a pill for that. Back pain? Here’s

and run through a short series of exercises and focused

your pill. High cholesterol, trouble sleeping, overweight,

breathing. The whole thing took him about 20 minutes

osteoporosis? The list goes on and on. We tend to

then he was back at his laptop to finish the day’s work.

want a quick fix to all our health problems so if a pill

As a Physical Therapist, his remark about “taking his

can’t be prescribed for an issue, we often think it isn’t

medicine” really had a profound impact on me. In our

treatable. In my colleague’s case, his own health was

line of work, it usually takes weeks or months of daily effort on behalf of the patient to get positive results. In a nation that values expediency above most things, one of the biggest barriers to patient recovery is the notion that daily exercise takes too much time. As technology has advanced in the medical community, we have developed a pill for just about everything. High blood pressure? Take a pill. Anxiety?

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Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 23

deteriorating from Lyme disease as the providers tried

improve sleep, strengthen bones, improve mental

medications to no avail. Ultimately, they shrugged their

clarity, and reduce risk for certain cancers.

shoulders and ran out of things to prescribe. He turned

Rather than resigning ourselves to the notion that

to diet and therapeutic exercise, in his case yoga, and it

with age comes the inevitable daily consumption of

was life changing. Making time for focused, purposeful

pharmaceuticals, we could instead start “taking our

movement every day saved his life and restored his

medicine” now and move our bodies with purpose


and intention. Try a brisk walk, ride a bike, gentle

Many medications to treat conditions such as

yoga, meditation, tai chi, swim, or dance. If you would

high blood pressure, high cholesterol, trouble sleeping,

like guidance as to what type of exercise would work

obesity, osteoporosis, anxiety, and depression often

best for you, reach out to one of the many high quality

have side effects. Potential side effects can include

physical therapy clinics across the state. Never make

dizziness, fatigue, irregular heart rate, and shortness

any adjustments to an existing prescription medication

of breath, just to name a few. Most of these same

regimen without first consulting your physician. VM

conditions can be effectively treated, or potentially prevented, using therapeutic exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic, the National Institute of Health, and countless other sources, daily exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, control weight, reduce cholesterol, lower blood glucose levels, boost mood,

Something To Think About James A Meunier, director

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE BEREAVED What can you do to help a grief-stricken and bereaved friend return to a fairly normal and happy life? First of all, you must respect your friend’s need to grieve. That’s right, the process of grief can be very important for healing, for coming to terms with one’s loss. Also, there is no set time-period for such feelings, though social customs may designate arbitrary periods of mourning. Eventually, tactfully, you might encourage your friend to get involved in

new activities and meet new people. He or she may be very reluctant at first, but developing new interests is crucial to recovery. Don’t be forceful, but do be persistent and make a real effort to find something your friend could truly enjoy. Be available but don’t be overbearing in your desire to help. Ultimately, it is up to your friend. He or she will accept as much help as possible without surrendering dignity or integrity.


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Dr. Sydney Swindell received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Vermont. She is a Vermont Licensed, local private practice owner located in Williston where she lives with her family. Sydney specializes in treating balance disorders to reduce fall risk and improve overall function. She can be reached by phone 802-8575407, email or visit her website

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Why Staying Active is Key to Making the Most out of Life


by Vicky Parra Tebbetts

ovement could be the new mantra of

case - although exercise is always an option. You can

maturity. As one ages, staying active helps

be active by being socially, physically, spiritually and

maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility.

mentality involved, all of which are equally as important.

Exercise increases blood flow that helps stimulate

A drive with friends, visit to church, guided meditation

one’s brain, with circulation that is critical to maintain

or a game of checkers all count as activity! Furthermore,

optimal brain function - including memory. No matter

many people find that engaging in activity with

where you are in life, incorporating activity that you love

community and peers increases the cumulative impact

into your routine in a variety of ways is likely to give you

of staying active.

purpose and make life more meaningful. When you are engaging in enjoyable activities, it’s easy to imagine that life is also more comfortable, and more fulfilling.

What Being Active Means (it might be more than you think) When most people think of being active, they automatically think exercise. That is not always the

Deciding to Thrive; What Activities Matter Most Activities that address one or more of five principles - physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive - are fundamental to creating and maintaining the whole health of an individual. Doing what you love always paves the path to long-term sustainability. Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 25

Particularly as one ages, it’s important that you are

anxiety and prepare you for other tasks in your day.

engaging in activities planned around your passions

When you stay actively involved in things you enjoy, you

to experience purpose, enjoyment, and a sense of

are using your brain as well as your muscles. Staying

happiness. For later in life, a robust slate of physical

active helps encourage overall health and helps an

activities offered at senior centers and long-term care

individual take on the day with purpose.

communities help individuals laugh and stay limber in

Staying active helps one thrive, particularly

a social environment. From chair yoga to “fishing” with

when one engages in activities with peers in a safe

magnets (just like at a country fair), to trivia, art, and

environment. Older adults stay strong and flexible by

music, professional planners focus on making elders feel

moving, and alert by challenging their minds. After a


lifetime of hard work, remembering to take time for

How the Brain and Body Work as One Most of us have approached a workout or a lunch date with dread… sometimes it’s easier to just stay home. And if you went anyway, many of us have experienced feeling less stuck and more grateful afterward. Activity

passion and play is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. VM Vicky Parra Tebbetts is a freelance writer who loves all things Vermont. She writes on behalf of Mayo Healthcare, a locally owned nonprofit located in Northfield, Vermont, offering residential care, expert rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services., 802.485.3161.

gives you a better mindset; it can lower our stress and


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26 | July/August 2022 |

Use Locus of Control to Take Charge of Your Future


by Dr. Richard Houston

re you in charge of your personal destiny or

Mature adults need to recognize that the #1

is your fate determined by factors beyond

beneficiary of an active lifestyle is your brain. Exercise

your control? This is the question posed by

helps stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus which

psychologists who study ‘locus of control.’ Mature adults confront several concrete realities that

plays an essential role in memory formation and storage. Exercise also stimulates the production of BDNF – a

challenge their capacity to direct their personal destiny.

chemical that John Ratey, M.D. of Harvard Medical

A great many seniors must manage a chronic disease

School calls ‘Miracle Gro’ for the brain.

and/or the decline of vital functions like memory,

Learning to do something new promotes brain

hearing, or agility. Managing the loss of close friends

plasticity. Work on learning a new language, a new

further shakes our confidence that our fate lies within

musical instrument, or a new sport. Building new neural

our control.

networks in the brain sustains mental acuity. Tilt the

However, adults navigating their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s should take care to ask the right questions. Comparing

odds of cognitive health in your future by challenging yourself to acquire new skills and knowledge.

our physical abilities in our 70’s with our physical capacities in our 20’s and 30’s is the wrong question. Aging takes a toll and adults in later decades have more limitations than we did in our ‘youthful’ adult years. Here’s the RIGHT question: How can we impact our quality of life in our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s? Do we have the ability enhance the likelihood that our life in later decades will be characterized by vitality, adventure, and camaraderie? The answer to the initial question does not take the form of “yes” or “no.” This is a game of odds. How can you increase the odds that your quality of life will have more vitality, adventure and camaraderie than might otherwise be the case? Older adults have the means available to them to improve the odds of living a healthy, stimulating life within a rich social network. First, get active physically and maintain active lifestyle habits. Tom Frieden, M.D., former Director of the Center for Disease Control has said “being active is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.” Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 27

Resilient seniors have fewer chronic health problems, demonstrate more independence in daily living habits, experience lower rates of depression and increased lifespan. How’s that for an endorsement of enhanced quality of life? Mature adults can make gains on their ‘locus of control’ scale by thinking in terms of improving personal odds for enhanced quality of life. You can start to create an advantage for yourself today by making concrete plans to get moving, activate your social In one of the most robust longitudinal studies of healthy aging ever conducted, Harvard researchers identified social networks as one of the most important factors in well-adapted mature adults. We offer a special methodology for readers of Vermont Maturity to enrich their social network by joining a research project we manage that is focused on resilience. Contact us via our website at to learn more.

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network and tackle new learning challenges. Take charge of your future. VM Richard Houston holds a Doctorate in Education and was licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Psychology. He is a graduate of Brown University. He has conducted research on the psychological dimensions of healthy lifestyle behaviors and has had long term consulting relationships with several continuing care retirement communities. You can visit his website at

What to Do With Cremated Ashes


here’s no shortage of options

for your family to visit. This is also

when it comes to handling or

the only option for cremated ashes

disposing of your cremated remains

sanctioned by the Catholic Church,

after you’re gone. Your family can

which specifies that ashes of the

keep, bury, or scatter them in a

dead should be kept in sacred places

variety of imaginative ways that

like a cemetery or a columbarium

reflect your life and personality.

and not kept at home or scattered.

Here are some different options to consider.

SCATTER THEM The most popular option is

If you’re the environmental type, you can have your ashes planted with a tree. There are companies that offer living urns – like

a location you loved to be i.e., a or

favorite fishing spot, camping area,

– that mix your ashes with other

golf course, beach, park or at home.

nutrients that can be used to grow a

If you choose this route, keep in

plant or tree in your yard or a place

mind that some places, such as

of your choosing.

And many public areas, like parks or sports stadiums may prohibit scattering.

STORE THEM AT HOME Many families choose to keep

SCATTER THEM AT SEA are many businesses that offer especially close to coastal areas, or your family could rent a boat and

them at home. If you and your

companies like

family choses this option, you can

that offer reef memorials so your

purchase a decorative urn through

ashes can rest on the ocean floor.

Or you may want to use an old cookie jar or favorite container that reminds your family of you.

BURY/INTER THEM The burial option is good if you wish to have a special place

Let our knowledge and experience help you plan for the future.

♦ Long-term Care Planning/Medicaid

ash scattering services at sea,

do it themselves. There are also

Glenn A. Jarrett & Julie Hoyt, Partners

♦ Wills & Trusts

If you love the water, there

their loved ones close, by storing

your funeral provider or online.



to have your ashes scattered at

national parks, require a permit.

Estate Planning & Elder Law

♦ Special Needs Planning ♦ Trust Administration ♦ Probate Administration

SCATTER THEM BY AIR This option will scatter your ashes into the sky so the particles can be taken by the wind. To do this, they could hire a private plane, helicopter, or hot air balloon service, or use a

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(CONTINUED ON PAGE 31) Vermont Maturity | July/August 2022 | 29



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If you love music, a UK company called Vinlyly ( will turn your ashes into a vinyl record. You supply the music (or voice recording) and cover image, and the company creates a memorial that

If you love jewelry or glass trinkets, there are companies – like, and – that will turn your ashes into wearable jewelry or glass art memorials.

GO OUT WITH A BANG If you’re a hunter or a gun lover, a company called Holy Smoke ( will create loaded ammunition out of cremated remains. Your family could store the ammo in the engraved wooden box it comes in, or they can send you off in a gun salute.

TURN THEM INTO ART If you love art, arrange for an artist or family member to paint your portrait, or a picture, with some of your ashes mixed into the paint. Or, if your family is into tattoos, many tattoo artists will mix some ashes with ink to create a memorial tattoo. VM

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