Vermont Maturity May-June 2022 Issue

Page 1

May/June 2022 Issue


Age Well A Lifeline for Vermont Seniors Treehouses, Yurts, and Hobbit Houses: Vacation Rentals in Vermont Offer One-Of-a-Kind Retreats How Family Members Can Help or Hurt Estate Situations Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity

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Table of Contents Vermont Maturity

For Vermonters Age 50 and Older

RTN PUBLISHING, INC. Phone – 802.332.3254




CONTRIBUTING EDITORS James Conner Carolee Duckworth Scott Funk Brigitte Harton

A Lifeline for Vermont Seniors

Jim Miller Phyl Newbeck Kirk Shamberger Nick Thomas

page 6


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.

Treehouses, Yurts, and Hobbit Houses: Vacation Rentals in Vermont Offer One-Of-a-Kind Retreats

Why Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility for an Aging Parent is the Ultimate Act of Compassion

by Clover Whitham

by Vicky Parra Tebbetts

How Family Members Can Help or Hurt Estate Situations by Ben Durant

Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity



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Vermont Maturity Cover Story – Age Well

A Lifeline for Vermont Seniors


n 1974, Vermont designated Age Well as the Area

Communication, Tracey Shamberger. The agency

Agency on Aging for Addison, Chittenden, Franklin,

focuses on lifestyle, happiness, and welfare, not on

and Grand Isle Counties. The agency provides

age. The goal of Age Well is to provide Vermonters

a wide array of services for older Vermonters, their

with support to manage their daily living needs while

families, and their caregivers, carrying out programs

keeping active, healthy, and independent, at home,

authorized by the Older Americans Act, which

where they want to be. The vision at Age Well is to use

empowers local organizations to create a coordinated

our Vermont experience to be a nationally recognized

system of services for older people across the country.

and collaborative leader in the aging network. Age Well

Great leaders have said the test of any community is

programs enhance the quality of life and improve health

how it treats its most vulnerable. And we have certainly

outcomes. The mission is “to provide the support and

been put to the test during the Covid Pandemic. Older

guidance that inspires our community to embrace aging

Adults, our most vulnerable population, have needed

with confidence.” There is no charge for Age Well’s

more support than ever before.


“At Age Well we believe health happens at home”, said Director of Business Development and 6 | May/June 2022 |

One of Age Well’s best-known programs is Meals on Wheels, which can serve a person for an entire year for


Northwestern Medical Center is proud to provide sleep disorder diagnosis throughout northwestern Vermont. Working with Dr. Haitham Nsour at our St. Albans campus sleep lab, we treat adult sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and more.

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Y tomorrow OUR

Now accepting new patients

the same cost as one

minor home repairs,

day in a hospital or

transportation, yard

ten days at a nursing

work, organizing,

home. According

building wheelchair

to Meals on Wheels

ramps, and helping

of America, in 2021,

clients with

27% of the state’s

technological or

population was over

financial questions.

60, making Vermont

Some volunteers

the third oldest

simply provide a

state in the nation. Over 20,000 of Vermonters over 60

friendly face while others have received specific training

years of age are threatened by hunger. Age Well’s Meals

on how to assist those with cognitive impairments

on Wheels clients report that they eat healthier food

or dementia. Many volunteers believe they get as

thanks to the program “Age Well has given me hope in

much out of the experience as those they assist. “I felt

so many ways,” a client named Dallas said. “Meals on

like I hit the jackpot when I joined the folks at Age

Wheels brightens my day with the contact of the person

Well,” said Susyn Dees. “I was humbled to find out

delivering my meals.” In 2021, Age Well’s dedicated

what extensive needs there are and it makes me more

team of volunteers delivered over 300,000 meals.

appreciative of everything I have.” A college student

Age Well has a team of over 1,000 volunteers who assist with delivering Meals on Wheels, errands,

8 | May/June 2022 |

named Henry found similar gratification in assisting in the Community Meals program. “As a student and a young adult, I find that I spend too much time wrapped up in my own head and problems,” he said. “Working at a nursing home in high school opened my eyes to the benefits of caring for others. The knowledge that you are doing something meaningful for another person makes my day better.” Age Well services also include care and service coordination, in home visits and community resources. A statewide Helpline is available to the community daily. The helpline provides resources on a variety of topics including adult day programs, caregiver support,

support groups, and 3Squares Vermont. The Helpline

home health services, housing, transportation, legal

can be reached at 1-800-642-5119.

services, long-term care, Meals on Wheels, community

Older adults who are able to travel can take

meal programs, nutritional counseling, Medicare and

advantage of Age Well’s Community Meals, Gran=b

other health insurance support, mental health services,

and Go Meals & Restaurant Ticket Program. This

nursing and residential facilities, prescription assistance

provides the opportunity for people to stay connected

programs, senior centers, SSI and Social Security,

to their community while sharing meals with friends and neighbors throughout northwestern Vermont.

Senior Real Estate Specialists

Andrea Champagne 802-343-7967

Janice Battaline 802-448-0540

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Your Partners in Success! 10 | May/June 2022 |

These programs combat social isolation, in addition to providing healthy, delicious and nutritious food. Age Well also provides clients with assistance navigating Medicare through its State Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Their SHIP program assists with assessing eligibility for benefits, making informed decisions, protecting yourself against fraud, and more. Recognizing that exercise is beneficial in remaining healthy, Age Well offers free Tai Chi classes at a dozen locations in its coverage area. Shamberger said, “Tai Chi has been endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation and the Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention

or rehabilitation can be difficult, Age Well comes to this

for reducing stiffness and pain, and keeping mobile”.

process with expertise, patience, and the commitment to

Age Well provides free beginners’ classes in person and

make returning home successful.

online, for individuals 60 and over, taught by certified trainers.

“This is an exciting time for Vermont as we focus on the needs of our older populations over the next decade,”

Many older Vermonters turn to Age Well when

said Age Well CEO Jane Catton. VM

they are returning home from a hospital or rehab facility. The agency provides support and services regardless of income. Transitioning from the hospital

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Treehouses, Yurts, and Hobbit Houses: Vacation Rentals in Vermont Offer One-Of-a-Kind Retreats by Clover Whitham


The Owl’s Nest cabin in Grafton, VT is a vacation rental owned by Danny Roberts.

ore than 13 million people visit Vermont

the surrounding natural beauty and embrace the rustic

each year, making tourism one of the largest

charm the state is known for. There are condos and

industries in the state. A growing number of

apartments in the larger cities and towns, and outside

Airbnb and vacation rental options help house all those

of town there are cabins of all sizes, treehouses, dome

visitors, in addition to the state’s many hotels, inns and

houses, yurts and at least two abodes that look like

bed and breakfasts. Those rental options can be a great

something from J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination. Tiny

way for those who already live here to explore another

homes are also popular in both urban and rural settings.

corner of the state in a unique way. The AirBnB and VRBO websites each list more than 300 Vermont properties, and many capitalize on

It’s clear many of the vacation rental hosts have worked hard to design spaces that reflect a certain aesthetic or theme. Vermont Maturity | May/June 2022 | 13

For Tony Olmstead, his “treehouse” property near Killington is something of a family legacy. Olmstead built the one-bedroom elevated structure himself in his spare time during the pandemic on property that has been in his family for generations. He opened it to his first guests in November 2021. “My grandfather had a dairy farm a long time ago in the area and I wanted to pay tribute to him and have people enjoy the area as I did when I was a kid,” Olmstead said. He said he considers the project an homage to his parents as well, both of whom he lost to cancer, and it is something he can pass down to his own son. Olmstead’s day job is in finance, but his treehouse building

Tony Olmstead built this treehouse vacation rental in Stockbridge, VT during the pandemic on land his grandfather once owned

experience began as a child. Even back then, his treehouse

slate tile in the bathroom, double shower heads, radiant

building skills earned the trust of his grandfather and

heat panels that keep it cozy inside when it’s below zero

father enough to join him in sleep outs in the trees.

outside and a propane fireplace for easy and immediate

During the pandemic construction of the AirBnB

ambiance. A deck surrounds the treehouse on three

house Olmstead had to wait out shortages of certain

sides, and 7-foot windows and sliding glass doors let in

lumber. He installed many custom features, including

the view. There is also a hot tub on the property.

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“I did use a lot of trim that was directly from lumber

about it is its tiny footprint and the fact that it was built

right off of the land here and that makes me feel good

using lumber milled directly from the property, and

knowing that something my grandfather and dad once

many other reused historic items such as the spiral stair,

stood near was forever memorized,” Olmstead said.

doors, sinks, handles, etc.,” Roberts said.

“I personally thought a lot about the design and how

Roberts bought the property five years ago and since

I wanted it to look and feel. I also wanted the treehouse

then has worked to make it as self-sustaining as he could.

to have some features that would set it apart and wanted

He’s installed solar, an indoor composting toilet and

it to be comfortable and warm,” he added.

greywater system.

Guests reviewing the property laud the attention

The town of Grafton is one of Vermont’s beautiful

to detail “A fantastic and magical experience! Great

historic villages. Its quaint town center includes historic

location and such peaceful seclusion,” wrote one guest in

buildings, dining, and shopping. Nearby are museums,


hiking, The Vermont Country Store, Grafton Village

For Danny Roberts, his Owl’s Nest cabin in Grafton

Cheese, Retreat Farm, Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center,

is the realization of a dream to own a property in the

and many other ways to relax and enjoy Vermont’s

mountains. Roberts grew up in north Georgia and spent


most of his adult life in the Pacific Northwest. When he

“To be honest, 50 percent about what I love about the

moved back east, he found the cabin in Grafton built by

cabin is the little town of Grafton and the amazing area

his neighbors.

around it. … It’s a movie-set charmer of a village and

“The cabin was built with all the quirk and charm that I had envisioned. One of the things I love most

Maplewood Village

affordable living at a new 55+ community in Shelburne Vermont

nicely finished 1 or 2 bedroom rentals

near local stores & restaurants

in-unit laundry hookups

underground parking & elevator

comfortable gathering spaces

the area is chock full of gorgeous farms and landscape,” Roberts said.

We’re looking for caring volunteers.

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Call or text Jennifer at 802.891.9647

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Several guests reviewing the property on Airbnb said they’ve loved the Owl’s Nest so much they returned

doors, lush greenery and references to Hobbits and dragons in the decor. These unique properties are just a tiny sample of

for second or third visits. “The most amazing stay ever. The cabin is so cute,

the offerings in Vermont. It’s clear many vacation rental

cozy, and quiet. It has everything you need to have a

hosts in the state have worked hard to create inviting,

great stay. The layout is so creative and unique,” wrote

memorable spaces for anyone who wants to explore a

one guest in February.

new corner of the state.

In the southern Vermont town of Sandgate visitors

Some of the more popular properties already have limited availability for summer and fall of 2022, so

can stay in a “whimsical stone abode” that Boston Magazine called “the best possible

long-range planning may be necessary. There are many

combination between the postcard-perfect cliffside

yet-undiscovered gems to be found online as well. When

suites of Santorini (Greece) and a hobbit house.”

searching for homestay options make use of filters

Gardens and stone walls surround the smooth white

to narrow your choices based on lodging type, price,

domed exterior of the cottage. Inside the one-bedroom

accessibility, in addition to location and date. VM

domicile looks more like a Mediterranean retreat than a home in the Green Mountains. Several guests called their stay “magical.” In Middletown Springs, a home built into the earth also evokes the land of Tolkien complete with circular

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.

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How Family Members Can Help or Hurt Estate Situations


by Ben Durant

ike many middle-aged Vermonters, I’m a parent

their parents is common and this plays an important

to my great kids (3), while being an active

role with most of the people that I work with. Most

advocate for my elders; family and clients. I’m

times, working with family is a great benefit for

proud of this role and I take it seriously. As I sit at my

everyone involved. One recent example of this is where I

desk with the task of writing this article, I am fresh off

had the honor of helping Wesley and Cecilia McClellan

a moment where I was being an advocate for my mom

downsize from a home in the Village of Essex. This was

and her window contractor. My mother had explained

a massive transition for the family, and it wasn’t entered

to me that she felt that she was getting the runaround

into lightly. Their adult children were born and raised

from said contractor. After placing some phone calls

in the home that had become a physical extension of

looking into the matter, I was able to determine from a

the family for over a half century. When it came time

zoning administrator that the contractor was not being

to make a move, the McClellan’s knew that leaving the

entirely truthful. By simply entering the situation, I was

family homestead would affect their adult children and

able to get all parties back on track, with her contractor

they chose to include them in the process. The five of us

knowing that he couldn’t take advantage of my mother

became a team of sorts and we worked through every

and get away with it. As a parent, I sometimes find myself already trying

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to train the next generation by setting the expectation of

Lunch • Dinner • Eat-In or Take-Out

them growing up to take care of people. Recently I found


myself lecturing my 11-year-old son because he wasn’t taking on the responsibility for getting himself ready in the morning properly, and I heard these words slip past my lips – “If you can’t get yourself ready in the morning, how are you going to take care of mom and dad when we get older.” As with much of parenting, I’m conflicted by the paradox of wanting to guard my children from

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adult pressures, while ensuring that they turn out right; remaining responsible to their family and loved ones as an adult. Growing up isn’t easy, and neither is growing older. But it is inevitable that often our children play a role in our lives as we all age together; for better, or for worse. In my professional world of helping my clients down-size, the involvement of adult children helping

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Vermont Maturity | May/June 2022 | 17

detail of their purchase of the new house,

when we age, and there are ugly

and the sale of their old house.

times when family or other people

Sometimes working together

in positions of power take advantage

through a committee can be tricky, but

of these vulnerable adults. I’ve come

this was made easier this time because

across mild cases enough times that

it was always apparent that Cecilia and

I’m on the lookout for it and I’m

Wes’ grown children always wanted the

ready to rely on my code of ethics

best for their parents, and they let that

and my fiduciary responsibility to put

be their guiding focus. In the end, the

my client’s needs ahead of all others

McClellans were able to find a lovely

including their children. Oftentimes,

carriage home right around the corner

this is a good opportunity to look for

from their son, and as a result, their

another professional like an estate

extended family is as close as ever. In

planning attorney. Launa Slater is an

this heartwarming example, the impromptu committee

estate planning and elder law attorney at Wiener & Slater

worked, and the very best outcome was achieved.

in Burlington and a member of the Financial Abuse

The McClellan family example above is the ideal

Specialist Team of Vermont or FAST. FAST was formed

situation, but of course, family is not always ideal.

in 2011 and seeks to end exploitation of elders and

Sometimes, family can be downright messy, especially

vulnerable Vermonters. According to Attorney Slater,

when ulterior motives creep into the process. Elder

power struggles among adult children, arguments over

Vermonters can become more and more vulnerable

financial transparency, and even accusations of financial

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exploitation are scenarios she is well familiar with. In a

neglected, or exploited, you should contact Vermont

recent conversation, she explained that she sees her job

Adult Protective Services at 800-564-1612 or make a

as ensuring, whether through estate planning and/or

report by going online at

advocacy, that an older Vermonter’s wishes are honored

aps-report. Your report can be anonymous.

and respected, bottom line. Launa said, “If I’m doing

To conclude, I hope that you have family like the

estate planning, or an elder law consult, I allow adult

Mclellans as they can make life’s transitions amazing. If

children to attend the consultation, if their parents want

you feel that you don’t have good family support, there

them to be present. But I make sure that I talk to my

are many people in our community that can be an

client directly, and hear in their own words, what their

advocate for you and help make good outcomes happen.

wishes are, and who they want to help them with their

If you do work with family, it’s important to make a plan

financial and medical decision-making, when the time

and set the expectation of how you would like it to go

comes that they need that kind of support.”

early. Setting up an estate plan ahead of time is always a

People who regularly work with older adults as Launa and I do, understand that these situations can go to the extremes. Abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation for Vermont’s elders is all too common. Sadly, this depravity often comes from family or people in positions of power and trust. If you, or a person that you know is suspected of being abused,

good idea. VM Ben Durant is a leading Senior Real Estate Specialist in the State of Vermont and has a passion for supporting and defending his clients through the process of downsizing, right-sizing, and relocating in Vermont. Ben lives with his wife, Amy, and three children in Williston VT. He can be reached at or

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Welcome to Age Well’s regular feature in Vermont Maturity


arm summer weather is almost here, and

our staff and volunteers are visiting older

Vermonters at their homes, delivering Meals

on Wheels, care coordination, and a friendly smile to older adults, allowing them to age with confidence and

dignity. Keep reading to learn more about new offerings, health, and wellness tips, and much more:

Celebrate Older Americans Month in May Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it – and there is no “right” way. That’s why the theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2022 is Age My Way. While Age My Way will look different for each person, here are common things everyone can consider: ✔ Planning: Think about what you will need and

want in the future, from home and communitybased services to community activities that interest you. ✔ Engagement: Remain involved and contribute to

your community through work, volunteer, and/or civic participation opportunities. ✔ Access: Make home improvements and

modifications, use assistive technologies, and customize supports to help you better age in place. ✔ Connection: Maintain social activities and

Age Well is excited to celebrate Older Americans Month. Ensuring that older adults remain involved and included in our communities for as long as possible benefits everyone. Please join Age Well in strengthening our community. For more information, visit oam/2022/older-americans-month-2022.

COVID-19 Vaccine support

relationships to combat social isolation and stay connected to your community.

Whether it’s getting your first, second, or your booster shot, the Area Agencies on Aging are available and ready

20 | May/June 2022 |

Donating your unwanted vehicle is easier than selling

to assist. Getting vaccinated is free, safe, and easy, and once fully vaccinated, you are helping to strengthen our

it, and vehicle donations made to Age Well are tax-

communities—your families, your neighbors, and your


friends. If you would like support getting the COVID-19 vaccine or booster, are homebound, lack transportation,

Health & Wellness

or just have questions, call our Helpline at 800-642-5119, and for more information, visit


Spring cleaning? Consider donating your vehicle

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), a day in which communities around the world are encouraged to gather, learn about, and promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older adults.

Donating your vehicle to Age Well is easy and

The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity

impactful through our partnership with CARS, Inc., (Charitable Adult Rides & Services). They strive to accept all types of donated vehicles, running or not, including

understanding of the abuse and neglect of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and

cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers,

demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

off-road vehicles, planes, heavy equipment, farm machinery, and most other motorized vehicles. Plus, they will tow your vehicle at no cost to you!

for communities around the world to promote a better

As the leading experts and advocates for the aging population, we believe that health happens at home and focus on lifestyle, happiness, and wellness—not on age.

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We are against ageism and work to change the narrative around aging in our community so all Vermonters can age confidently. Our Helpline and Care & Service Coordinators are typically the “first responders” to elder abuse situations. Our staff is trained and works closely with Adult Protective Services to identify and remedy selfneglect and abuse cases. Questions or concerns? Call the Helpline at 800-642-5119.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia—a collection of symptoms that can include issues with memory, problem-solving, and emotional regulation, with symptoms so severe they can interfere with daily routines. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, fatal disease that physically erodes the brain resulting in not only cognitive decline but a loss of motor control in later stages. 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Caregiving for a person with dementia is a longterm situation that changes constantly. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Age Well supports family caregivers in everything we do. Caregivers can get assistance navigating social service programs and finding paid providers through our Helpline and Care and Service team. They can stay socially connected with a volunteer match through our Volunteer Program. Caregivers will also receive the assessment of their general needs through the Caregiver Support program. This

Something To Think About James A Meunier, director

CHILD’S FEAR OF BEING ALONE Sometimes, when one parent dies, a child worries about who will care for him if the surviving parent should also die. This fear may even extend to children not directly involved. For instance, if a friend should lose a parent, or parents, a child might have a great anxiety about the same thing happening to him or her. It is something you should discuss if the subject should come up. When a child has already lost one parent, the concern over the survival of the

remaining parent may become a real preoccupation. “Who will take care of me if Mommy dies, like Daddy did? What will happen to me?” If the surviving parent is in good health and has every expectation of a long life, the child should be assured of this. At the same time, definite plans should be made for the guardianship of the child. Including the child in the making of them can often help relieve his or her anxiety about the future.


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Service to Five Generations 22 | May/June 2022 |

TUNE IN To Your Community

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program provides respite funding for income-eligible

Tickets are available at the Age Well office at 875

families, assists with problem-solving and skill-building,

Roosevelt Hwy, Ste. 210 in Colchester or you can call 802-

and offers evidence-based caregiver classes and dementia

662-5200 for more information. Older adults can make

education. Questions or concerns? Call the Helpline at

a $5 suggested donation to receive a ticket to dine at one


of the participating establishments. Note: Tickets do not

Age Well’s Restaurant Ticket Program “It’s very nice for seniors to get together and share a good meal. The most important thing to me is the opportunity to socialize and take part in the activities. I’m very happy to be there.” - Shirley Staying socially engaged is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It can increase your mental alertness, improve your emotional well-being, and help you stay physically fit. Age Well’s popular restaurant ticket program allows for a more intimate outing at many local restaurants.

include gratuity. For a list of participating restaurants and more information, visit:

Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is a 15-week weight management program that works because it is not a diet—it’s a lifestyle! All classes are conducted online by a Registered Dietitian and participants can conveniently attend classes from home or office using a computer or mobile device.

Caring for Life

Small Community, Big Heart

Vermont Maturity | May/June 2022 | 23

If you are interested in signing up for these classes, please contact Ally McAuslan at amcauslan@agewellvt. org.

Choices for Care Age Well is equipped to make an independent lifestyle a reality. As a Choices for Care provider, Age Well offers you a continuum of care. We will coordinate a customized, in-home visit to connect you with the necessary resources, assist with everyday activities, and make informed decisions. Choices for Care is a Medicaid-funded, long-term care program that pays for care and support for older Vermonters and people with physical disabilities. This Age Well is covering the cost of the program. Participants must be 60+ years of age and live in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, or Grand Isle counties. The upcoming program start dates are May 23, June 20, and August 8.

program helps people with everyday activities at home, in an enhanced residential care setting, or in a nursing facility.

TO BE ELIGIBLE, YOU MUST: ✔ Be a Vermont resident,

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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24 | May/June 2022 |


✔ Be at least 65 years old OR at least 18 years old with a physical disability, ✔ Meet the financial criteria, and ✔ Meet the clinical criteria for nursing home level of care.

Estate Planning & Elder Law

For more information, call our Helpline at 800-642-5119.

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. 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, & Grand Isle counties. Volunteering & Giving Back There are many ways you can give back to the older adults in your community including providing transportation, friendly visits, grocery shopping, budgeting assistance, delivering Meals on Wheels, donating your

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considered creating a volunteer team at your place of work? Age Well volunteers delivered 300,000 meals to our older neighbors in 2021! Learn more about volunteer opportunities please call 802-662-5249 or email: For more information visit the website:

Age Well News Check out Age Well’s press page, which showcases used car, making a cash donation, and leaving a gift for Age Well in your will or trust. Join our network of over 1,000 dedicated volunteers, without whom our work would not be possible. Age Well’s services are provided free of charge, your support helps us keep these services free and accessible to those in need. Thank you to our business volunteer teams who have done such amazing work this past year. Have you

news and articles related to our work, as well as our achievements at

How To Contact Age Well Learn more about Age Well services by calling the Helpline at 800-642-5119 or visiting You can also find stay up to date by following us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & LinkedIn. VM

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.

Donate today at

• Helpline • Meals on Wheels

• Care Coordination • Medicare Counseling

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

26 | May/June 2022 |

Why Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility for an Aging Parent is the Ultimate Act of Compassion


by Vicky Parra Tebbetts

s parents age, often their children are the first

teams composed of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and

line of care. Why? Because parents and children

therapists who attend to residents’ changing needs

are family, and we are taught that family takes

throughout their time there.

care of family. At first, caring for an aging parent is relatively simple: dropping in a few times a week, leaving a meal on the counter, driving him or her to pick up groceries and attend appointments. Almost imperceptibly, the

level of need increases. Visiting aides are wonderful, as are neighbors and other family members, but their time only allows for limited oversight. As a parent’s aging progresses, doctors discover conditions and complications, and everyone can easily start to feel overwhelmed. Suddenly, everything becomes too much. Even when an adult child who is providing care isn’t sure what to do next, contemplating a long-term care facility for an aging mother or father can be difficult. But choosing a care community for an aging parent can also be the ultimate act of compassion – for one’s mother or father – as well as for oneself. Sometimes the best way to care for family is to allow others to help. Oversight of Complex Medical Conditions As medicine advances, people are living longer with increasingly numerous, and more serious, conditions. Sometimes conditions multiply as other diseases are implicated. The care plan for an aging parent can become complicated and it can feel more and more risky to try to manage his or her health care, even with the

Medication Management Medication is a major element of any care plan. Figuring out what to give, with what, how, and when can result in an extraordinarily complicated matrix. Within a long-term care community residents’ medication management is top of mind to staff, where a support team is trained to work together in a coordinated fashion to spot inconsistencies, new challenges, and changes in an aging parent’s health or condition.

Nutrition Nutrition is important for everyone, and as we age,

assistance of doctors and aides. On the other hand, long-

our dietary needs change. Sometimes an elderly parent

term care facilities have dynamic patient management

can no longer chew or digest certain foods; sometimes Vermont Maturity | May/June 2022 | 27

they develop allergies or lose their preference for foods due to disease or medications. Long-term care

Social Stimulation

communities carefully calculate the nutritional needs of

The brain works in harmony with the body. In

residents, establishing a dietary plan that offers balanced,

addition to exercise, long-term care communities offer

customized meal plans based upon individual needs.

seasonal events and holiday celebrations with peers. Sugar-on-snow with maple syrup, tea parties, birthday


parties, manicures, crafting, cookouts, and road trips

Movement is a big part of health at any age, and a foundational piece of care in long-term care communities. Balloon volleyball, resistance training with hand weights, and chair yoga led by qualified professionals are all ways that residents in long-term care communities can stay limber – and have some fun! Activities that encourage mobility are planned

to local farms… These events are planned by staff who focus on creating opportunities to safely build camaraderie, keep residents engaged, help them stay in a routine, and perhaps uncover joyful memories.

Preserving Relationships We have heard a lot about the “sandwich generation.”

by therapists who are familiar with participants’ care

Adults who are raising children while taking care of

plans. In addition, some long-term care communities

aging parents have little time left to themselves. Even if

offer rehabilitation services, which go deeper into the

small children are not in the picture, the relationship

therapeutic needs of a patient who has experienced

between a parent and adult child caregiver can become

injury or is recovering from surgery.

strained. Caring and responsibility for an aging parent is not only stressful; the parent and adult child can

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both come to question their roles in the developing end-of-life relationship. Sanitation, hygiene, safety, and disease management are standard in a long-term care community. These services allow parents and their adult children to focus on the positive aspects of their relationship at a time when it matters most - continuing their many rewarding decades of life together. Choosing a long-term care facility for an aging parent can be a difficult decision, fraught with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, or guilt. But once a family takes a clear look at the options, the safety and security of a long-term care facility may well offer the best standard of care for an aging parent, as well as his or her caregivers. 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. MayoHC. org, 802.485.3161.

Ask the Expert – Do I Really Need a Real Estate Professional to Sell my Home?


he short answer is that most people do need the help of a licensed professional to help them sell their home. Selling your home will likely be

one of the biggest transactions of your life. You can try

to do it alone to save money, but hiring an agent has many advantages, and often results in selling your home faster and getting more money for it when you do. An experienced agent brings their expertise to a complex transaction and will assist you in the following areas.

ESTABLISHING THE CORRECT PRICE Overpricing or underpricing your home are both

REVIEWING OFFERS In the current market most sellers receive multiple offers on their property. The selling price is important, but the terms of the sale are as important as price. A high price is exciting, but not if it comes with a lot of complicated details. The “fine print” is important, and your realtor will guide you through those key points.

Negotiations An experienced agent can negotiate, be objective, and will not be offended by certain pricing or terms in

equally detrimental in a sale. An experienced realtor

an offer. Talking with buyers and their agents to get you

knows where to price your home correctly and how to

the best price and terms is their job.

present it among the competition to get the most interest

(Continued on page 30)

from buyers.

NETWORKING You can list your home yourself on Craigslist and Zillow, but there’s more. Listing agents have relationships with other agents and clients and can showcase your property to a larger group of buyers.


Serving Vermont's Seniors and Boomers, statewide with all of their real estate needs.

SHOWING THE PROPERTY You aren’t required to adjust your schedule and rush home from work whenever someone wants to see

Ben is dedicated to problem solving the unique issues facing Vermont's greatest generations.

the property or interrupt your day to take a call from a potential buyer, your agent will take care of the calls, questions, and scheduling.

SAFETY AND QUALIFIED BUYERS An agent knows how to ask potential buyers qualifying questions. This limits the risk of showing your home to a buyer who isn’t truly interested or one who isn’t financially qualified to purchase it.

Call Ben today for a free consultation. Phone number: 802.355.6688 Website: email:

Vermont Maturity | May/June 2022 | 29



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(Continued from page 29)

Paperwork and Communication There is a lot of paperwork involved in the sale of a property, and all of it needs to be completed correctly by an expert. An attorney can prepare documents for you, but an experienced realtor will follow through, from the time of deposit to the closing of the sale, on the specifics with attorneys, inspectors, buyers’ agents, financial institutions, appraisers, and associations, etc. that may be unique to your circumstances.

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An experienced licensed professional can help you navigate the ins-and-outs of the details that will get you the most money, in the least amount of time, and with the least hassles to you for the sale of your property. VM




30 | May/June 2022 |

Jan Battaline has been a licensed realtor in Vermont since 1983. She specializes in the customer service and developing relationships with her clients and is now working with the 2nd generation of clients from families she’s worked with in the past. She can be contacted at 802-448-0540 or

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