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VENTURA COUNTY

CONEJO VALLEY

WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

THE FLU VACCINE: WHAT’S IN IT?

UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM IN WESTLAKE VILLAGE!

ALZHEIMER’S & DRIVING THE LEGALITIES OF ESTATE PLANNING

WHAT IS DEMENTIA? KNOW THE SIGNS

COMPASSIONATE EATING DEFINED A HOLISTIC POINT OF VIEW SENIOR CONCERNS GALA EVENT NO ROOM AT THE INN FUNDRAISER DIABETES AWARENESS DEALING WITH GRIEF AT THE TWILIGHT STAR NOVEMBER 2012

www.yhcmagazine.com


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Contents 06/ PUBLISHER’S LETTER WHAT DuCkS? WHAT OrDEr?

HEALTHY AgIng

12/

november 2012

20/

34/ 09/ FYI CHArITY EVEnT ALLOWS AgIng SEnIOrS TO rEMAIn In THEIr HOME

10/ COMMUNITY uCLA HEALTH SYSTEM nOW OFFErS COnVEnIEnT ACCESS TO COnEjO rESIDEnTS

features

24/ NATURAL APPROACH SEASOnAL FLu

By Dr. Sharon Norling

12/ SPECIAL HEALTH BULLETIN What is Dementia? By Mariana Conti

28/ NUTRITION COMPASSIOnATE EATIng, WITH bIAnCA MArTInEz

16/ HEALTH VIEW 1

Planning For Life’s Transitions: The Estate By Carol Knowles

20/ HEALTH VIEW 2

Alzheimer's and Driving—Convincing Your Loved One It's Time to Stop By Mariana Conti

22/ HEALTH VIEW 3

Hey man, what does healthy mean to you? By Wayne M. Levine Director, BetterMen Coaching

30/ MIND&SPIRIT

36/ FROM THE HEART CHArITY grOuP TO CELEbrATE 20TH YEAr—nATIVITY SCEnE DISPLAYS HELP THE HOMELESS

By Mark Storer

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“Meet Me at the Twilight Star” A Perfect Visitation From a Father’s Spirit By Paula Marie Jones

34/ AWARENESS

Amanda Lynne speaks up about Diabetes Awareness By Alicia Doyle // Photograph by Cesar Vasquez


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november 2012

What ducks? What order?

PubLISHEr’S LETTEr

AS I ADVANCE IN YEARS, I am constantly reminded not only by the mirror in the bathroom but by others that I’m one of the many baby boomers. baby boomers are characterized as those born during the post-WWII years from 1946 to 1964. Yes, I’m right in the middle of that statistic. So why are baby boomers such a big deal? because with the boom of births, this generation of aging Americans is astronomical in numbers. The demand for better healthcare for the aging community is growing every year, as well as the need for getting one’s ducks in order. I never really cared for that saying, but it has now become a common phrase of my vocabulary. I need to get my own ducks in order in the form of long-term care insurance, healthcare directives, will, trust—and the list goes on! The last thing I want for my family is to become a physical and financial burden. but help is on the way. In this issue, we explore the inside workings of estate planning, identifying dementia and Alzheimer’s, and the pros and cons of getting that flu vaccine. We introduce a new team of top-notch doctors to our neighborhood—uCLA Health Services—and provide information about diabetes awareness and much more. I must admit there are aspects of aging that I am not fond of: the aches and pains from years of dancing, but there is something so wonderful about this time of my journey. I love the level of experience and lessons accumulated, the milestones that still glow in my memory, and most of all, the people who help to shape my life and bring so much love. Come to think of it, those ducks aren’t such a nuisance. With Peace, Love, blessings and gratitude,

Ann k. CASTLE

Founder & Publisher

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FOUNDER & PUBLISHER ANN K. CASTLE COPY EDITOR ANN K. CASTLE JAN TUCKER, MBA ACCOUNTING DONNA BRYANT ADVERTISING MARIAN GREEN MARIAN@YHCMAGAZINE.COM 818.943.0751 LAURA MUSTACCHIO LAURAM@YHCMAGAZINE.COM 805.558.9817 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER CESAR VAZQUEZ CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARIANA CONTI; ALICIA DOYLE; PAULA MARIE JONES, MA; CAROL KNOWLES; WAYNE M. LEVINE, MA; BIANCA MARTINEZ; SHARON NORLING, MD, MBA; MARK STORER COVERAGE AREA INCLUDES MONTHLY TO VENTURA COUNTY, WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, AND THE CONEJO VALLEY; AGOURA HILLS, CALABASAS, CAMARILLO, ENCINO, MOORPARK, NEWBURY PARK, NORTHRIDGE, OAK PARK, OXNARD, SIMI VALLEY, TARZANA, THOUSAND OAKS, VENTURA, WESTLAKE VILLAGE, WEST HILLS, WOODLAND HILLS FOR ALL INQUIRIES, CONTACT ANN K. CASTLE AT ANN@YHCMAGAZINE.COM OR 805.341.2972 WWW.YHCMAGAZINE.COM

MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD SHELLEY CHILTON, CSA, LRE, LVN HOSPICE, HOME HEALTH, SKILLED NURSING FACILITY ADMINISTRATOR ACCESS TLC HEALTH CARE, TLC HOME HOSPICE, ACCESS TLC HOME HEALTH CARE KATIE GREELEY, DC UNITED FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC SPECIALIZING IN PEDIATRIC CHIROPRACTIC CARE STEVEN GREENMAN, DDS SPECIALIZING IN ADVANCED COSMETIC, IMPLANT & SEDATION DENTISTRY, SNORING & SLEEP APNEA HILDA MALDONADO, MD SPECIALIZING IN FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, ANTI-AGING MEDICINE & HORMONE THERAPY SHARON NORLING, MD BOARD CERTIFIED OB/GYN, HOLISTIC/INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE, MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE, NUTRITION & FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DENISE NOYER-EREZ, LAC, FABORM LICENSED ACUPUNCTURIST, SPECIALIZING IN WOMEN’S HEALTH DANIEL SLATON, DVM WESTLAKE VILLAGE ANIMAL HOSPITAL ALON STEINBERG, MD, FACC BOARD CERTIFIED CARDIOLOGIST DAVID VILLARREAL, DDS CENTERS FOR HEALING SPECIALIZING IN HOLISTIC DENTISTRY The opinions expressed here are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the publishers or management of YHC Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Publication of the name or photo of any person or organization in YHC Magazine should not be construed as an indication of that person’s expressed opinion. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisement in YHC Magazine. Photographers whose work is published in any advertising or editorial content within YHC Magazine agree to indemnify and save harmless the publishers from all liability, loss and expense due to a photographer’s failure to gain a model release. YHC Magazine is not responsible for loss of or damage to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork, or any other unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned. YHC Magazine’s liability in the event of an error is limited to a printed correction. YHC Magazine does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein.

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fyi

health tips & tidbits

Phillipa Klessig, Westlake Village Mayor Pro Tem and her husband Karl Klessig with Debbie and Chris Rolin

Charity Event ALLOWS AGING SENIORS TO REMAIN IN THEIR HOME

Joanne Chang of Los Robles Hospital, Sr. Concerns Board Member, Kim Lucas of Baxter, Sr. Concerns Board Member, Dylan Hull and his wife, Cassaundra

David Freeman, Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor, Claudia Bill-de la Pena, Thousand Oaks Mayor Pro Tem, Bob Engler

ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2012, 380 attendees from Simi to Calabasas, showed their support for community seniors by attending the 27th Annual Ultimate Dining Experience at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza, in Westlake Village. The premier food and wine event featured tapas, wine pairings and a silent auction in the Hyatt garden followed by the ultimate Dining dinner and live auction in the Hyatt ballroom. According to Senior Concerns President, Andrea gallagher, “The event was a wonderful success, as both a fundraiser and a friend-raiser. Our financial goal for the event was $130,000 in net proceeds and we exceeded $145,000, in large part due to generous contributions from sponsors, donors and attendees”. “Our guests told us they had a great evening – they enjoyed visiting with old friends, drinking fine wines and enjoying great chef preparations”, said Senior Concerns’ Chairman of the board David Catlin. “Many attendees walked away with amazing bargains from the silent auction and one very lucky (and responsible) couple left our live auction with Tasha, an adorable shelter bijon/Poodle mix”. Participants at the event were educated and entertained by a six minute video, describing the challenges the community’s oldest old face. The video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/SPDiUtfB19k. Events like uDE allow Senior Concerns to provide a wide-variety of free services to the community to service frail, seniors in need and their family caregivers. These services include free case management, free financial and legal services, free advocacy services, free support groups for caregivers of those with dementia, sliding scale meals for homebound seniors, sliding scale adult day care for seniors with dementia, Parkinson’ stroke, etc., sliding scale respite care for exhausted and stressed caregivers and free community education, information, and referrals. ABOUT SENIOR CONCERNS Thousand Oaks-based Senior Concerns is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to serving all seniors, especially those who are frail and have special needs, as well as their caregivers and families. It offers a range of services, programs and resources, including a professionally managed adult day program for cognitively impaired seniors, Alzheimer’s Daycare Resource Center, Senior Advocates information and referral service, Brain Fitness programs, evening informational seminars, and case management. Senior Concerns administers the Meals on Wheels program in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park, runs support groups for caregivers, participates on the County’s Financial Abuse Specialist Team, and manages the Bargain Boutique & Thrift Shop. The organization also hosts two annual fundraisers—the Love Run and the Ultimate Dining Experience—and receives invaluable community support from more than 500 volunteers. For more information, visit www.seniorconcerns.org

Keets Cassar and family. (Keets is a major donor for Sr. Concerns)

NOVEMBER 2012

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uCLA Health System

COMMunITY

UCLA Health System

now Offers Convenient Access to Conejo residents rESIDEnTS OF WESTLAkE VILLAgE AnD nEArbY COMMunITIES nOW HAVE A nEW AnD PrESTIgIOuS PArTnEr In THE PurSuIT OF bETTEr HEALTH: uCLA! uCLA Health System has made access to its highly regarded physicians and medical services more convenient to Conejo Valley residents with the recent opening of a medical office in Westlake Village. Future plans call for additional offices to open in Thousand Oaks, Porter ranch, Calabasas and Santa Clarita over the next two years. “People in these communities know and respect uCLA as one of the country’s leading academic health systems, and may have been referred to our Westwood or Santa Monica campuses for highly specialized care,” said Dr. Matteo Dinolfo, medical director of the new uCLA clinics. “With our expansion into the Conejo Valley, residents now have the option of choosing uCLA for more routine primary and specialty care as well.” uCLA’s Westlake office, located at 1250 La Venta Drive, provides convenient access to uCLA primary care physicians in family medicine and internal medicine, as well as specialists in cardiology, dermatology, digestive diseases, endocrinology, oncology and rheumatology. The 8,000-square-foot office, which accepts most insurance plans, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The uCLA/Westlake team includes internal medicine physician Dr. giselle namazie, who serves as medical director of the office, Dr. kevin Pimstone and Dr. rauz Eshraghi. Dr. Ashley bateman, a family physician, is seeing patients at the Westlake office until the next uCLA office opens in Thousand Oaks.

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“PEOPLE IN THESE COMMUNITIES KNOW AND RESPECT UCLA AS ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING ACADEMIC HEALTH SYSTEMS.”


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Plans call for the uCLA office in Thousand Oaks to open later this year. According to Dr. Dinolfo, the uCLA/Thousand Oaks office will include primary care as well as the following specialty services: • Cardiology and cardiac imaging • Dermatology and MOHS (skin cancer surgery) • Digestive diseases • Endocrinology • nuclear medicine • Pediatrics • radiology/ultrasound • rheumatology The Thousand Oaks office will be located at 100 Moody Court. joining Dr. bateman to provide primary care are family physicians Drs. kavita nair and rachael Solomon, and Dr. Shalese newmark, an internal medicine specialist. Many of the current Westlake specialists also will see patients in Thousand Oaks. For more information about the uCLA offices in Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks, visit www.uclahealth.org/conejovalley.

UCLA SPECIALISTS IN THE WESTLAKE OFFICE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING DOCTORS: Cardiology Dr. Tracy Huynh Dr. ravi Dave Dr. roman Leibzon Dr. Sam Daneshvar Endocrinology Dr. Yaroslav gofnung

UCLA physicians now practicing in the Conejo Valley include, left to right, Drs. William Martin, Ravi Dave, Anita Kaul, Giselle Namazie, Rauz Eshraghi, Ashley Bateman, Yaroslav Gofnung and Kevin Pimstone. Photo by Robert Hernandez.

Rheumatology Dr. rebecca gordon Digestive Diseases Dr. rimma Shaposhnikov Dermatology Dr. jenny Hu Integrative Medicine Dr. Malcolm Taw Oncology Dr. Anita kaul Dr. Melissa Cohen Dr. Shahryar Ashouri Dr. William Martin

UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM OFFERS CONEJO VALLEY RESIDENTS 50+ WAYS TO BETTER HEALTH The uCLA Health 50+ Program is a specially-designed, free membership program that helps people of age 50 or older maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle through a variety of unique benefits. Member benefits include: • Educational talks by uCLA physicians and other health professionals. • Health fairs and other special events. • Free flu shots at an annual community event. • Caregiver seminars and referrals. • Discounts on select uCLA programs and services. • Informative health and wellness publications and literature. • Medicare and health insurance consultations. • referrals to uCLA physicians and services and community-based programs and services. • Dedicated 800 line to answer your questions. With the opening of uCLA medical offices in the Conejo Valley, at least two educational programs per quarter are being held at convenient neighborhood locations. To become a uCLA Health 50+ member, visit www.uclahealth.org/50plus or call 800.516.5323.

NOVEMBER 2012

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SPECIAL HEALTH buLLETIn

What is

Part 1:Dementia

DEMEnTIA? DISEASES THAT LEAD TO DEMENTIA OFTEN ATTACK THE FRONTAL LOBE, OR THE PART OF THE BRAIN THAT REGULATES THEIR BEHAVIOR.

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People whose dementia is caused by Parkinson's disease may suddenly "freeze" while they are walking. DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING

People with dementia often forget the words for common objects. When this happens, they may insert a word that doesn’t make sense, make up a new word, or try to describe the object. Thus, your loved one may ask for “that thing with the pointy spikes” when he wants a fork.

By Mariana Conti

JOHN CAN TELL YOU ABOUT EVERY INSTRUMENT ON THE PANEL OF THE FIGHTER PLANE HE FLEW IN WORLD WAR II, BUT HE CAN’T REMEMBER THE FOOTBALL GAME HE AND HIS SON JUST FINISHED WATCHING ON TELEVISION. Elizabeth begs her husband over and over to take her home, even though she is in the home where they have lived for more than fifty years. ross is losing weight because he can’t figure out how to use the microwave to heat his frozen meals. john, Elizabeth and ross have one thing in common. They are all suffering from symptoms of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of cognitive symptoms, or symptoms that show that the brain is no longer functioning normally. There are many symptoms the family may observe in a loved one who has dementia.

MEMORY LOSS

Memory loss is probably the most common symptom associated with dementia. Like john, the fighter pilot, most people start out experiencing short-term memory loss. In other words, old memories, like his days in World War II, remain intact while newer memories, like watching football with his son, vanish as though they had never been. Depending upon the disease that is causing the dementia symptoms to occur, as time passes, old memories start to disappear as well. For instance, a woman suffering from late-stage memory loss may not be able to tell you how many children she has or what their names are.

DIFFICULTY LEARNING AND REMEMBERING NEW INFORMATION

When short-term memory is impaired, it stands to reason that the person with dementia would have a difficult time mastering new skills. This is why people with dementia who have suffered a hip fracture often forget to use the walker or cane that has been provided to them they have never used such a device before and simply can’t figure out what to do with it.

PROBLEMS WITH COORDINATION AND MOTOR FUNCTIONS

Depending on the disease process causing the dementia, your loved one may have a difficult time walking or performing tasks that require fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt or tying shoelaces. People whose dementia is caused by Parkinson’s disease may suddenly “freeze” while they are walking. You can help by gently touching your loved one’s leg and encouraging her to put one foot in front of the other.

PERSONALITY CHANGES

The personality changes that accompany dementia can be extreme. A usually outgoing person, for instance, may barricade himself inside his room and refuse to see friends or even family members. Some people become irritable and demanding, others develop paranoia and accuse those closest to them of abusing them or stealing from them. These personality changes are probably one of the most difficult dementia symptoms to deal with.

POOR REASONING AND JUDGMENT

People with dementia may make errors in judgment, like going outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of a blizzard, smoking in bed, or buying thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from a friendly telemarketer. because the part of their brain that handles reasoning is effective, they cannot see anything wrong with these choices and may become defensive if confronted.

PROBLEMS PLANNING AND ORGANIZING

It’s not unusual for people whose brains are perfectly healthy to get bogged down while planning and organizing large events. The person with dementia, however, may not be able to put together an easy sequence, like the steps needed to prepare a simple meal or take a shower.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR

Diseases that lead to dementia often attack the frontal lobe, or the part of the brain that regulates their behavior. When the frontal lobe is damaged, the person with dementia may do uncharacteristic and inappropriate things, like shouting at a stranger, removing his or her clothes in public, or screaming and crying when frustrated. If you are in a public place when these behaviors occur, it often helps to get your loved one to a quieter, less stimulating environment.

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PROBLEMS ORIENTING ONESELF TO TIME

People with dementia frequently lose track of time. A woman in her eighties, for instance, might believe she is a young mother with children waiting for her at home, or a retired surgeon might become anxious or angry if a caregiver tries to prevent him from going to work in the mornings.

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People with severe dementia are often unable to recall the layout of homes where they have lived for decades. It is not at all uncommon for a person with dementia to get up at night to use the bathroom, get lost trying to find it, and wander outdoors. People with dementia who continue to drive may get lost on even familiar routes - for instance, a woman who has been going to the same grocery store for years may get lost on her way home and end up in an unfamiliar part of town.

PROBLEMS WITH PERCEPTION

Some types of dementia affect how a person perceives visual cues. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, often have poor peripheral vision and become startled if approached from the side. Perception may also lead to difficulty walking around in a home. If you have a kitchen with black and white tile, your loved one with dementia may perceive the black pieces of tile as deep holes and be afraid to step on them. The term “dementia,� then, is used to describe several different types of cognitive impairments. recognizing the symptoms before they become a serious problem can be an important first step in treating your loved one and to understanding of their behavior. There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause a person to develop dementia symptoms. The next article in this series will look at some of the most common causes of dementia.

Mariana Conti has a BA in Clinical Psychology. She is the owner and founder of ContiCare Senior Living Referral and Placement Service. For more information, call 805.405.1424 or email info@conticare.net. You can also visit her website: www.conticare.net

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HEALTH VIEW 1

Part 3: LTC Estate

Planning For Life’s Transitions:

THE ESTATE By Carol Knowles

This is the third of a series of articles by the author on comprehensive long term care, financial, and estate planning and relevant issues.

AN HOUR WITH AN ATTORNEY IS ENOUGH TO PUT MOST OF US INTO A MENTAL COMATOSE STATE. The laws and legal jargon are overwhelming, and we fear what we cannot understand. We need lawyers, however, to rescue us from ourselves and adversarial situations. Too few of us take advantage of their vast education, expertise and experience. The laws are copious, ever changing and, in most cases, unforgiving. Circumventing legal steps to prepare for when we pass guarantees hardship, heartache and a potential battle in the courts for survivors. no greater example of adversative consequences for inaction is evident than with estate planning. Seventy percent of Americans are dying without a will or trust. The courts are inundated with estates that could have avoided probate and legal challenge if appropriate documents had been prepared during our lifetime. The attitude of ‘I am going to let the kids take care of it’ is prevalent, irresponsible, can irreversibly fracture families, destroy dreams for transfer of ownership and the vitality of a business, and guarantees a large percentage of our estate will be consumed by legal fees. With the help of two fine local attorneys, I am providing some fundamental information in layman’s terms that I hope will motivate more people to prepare better for their inevitable end days and demise.

WHO NEEDS TO DO ESTATE PLANNING AND WHY?

Eighteen year olds are by law adults. Adults of all ages should have a will and/or trust. The gay and lesbian community is particularly vulnerable to disregard for their wishes, as few states protect their rights, those rights can be jeopardized when relocating across state lines and there is no federal umbrella to shield them from abuse. Without properly worded

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BUSINESS PARTNERS NEED TO PROTECT THEIR COLLEAGUES AND INVESTMENT WITH EXPRESSED WISHES FOR TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP UPON DEATH.


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Store-bought wills or trusts are inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. Such generic documents may not be honored in another state, and you really should have a lawyer help you complete them!

documents, they risk not having their loved one at their side in their end days and leaving them empty-handed. They can also jeopardize the future of their dependent children who, by definition, have only one biological parent because most are conceived via in-vitro fertilization or a surrogate. Adoption by the second parent can close that legal loophole, but is a frequently overlooked protective measure. Registered domestic partners, like legally married couples, cannot simply walk away from that relationship without ramifications for their actions. If one party passes before a divorce or dissolution of a partnership is finalized, the inheritance rights of the surviving party are upheld. no one likes to think about passing and leaving minor children behind, but it happens. Parents should designate willing guardians for little ones in the event of an untimely death. Business partners need to protect their colleagues and investment with expressed wishes for transfer of ownership upon death. A discussion should take place between all parties to determine if a transfer of title to a spouse or other family member would be practical and acceptable to surviving co-owners. A trust should be secured when you start amassing real property, liquid assets of $150,000 or more and/or have children. Sub-trusts for management of monies and tangible items until which time minor beneficiaries come of age are tools for effective execution of your wishes and serve as a buffer against abuse by other prevailing parties and unintended recipients.

A WILL OR A TRUST?

A will is a very generic document that, in a nutshell, states this is who I am, these are my children and this is who I want to execute my wishes. A holographic will is a document handwritten by the testator that can be difficult to authenticate in probate and if not witnessed and/or improperly worded, can be invalidated by the court or contested by adversarial beneficiaries or disgruntled parties not targeted to be recipients of a portion of your estate. It only takes effect upon your death. A revocable “living trust” identifies and manages your estate during your lifetime. You remain empowered to change the terms and content of that document, as long as you are competent to handle your own affairs. Irrevocable trusts cannot be revoked. The tax burden is deflected to beneficiaries because you do not retain ownership or control of the trust - an attractive feature for those with substantial assets. Pour-over wills are documents that serve as a safety net for any assets inadvertently left out of a trust. Store-bought wills or trusts are inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. Such generic documents may not be honored in another state, and you really should have a lawyer help you complete them! The attorney who promotes these documents in television advertisements would no doubt be the last person to recommend his mother use them for her estate planning.

SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTS

An Advanced Healthcare Directive is crucial to the management of your medical needs in accordance with your expressed wishes when and if you become physically and/or mentally compromised and cannot speak for yourself. It designates an agent who has agreed to act on your behalf and assure that your needs are met and directives for care honored.

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HEALTH VIEW 1

Part 3: LTC Estate

Advanced Directives and the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Form are instructions for the agent and healthcare providers as to how you want your care managed in a life-threatening or life’s end situation when you are otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. not all states have a POLST form. Information on this document, which is recognized in California, can be found at www.capolst.org.

TIDBITS OF ADVICE Keep a copy of your legal documents in a home safe (not a safety deposit box) and with your attorney. Make a list of personal items, ask interested parties to check which ones they would like to inherit, and then provide designated recipients with a final draft. Maintain a copy in your files. Your wishes in your trust or will should be worded carefully and compassionately to avoid discord and/or misunderstandings when your estate is settled. Eighty percent of people’s inheritance is gone within eight months. Give careful consideration to the mode of gifting to any individual who you fear may abuse that gift. Don’t expect family members who can’t get along while you are alive to work in harmony when you become ill or pass. When in doubt, prearrange to have professionals settle your affairs. Sit down with loved ones to discuss funeral, burial arrangements. Make a list of bank and investment accounts, insurance policies, real property deeds, etc. for your Successor Trustee (the person designated to settle your estate after you die) and attorney. Life-altering or life-ending events seldom come with a forewarning. The time to put your affairs in order is while you are well and mentally sound. Review your legal documents with your estate planning attorney every three to five years or when there are any major changes in your life or lifestyle.

Estate planning is a must-do for all adults! Many thanks to my legal counsel, on whose shoulders I leaned heavily for content for this article: judith L. Pérez, Esq. of Woodland Hills, 818.884.3991, www.pérezhawes.com and Maria Capritto, Esq. of Oxnard, 805.988.9886, www.atozlaw.com/maria-capritto. next month in part 4 of this series, the author will address how and where long term care needs can be met. Carol Knowles is an insurance broker (CA license No. 0F20048) specializing in longterm care planning. She is also a community leader and advocate, heightening public awareness of a broad spectrum of social issues. For more information, call 805.405.2589, e-mail ltc.insurance@yahoo.com, or visit www.carolknowles.com.

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Being the Man Y You ou W Want ant to Be In Y e Your Your Life our Relatonships and in Y our Lif

“Be a Better Dad & Husband” J

J J

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NOVEMBER 2012

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HEALTH VIEW 2

alzheimer's & driving

Alzheimer's and Driving Convincing Your Loved One It's Time to Stop

By Mariana Conti

JUST A FEW YEARS AGO, MEDICAL AND REHABILITATION TEAMS ARGUED THAT PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE OR A RELATED FORM OF DEMENTIA SHOULD NOT DRIVE AT ALL. Today, that picture has changed. People are being diagnosed much earlier in the disease process and medications can dramatically slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease for up to five years. According to a 2010 study by the American Academy of neurology, 76 percent of people with mild dementia can pass a driving test. This means that rather than simply snatching the keys away, your first step regarding your loved one's driving should be watchful waiting. keep a close eye on his or her driving habits. You may also want to casually introduce the possibility of not driving to see how your loved one reacts. Phrasing a question in this way is a safe approach: "Mom, I know a lot of seniors with memory loss eventually give up driving. What can I do to help if you make that decision?" You may be surprised to find that your loved one has been worried about exactly the same issue. When you address it with respect for their feelings and dignity, you give them a chance to express their concerns and, with your help, develop a workable plan of action for the day when driving is no longer possible.

WHEN IS IT TIME?

no black-and-white boundaries delineate safe driving versus unsafe driving. rather, there is a lot of gray area to negotiate. Don't be afraid to use your intuition along with the following signs your loved one may be having difficulty behind the wheel: • Gets lost driving to and from familiar places. • Drives at an inappropriate speed (too fast or too slow). • Starts receiving an unusual number of driving or parking citations. • Becomes confused and uncertain at traffic signals. • Mixes up gas and brake pedals. • Makes frequent, unnecessary lane changes. • Becomes involved in several minor—or not so minor—accidents.

THE TALK

Approach your loved one at a time when she is calm and perceptive. Avoid discussing sensitive matters in the evenings, when people with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more confused and paranoid.

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AVOID DISCUSSING SENSITIVE MATTERS IN THE EVENINGS, WHEN PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE FREQUENTLY BECOME MORE CONFUSED AND PARANOID.

Treat your loved one with respect and dignity. Acknowledge his long record as an excellent driver. Then say something like, "That's one of the reasons I'm so concerned about some of the driving issues that have been coming up." List your concerns calmly. Avoid phrases like "You never..." or "You always... ." Instead mention specific incidents. "The last time you took the car, you got a parking citation and the car came home with a scratched fender." Do not be surprised if your loved one denies these things happening. Chances are they do not remember. rather than arguing about it, just stick to your point that it is time for them to consider giving up driving. It may help to appeal to your loved one's sense of responsibility. "I know you would hate it if you got in an accident and someone else was hurt." Finally, realize that giving up driving actually involves several losses, such as the loss of independence and the loss of seeing oneself as a capable adult. Acknowledge these losses and help them to problem-solve alternate means of transportation so they do not become isolated. In most cases, the driving issue is not settled in a single conversation. You may need to approach it several times before you and your loved one can reach an agreement.

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES

The best possible outcome is that they agree it's time to give up driving. If this happens, make arrangements to sell or donate the car as soon as possible so they won't be tempted to break their word. Once the car is gone, make sure you stand by the promises you made to help your loved one find appropriate transportation. no matter how firmly you nudge, you may never get them to do more than agree to think about stopping driving. You may need the help of someone else in your family who may have more influence over your loved one. If they flatly refuse to even consider not driving, ask their doctor to write a prescription telling them not to drive. If the doctor declines—some doctors simply don't want to become involved—or if your loved one ignores the doctor's prescription, it may be time to report the matter to the department of motor vehicles (DMV). based on the information you provide, the DMV can order your loved one to take a road test. If your loved one does not pass the test—and by the middle stages of dementia, most people can't—the DMV will revoke their driver's license.

DRIVING DURING MID- TO LATE-STAGE DEMENTIA

Sometimes a person will insist on driving long past the time when they can do so safely. The good news, if there is any, is that people in the later stages of dementia lose most of their reasoning and problem-solving abilities. If you introduce a few well-planned road blocks, chances are you can keep your loved one from driving. Some families, for instance, simply disable the car so it won't start. When the person with dementia complains about their car not working, you can offer to take a look later on. before long, the person forgets the entire incident until the next time they are struck by the urge to drive. Another way you can make driving a challenge is to move their vehicle from its usual position. If they ask about it, you can always say, “It’s in the shop," or, “Someone has borrowed it.” Again, your loved one will probably forget about the entire episode as long as you stay calm and treat the problem as minor.

HELP YOUR LOVED ONE

It's not enough to simply take driving away from the person with dementia. You must replace it with other forms of transportation and activities so your loved one doesn't become depressed and lonely. now is the time to bring the entire family together and discuss the contributions each of you will make to your loved one's care. Perhaps one of your siblings can be available to run small errands as needed while you always drive your loved one to the grocery store and the library on weekends. giving up driving is never a pleasure, but with your love and help, it needn't become a life-altering tragedy, either.

Mariana Conti has a BA in Clinical Psychology. She is the owner and founder of ContiCare Senior Living Referral and Placement Service. For more information, call 805.405.1424 or email info@conticare.net. You can also visit her website at www.conticare.net.

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HEALTH VIEW 3

holistic health

HEY MAN,

WHAT DOES HEALTHY MEAn TO YOu?

By Wayne M. Levine Director, BetterMen Coaching

CHANCES ARE IT WOULD INCLUDE A CLEAN DIET, EXERCISE, NOT SMOKING, MEDITATION, AND REST AND RELAXATION. I COULDN’T AGREE MORE! but in a holistic view of health, and considering the overwhelming evidence of the mind-body connection, I’d have to add intimate and trusting relationships to that list. As most of you know, when you’re unhappy in a relationship, personal or professional, your body is unhappy as well. They may appear as headaches, intestinal issues, fatigue, or a whole host of other physical symptoms, but the consequences of unhealthy relationships go much deeper, and can have devastating long-term results. Many of you have witnessed or experienced the debilitating effects of loneliness, prolonged conflict, depression, or litigation. The physical impact is oftentimes immediate. If you follow the news, you’re also aware of the negative impact unhealthy and destructive relationships have on our communities. Divorce. Domestic violence. Substance abuse. gangs. And worse. but when men address their relationship challenges, accept responsibility, learn new skills, and make commitments to be better men, fathers, and husbands, our families and communities become healthier.

THE FIRST STEP IS ASKING FOR HELP

More often than not, men reluctantly ask for help after being clobbered, either with divorce or the threat of divorce, kids disowning them, run-ins with authorities, or watching their businesses deteriorate for lack of committed leadership. Whatever their situation, these men have either hit or have come close to hitting bottom. Then there are the men whose wives care so much about them, and their relationships, that they reach out themselves to find a way to get their men the support they need. Our women are usually way ahead of us in that they see, feel, and experience their men struggling with marriages, businesses, parents, children, and themselves. Themselves. That’s usually the culprit. by the time most men seek guidance, they’ve often lived with decades of isolation, resentment, anger, pain, and sadness. When we figure out what’s going on for us as men, and begin to heal the wounds from our past, it becomes possible to solve what once seemed to be intractable problems. So keep riding that bike, swimming those laps, eating those greens, and connecting with spirit. but to be the healthiest man you can be, be courageous and address your relationships—at home, in the office, and in your communities. You’ll be healthier. We’ll all be healthier.

Wayne M. Levine is the director of BetterMen Coaching in Agoura Hills, CA. He teaches men to be the best men, fathers, and husbands they can be through individual, couples, and group coaching, both in office and via phone. Wayne is also author of the best-selling Hold On to Your N.U.T.s—The Relationship Manual for Men. Find out more and get a copy of Wayne’s book at BetterMenCoaching.com.

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“OUR WOMEN ARE USUALLY WAY AHEAD OF US IN THAT THEY SEE, FEEL, AND EXPERIENCE THEIR MEN STRUGGLING...”


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nATurAL APPrOACH

flu vaccines

THE RISK OF DEVELOPING ANY FLULIKE SYMPTOM IS ABOUT 37.6 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION ANNUALLY.

SEASOnAL FLu By Dr. Sharon Norling

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WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF “VIRUS FEAR” - THE FEARS OF THE BIRD FLU, SWINE FLU, SEASONAL FLU, HPV, SHINGLES, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER VIRUSES THAT ARE IN VACCINES GIVEN TO OUR CHILDREN. The virus fears and government recommendations have substantially increased the number of vaccines for which the pharmaceutical drug companies are so ever grateful. It goes without saying - flu vaccines are a controversial topic. but are the vaccines really effective? What are the risks? Are there options available? remember all the hype about the swine flu (H1n1) pandemic? Children, pregnant mothers, older people and all ages in between were strongly encouraged to get the swine flu vaccine in 2009. Many well-meaning parents respond and assure that their children are getting their vaccines. by 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Childhood Immunization Schedule had grown to 37 antigens (vaccines) by the age of 18 months, and 49 by the age of four years, starting with an inoculation at birth against Hepatitis b, a sexually transmitted disease.

...Mercury compounds, once common in pesticides and industrial processes, are also toxic, causing damage to the brain and nervous system, immune system, enzyme system and genetic system.

THE SAFETY AND CONTROVERSY OF THIMEROSAL IN VACCINES Thimerosal is a common preservative in vaccine solutions. It was first introduced by the pharmaceutical company Ely Lilly and Company in the late 1920s and early 1930s. by the 1940s the company began selling it as a preservative in vaccines. Thimerosal contains 49.6 percent mercury by weight and is metabolized or degraded into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Mercury, or more precisely, ethylmercury, is the principle agent that kills contaminants. According to the Environmental Working group, “Mercury, a metallic element, is a silvery liquid that vaporizes when heated into a highly toxic, odorless gas. Mercury compounds, once common in pesticides and industrial processes, are also toxic, causing damage to the brain and nervous system, immune system, enzyme system and genetic system.” Do you really want to have this toxic substance pumped into your body? When the media alerts us to higher levels of mercury in fish, we stop eating fish. Why then, do we not investigate further what is in our vaccines or anything else that goes into our bodies for that matter? In a letter to the Honorable Dan burton, Chairman of the Committee on government reform in the u.S. House of representatives on May 23, 2001 by retired professor of chemistry at the university of kentucky, boyd Haley Ph.D., “A single vaccine given to a six-pound newborn is the equivalent of giving a 180-pound adult 30 vaccinations on the same day. Include in this the toxic effects of high levels of aluminum and formaldehyde contained in some vaccines, and the synergist toxicity could be increased to unknown levels. Further, it is very well known that infants do not produce significant levels of bile or have adult renal capacity for several months after birth. bilary transport is the major biochemical route by which mercury is removed from the body, and infants cannot do this very well. They also do not possess the renal (kidney) capacity to remove aluminum. Additionally, mercury is a well-known inhibitor of kidney function.” Dr. Mark r. geier, a physician and researcher at the Laboratory of general and Comparative biochemistry, national Institutes of Health in the 1970s and 1980s, along with his son David geier have conducted extensive research on vaccines and the effects of the toxins in them. Although their research had been very controversial, they had found some very shocking information. “The geiers analyzed the data and determined that the more thimerosal a child receives, the greater his or her chances are of being autistic. The CDC says the geiers misused information from a CDC database that was not intended to help prove theories. given no real causal mechanism linking thimerosal and autism, the game seems to have become one of slanting the data to suit the needs of government and industrial interests. Even Tom Verstraeten, an epidemiologist, has admitted that these “inconclusive” findings certainly don’t rule out the possibility of finding a link in the future.”

continued >>

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nATurAL APPrOACH

flu vaccines

When flu season arrives, marketing is everywhere to “get your flu shot”. In the past it was generally recommended for the elderly and health care providers, later for 50-59 year olds, then children and now basically everyone.

ple who had been vaccinated may be substantially less than previously thought. Additionally, these studies are prone to inaccurate findings as blood tests are rarely done to confirm that the ailing person actually had the influenza.

The influenza vaccine differs from most vaccine programs First, because it takes many months to produce a sufficient vaccine to protect a large population, and an educated guess has to be made as to which strain(s) of influenza will be endemic in the following influenza season. This guess must be made well before there is an outbreak of cases of influenza. Second, influenza vaccine has to be made and administered without specific efficacy testing, which, in other viral vaccines, includes some double-blind field trials against the wild-type disease. Third, there is no time to fully test each newly made influenza vaccine for its safety, especially with respect to its long-term rarer side effects.

Each year there are approximately 40 million flu vaccines developed in the u.S alone, in spite of the fact between 1979 and 2000, influenza vaccine was shown to have little or no effectiveness over the u. S. population for preventing influenza cases, deaths, or hospital admissions.

What this means is that there is a guess of what strains to use in the current vaccine, it is administered without clinical trial showing the effectiveness, and there is no time to fully test the safety. It’s rather unbelievable isn’t it?

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Simonsen et al. from the national Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease have recently studied influenzarelated mortality in the u.S. over the past three decades. They found that the influenza mortality rate in the over-65 age group has increased despite a concurrent jump in vaccination rates in that group from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent in 2001. The authors concluded that the death rate reduction in the peo-

Demicheli et al. researchers determined that the yearly recommended influenza vaccines had low effectiveness against clinic influenza cases, and minimally reduced work time. Some research shows a decrease of “flu” cases, but many viruses cause the “flu” and flu-like symptoms. The seasonal flu shot does not protect us against the other viruses. According to my research there has never been one clinical trial done in the united States showing that the flu vaccine decreases cases of documented laboratory confirmed flu virus. So are the risks worth the results? Many of the risks are unknown at this time. under the current recommendations, a person born today would receive two influenza vaccines in the first year of life and could receive one each year for the rest of their life. This could be 75 years and 76 flu vaccinations. no one knows what the long term consequences or reactions could be. The impact could include allergic reactions, immune system problems, transmission of the vaccine virus, or worse…the unknown.


The risk of developing any flu-like symptom is about 37.6 percent of the population annually. However, millions of cases each year translate into about 1,300 deaths per year in the u.S. - not the often-quoted inflated number of 36,000 influenza deaths each year.

WHAT IS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU? So, should you get the flu shot or not? This is a personal decision. If you decide to get the flu shot ask for a single vial dose. The single vial dose does not have the mercury in it but the multi-vial dose does contain mercury. I would think that in the future one would need to sign an informed consent to receive vaccines. One reason is that there has not been one study ever done in the u.S. showing the effectiveness of the flu vaccines against documented laboratory flu virus. The second reason is that people are consented to getting injected with toxins.

WEEKEND

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nuTrITIOn

vegan foods

COMPASSIOnATE EATIng FARMER AND THE COOK IS A VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT OFFERING MANY VEGAN OPTIONS.

There is something timeless and comforting about Farmer and the Cook and I enjoy the break from the hectic pace of modern life.

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I’m turning 62. Should I take

Ing, with bianca Martinez I CAN’T GET AWAY ON A SMALL DAY TRIP TO OJAI WITHOUT STOPPING AT FARMER AND THE COOK IN MEINER’S OAKS. being an advocate for sustainable agriculture for many years, I can say that F&C is an A+ example of what good, organic food really is. Steve Sprinkel (the farmer) has an organic farm just a few miles from the restaurant to supply most of the fresh produce that features his wife’s (Olivia—the cook) culinary creations. I often visit Ojai to connect with nature and just to take a stroll through the fields of ranch Del Pueblo. There is something deeply soothing and grounding to being fully present with Earth and to witness its beautiful life-giving miracles in action. The Farmer and the Cook Café offers a variety of tasty menu options and an award-winning salad bar. I personally believe they have the best veggie burger in Ventura County. Their burgers are handmade with delicious home-grown veggies and organic grains (and a secret ingredient I recently discovered—coconut!) topped with banana chutney. It also comes with their homemade spelt bread, baked fresh daily. On the weekends they serve up seasonal farm specials and hearty pizzas you can order with cashew nut cheese or gluten-free crusts. Wednesday is nut loaf day which I have yet to try. I hear it is delicious and comes with mashed potatoes and shiitake mushroom gravy. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! Farmer and the Cook is a vegetarian restaurant offering many vegan options. During the week you can order at the counter and on the weekend the cafe is open, providing a more formal sit-down dining experience with the staff waiting tables. You can sit on their patio or eat inside surrounded by beautiful artwork from local artists. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting—sometimes accompanied by local musicians who perform on the little outdoor stage. Make sure to visit their little grocery store so you can take home some local organic goodness to enjoy in your own kitchen, and don’t forget to stop by the dessert case on your way out. There is something timeless and comforting about Farmer and the Cook and I enjoy the break from the hectic pace of modern life. Thankfully some things have always stayed the same—like the simple pleasure of enjoying good food and sharing it with friends and family.

Bianca Martinez is an artist, public speaker and author of the book Compassionate Eating Conscious Consumption for Mind, Body Spirit & Planet. She also teaches organic vegan cooking classes in Ventura. For more information please visit www.compassionateating.com.

Social Security? Approximately 74 percent of U.S. citizens elect to start taking Social Security at age 62, but that can have serious drawbacks for retirement income. That’s because starting the benefit early permanently reduces the monthly benefit payment. Some factors to consider when deciding when to take benefits include: Your health and anticipated longevity. Generally, people with a long life expectancy benefit from waiting as long as age 70 to take their Social Security benefit. Your income need. If you are retired and your current savings is insufficient to fulfill your income needs, electing to start Social Security can help. Your present work status. You may be ineligible to receive your full benefit if you earn more than the annual earnings limit ($14,640 in 2012). Your financial advisor can assist you in making a determination of the optimal time to start taking Social Security. He or she can also help you assess the tax implications of various retirement income strategies. Have questions about your retirement income plan? Call today for a complimentary retirement income analysis.

DAVID MACHACEK Independent Capital Management 770 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 130 Camarillo, CA 93010 (805) 484-1011 ext. 115 dmachacek@sagepointadvisor.com Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc., member FInrA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor. Insurance services offered through Independent Capital Management, Inc. Independent Capital Management, Inc. is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial, Inc. and is not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor.


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MInD&SPIrIT

Meet me at the Twilight Star

“Meet Me at the Twilight Star” A Perfect Visitation From a Father’s Spirit By Paula Marie Jones, M.A. Music therapist & grief counselor

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DO YOU EVER WONDER WHETHER SPIRITUAL BEINGS CAN REALLY COMMUNICATE WITH US MORTALS? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT A SPIRIT CAN DESIGN A PERFECT WAY TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THOSE OF US IN PHYSICAL FORM? This story is not fiction or a weird tale of the paranormal. It is a true account about how our loved ones in the spirit world can help us heal our grief if we are open to the possibility. In my many years as a grief counselor, I have been a witness to hundreds of people while on their unique journeys after a significant death. I’ve heard profound stories of people reconnecting in symbolic ways with their loved ones who have passed on. My heart is always touched by the piercing emotional authenticity of their encounters, visitations, or reunion experiences. What is most amazing is the unmistakable exactness of the synchronicity and very personal symbolism created by the spiritual one in order to make absolutely certain to the human one that it is a true connection. In 2005, death came calling in my own family. It was my turn to be the griever on my own bereavement journey. And yes, I now have my own story that I would like to share about my father’s unique way of reconnecting to our family after his death. In order to appreciate the power of this experience, it is necessary to get a vivid description of how my father expressed himself in the physical world. My dad had the large stature and personality of jackie gleason and he preached the gospel according to Archie bunker. He ruled the roost not by virtue of knowing how, but by being dominating. He was the big draw that entertained visitors into our house with his bigger-than-life personality and colorful humor. Dad was a powerful force who could be extremely charming and just as difficult. As children we rarely heard him talk about his childhood. We later learned that his upbringing in 1930’s was rather stark and severe and left him with very rigid ideas about family life. When we were older he would tell selective personal tales to certain ones and each of us came away with a different piece of his history. However, we all sensed strongly that some of his life experiences were never told to anyone. Our dad had much difficulty expressing his love in words. Softness and subtlety were not practiced skills; however he did have the capacity to respond sensitively to a delicate situation when he chose to do so. We later understood that he exemplified his caring by being a dad who provided what he felt was necessary and stayed home with his family. but he was our dad and we each loved him as best we could. In August of 2005, we were all aware that dad’s 75th birthday would be his last one. He was diagnosed just prior to that with metastatic cancer that was not treatable. He accepted this diagnosis but had difficulty in making peace with himself until his death would come. Our family gave him a wonderful birthday party and one week later he was on hospice care. In his last two months it took the extraordinary efforts of every one of my 6 siblings and our mom to keep him home on hospice care. He was suffering less of physical pain and more of emotional restlessness and spiritual distress. Thankfully, he died peacefully at his home on a beautiful Sunday morning in early november. For his memorial, our family created a spectacular Celebration of Life event that filled a hotel ballroom. Come December, my sister karen and I decided to take my mom away for Christmas. We felt that she needed to leave her house and get out of the foggy, cold weather. Luckily I was able to get a rental beach house in

He was no longer prisoner to his own personality, secrets and struggle. He felt like a very loving pure light and most importantly, he was free. Dad had come to us as a twilight star to meet with us that Christmas Eve night.

Morro bay, which is a familiar location that we vacationed often as a family. It was a last minute decision and the house I rented was one we had never been to before and I wasn’t sure exactly where it was situated on the beach. We arrived on Christmas Eve, in the late afternoon, just in time to witness the beautiful peach-colored sunset over the wintry ocean. It was so comforting for us to find ourselves on that stretch of beach in Morrow bay because it holds so many fond family memories. It was even more pleasing to notice that were just down the way from the house we stayed at so often when we were children. While we continued to linger on the deck of the beach house at dusk, we all noticed that a very bright twilight star was emerging before us. This first star of the evening, sitting against a cobalt blue sky, was becoming especially brilliant and very compelling. And from the exact spot where we were standing, we all realized that this sparkling star was poised directly over the rock where my father used to go fishing. The three of us knew in that magical moment that this was our dad appearing to us. It seemed just too connected, too personal for it to be a coincidence or accidental. Our emotions were strong as we could feel his presence, his energy and his desire to connect with us. He was letting us know that he was right there with us. And we were sending back our love with our tears. Dad WAS that incredibly bright and beautiful star hovering gently before us, and yet he felt so different to us now.

continued >>

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Meet me at the Twilight Star

He was no longer prisoner to his own personality, secrets and struggle. He felt like a very loving pure light and most importantly, he was free. Dad had come to us as a twilight star to meet with us that Christmas Eve night. He somehow knew we would find our way to that perfect house to see him shining right above his favorite fishing rock. He knew that we would instantly recognize and feel him in this way. This was truly a healing visitation he created by appearing as a shining symbol at the perfect moment. It was unmistakable and we savored his star presence that night and every night while we were at that beach house. It was a lovely opportunity for each of us to step out on that porch and know that star was our dad reconnecting. In this way we could have our own private time with him. It was like a sweet and personal time together where he could openly know our hearts and be right there listening to our every word. Though a star is really millions of miles away, he felt so very close to us in this visitation experience. It was a spectacular way for our father’s spirit to reconnect with us when we were missing him and needed comfort from our grief. When I returned to my home in Ventura after this trip, my sister karen sent me photos that she took of my dad’s twilight star. At the one-year anniversary of his death I wanted to meet up with my dad again in a powerful way similar to that December experience. I took the photo and my journal to a quiet lake nearby where I expected that I could feel my dad’s presence again. It was a beautiful november day and once again a most powerful reconnection with my dad was created. I was able to allow my pen to write down all the information that he was sending me through my feelings. As I returned home at dusk, I looked to the sky and saw again, that beautiful twilight star twinkling at me from the darkening winter sky. I was so appreciative of being able to reconnect to my dad a year later in such a truthful and loving way. These symbolic visitations were so moving to me that song lyrics came flowing out of me. The music all came so easily and naturally and I soon finished a song called, “Meet Me at the Twilight Star”.


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This song has become a wonderful tribute and beautiful way for my dad and me to meet up often. For each time that I notice the first twilight star of the evening it is always a sweet, quiet and very personal moment between us. “Meet Me at the Twilight Star” was composed with an open lyric format so that anyone who listens can use this song to feel their own loved one’s spirit as the first evening star. I am convinced more now than ever in the eternal love that exists beyond death. I believe that our loved one’s spirits are watching us and waiting for opportunities to reconnect in so many interesting ways. We only need to keep our hearts and senses awake to notice the perfect synchronicities our loved one’s create to arrange a visit.

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Paula Marie Jones, M.A. is a music therapist, vocalist, composer and bereavement counselor.She created the music therapy programs for Palliative Care Services at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and for Buena Vista Hospice Care in Westlake. Paula is a specialist in music selection for all types of memorial experiences for families at the endof-life. In 2010 she released her first music CD entitled,“Meet Me at the Twilight Star” It is a stand-out collection of orchestrated original songs that bring grace and beauty to the dying process, memorial services and for healing the grief that follows in the wake of death. You can contact Paula Marie Jones at (805) 302-3298 or paulamariejones@gmail.com www.paulamariejones.com www.goodfuneralsongs.com

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AWArEnESS

diabetes awareness

DIABETES

“RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT A WHOLE LEAF CONCENTRATE FROM STEVIA HAS A REGULATING EFFECT ON THE PANCREAS AND HELPS STABILIZE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS.”

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AMAnDA LYnnE SPEAkS uP AbOuT

TES AWArEnESS By Alicia Doyle // Photograph by Cesar Vasquez

DIAGNOSED WITH DIABETES 16 YEARS AGO AT THE AGE OF 14, AMANDA LYNNE IS NOW KNOWN AS A DIABETIC ADVOCATE AND SPOKESPERSON – AS WELL AS A BURLESQUE AND CABARET PERFORMER WITH A BACKGROUND IN LATIN BALLROOM. “I am also a fashion pin-up model and spokes advocate for diabetes,” said Amanda, who recently teamed up with Pin up girl Clothing.com and Silpada Designs jewelry in light of Diabetes Awareness Month. “Silpada has raised over one million dollars and continues to raise money for the juvenile Diabetes research Foundation to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said Amanda, whose burlesque and pinup images are intended to inspire others and bring attention to the fast growing epidemic of diabetes. Additionally, “through social media I have been able to connect worldwide to thousands of people who are at risk of having diabetes or have diabetes, or know someone who suffers from the affects of diabetes.” For Amanda, the key to keeping her diabetes under control is discipline. For instance, “I never cheat on my diet.” For those with diabetes, “it is so important to watch how much sugar you consume. recent research does show a relationship between lowercalorie diets—often relating to less sugar consumption—and longer life spans. While sugar itself is not necessarily the enemy, the way the cells in your body recognize and use sugar may speed up the body's aging process and make your skin look older.” “This is the way sugar works in the body,” Amanda explained. “If you are going to eat dessert or too many carbohydrates from pasta or bread your body turns it into glucose. Your body needs glucose for fuel, but if you have too much it can result in diabetes.” Diabetes itself is dangerous enough, “but it can also lead to further health problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney damage or nerve damage,” Amanda said. “Diabetics might also experience skin, mouth and bone problems that make the body look and feel older than it should. This is why it is so important to get checked for diabetes yearly and if you are already be diagnosed with diabetes you need to keep your blood sugars under control.” Amanda uses a sweetener called natvia, and noted the website www.natvia.com. “It’s a sweetener that everyone can use and it is safe for diabetics … you can bake with it or add it to any recipe in place of sugar.” natvia is made from Stevia, which is both carb- and calorie-free. “research has shown that a whole leaf concentrate from Stevia has a regulating effect on the pancreas and helps stabilize blood sugar levels,” Amanda said. “Stevia is therefore useful to people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Stevia also aids in lowering elevated blood pressure and works as a digestive aid that reduces gas and stomach acidity. The herb acts as general tonic which increases energy levels and mental acuity.” ultimately, Amanda said, “I hope to continue to speak out on diabetes and making people aware of the risks so we can prevent type 2 and deal and live happy and healthy with type 1 diabetes.”

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FrOM THE HEArT

No Room at the Inn

Charity group to Celebrate 20th Year—

nATIVITY SCEnE DISPLAYS HELP THE HOMELESS By Mark Storer

HUW HOWELLS AND HIS WIFE NORA LOVED THEIR NATIVITY SETS. The couple collected them, and their friend judy Crenshaw did the same. The trio sought ways to make their collections more accessible to the public and use them to raise awareness and money to end homelessness. Huw’s death in 1993 might have cut short that dream. nora, however, carried on to create an ongoing fundraiser from her family’s long-standing tradition, providing an annual showing of unique nativity scenes from around the world. No Room at the Inn was born—a unique non-profit that helps the homeless in Ventura County and donates funds to the charities dedicated to assisting them. now in their 20th year of operation, the group will hold their grand Opening gala and display from December 7 through 9 at St. Maximillian kolbe Church in O’reilly Hall at 5801 kanan road in Agoura Hills.

NO ROOM DONATED MORE THAN $34,000 TO VENTURA COUNTY HOMELESS CHARITIES—THE MOST IT HAS EVER DONATED AT ONE TIME.

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NOVEMBER 2012

A nativity set, also called a manger scene or crèche, depicts the first Christmas—the time of jesus’ birth—and always includes the figures of Mary, joseph, and the baby jesus and often the Three kings or Wise Men with their camels, and a group of shepherds with their sheep. These scenes, crafted to be exquisitely beautiful, are carefully sculpted porcelain figurines or sparkling crystal figures or are made from other fine materials.


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“When you walk into the room, you immediately feel a sense of wonder and enchantment to see the story of the Savior’s birth created in so many different ways. Then as you walk and look at the hundreds of different displays of the nativity, you hear others sharing stories and memories with their friends and families in their own communities. no room at the Inn builds a sense of community both within the room as well as with our outside community and especially those who are without a room of their own,” Said judy Crenshaw, a board member.

This year more than 600 crèche and nativity sets will be on display, the largest number of scenes yet, representing some 80 different countries and cultures at St. Maximillian kolbe. This year’s event will also feature a children’s corner, musical entertainment with choral, piano and bagpipe performers. Since its inception, no room at the Inn has raised approximately $300,000 to benefit homeless people in Ventura County. Two years ago, the group raised $27,000 in one weekend and in january, 2012, no room donated more than $34,000 to Ventura County homeless charities—the most it has ever donated at one time. “We keep attracting people and we love it,” said nora Howells. There’s a lot of joy. It’s a unique group and we’ve become a family,” she said. The gala begins at 6:00 p.m. on December 7 and features appetizers and entertainment. The cost is $30 per person if the tickets are purchased in november and $35 if purchased in December. The nativities will be displayed all weekend, December 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The suggested donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children. Proceeds benefit more than 22 homeless shelters and agencies throughout Ventura County.

For more information, visit www.noroom.org or contact Nora at 805.807.1088 or Judy at 805.469.5717.

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YOUR HEALTH CONNECTION - NOV2012  

Healthy Lifestyle Magazine

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