Wednesday, December 23, 2020 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
SENIORS Our Monthly Feature
...For Seniors and about Seniors
Celebrating Christmas Itâ€™s not easy for seniors in 2020, because COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult for them to see friends and family, and COVID-19 itself also has much higher risks for people over 65. The residents at Yorkton Crossing have been enjoying some Christmas activities however, and had a safe visit from Santa Claus and Mallory the Clydesdale to help brighten up their holidays. Staff phots by Devin Wilger
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Yorkton This Week | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Wednesday, December 23, 2020
just for SENIORS
Stock the pantry with holiday baking ingredients
Many holiday traditions begin with family and friends gathered in the kitchen or around the dinner table. Food is an integral part of celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chanukah, and key components of each holiday are tied exclusively to food. Come the holiday season, many people gather to make delicious desserts for holiday dinners or even as gifts. The right ingredients are necessary to produce a bounty of baked goods. It’s also essential to ensure those ingredients are fresh, as age can compromise the taste of some spices, and leavening ingredients like yeast, baking soda and baking powder may
lose efficacy over time. • Flours: All-purpose flour is versatile and useful in many recipes. In addition, bread flour, cake flour and pastry flour have attributes that make them better suited for their respective jobs than all-purpose flour. Individuals who follow certain diets, including gluten-free diets, can find alternative flours that can be substituted in many different recipes. • Baking soda: This leavening agent is activated when it is combined with acid and heat. That is why it is often paired with citrus juice, buttermilk and sour cream. • Baking powder: This leavening agent is bak-
ing soda mixed with a powdered acid and cornstarch. If baking soda is the only leavening agent, it will not require the addition of another acidic ingredient. “Doubleacting” means carbon dioxide bubbles will form during mixing and
The benefits of crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles are one of the most popular pastimes in the world. Crosswords are square grids made up of white- and black-shaded squares. The goal is to fill in all of the letters to form words and phrases that work both vertically and horizontally. The grid varies based on the country of origin. Certain grids also have 180-degree rotational symmetry so that the pattern appears the same if the paper is turned upside down.
Historians are uncertain about who created the world’s first crossword puzzle, although it is believed to be something that originated in the 19th or early 20th century.
Even though crossword puzzles have been entertaining and helping people pass the time for more than 100 years, the benefits of crosswords go beyond boredombusting. Various studies have shown the positive effects crossword puzzles can have on a person’s brain and capacity to learn. • Improve vocabulary: Crossword puzzles introduce players to new words. And players may learn some interesting facts about various subjects simply by filling in crosswords correctly. • Strengthens memory: The more frequently participants engage with word puzzles, the better they can perform tasks
that measure attention, reasoning and memory. A study found people who play crosswords have brain function equivalent to those 10 years younger than their actual age. • Improve socialization: Crossword puzzles can help you connect socially with others who also play crossword puzzles. Solving a puzzle together as a group is a fine way to connect and meet new people. • Help relieve stress: Crossword puzzles can engage the brain and mind, helping direct attention away from stressful situations. Crosswords also provide a way to relax and unwind.
• May help prevent brain diseases: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, research indicates keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build reserves of brain cells and connections. In addition, those who keep their minds active may have lower amounts of a protein that forms beta amyloid plaques attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. Crossword puzzles can fill empty hours with an entertaining and educational activity. However, there are many other benefits to doing crossword puzzles that may surprise even the most ardent puzzle enthusiasts.
again during heating. • Yeast: Yeast takes more time to metabolize and cause doughs to rise than other leavening agents. • Sugar: Granulated sugar is the most common sugar found in recipes. Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) is used in frosting and icings. Brown sugar is refined sugar with molas-
ses added, and is used in certain recipes, like gingerbread. • Salt: Granulated table salt is used in everyday baking. • Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter will be the default for baked goods unless the recipe specifically mentions salted butter. • Eggs: Eggs help to bind ingredients together. Large eggs are most often cited in many baking recipes. • Milk: Dairy adds moisture and texture to batters. Alternative milks, such as soy or almond milk, can sometimes be substituted, but the resulting texture may change. • Vegetable oil: Many recipes call for vegetable oil, which has a neutral flavor. • Shortening: Short-
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ening is a solid vegetable fat used to make tender baked goods. Shortening also has a higher melting point, which helps cookies and other items retain their shape while cooking. • Flavorings: It is helpful to have various spices and extracts on hand. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice are some common baking spices. Almond and vanilla extracts are quite versatile and add extra punch to recipes.
• Additions: Mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, cocoa powder, oats, nuts, and dried fruits, often turn up in holiday recipes. Certain ingredients are essential for baking and holiday cooks can take steps to ensure their pantries are stocked in time for the holidays.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020 | www.YorktonThisWeek.com | Yorkton This Week
just for SENIORS
Returning to school as an adult
Education opens many doors. Sometimes life throws a person a curveball and education gets put on the back burner. Even if school plans have been derailed for several years, one can explore how to return to school as an adult. Adult students are often described as nontraditional students, while traditional students are those who enroll in a college or university or go on to trade school immediately after graduating from high school. Nontraditional students are those who return to get their degrees as adult learners. According to a 2013 National Study of Prospective Adult Students by the higher education marketing group STAMATS, students over the age of 25
are the fastest-growing segment in higher education. For those people resolving to return to school this year, these
tips can help them confront any uncertainty they may have about cracking the books after a long layoff. • Recognize you’re
never too old. If you have the time and the means to attend school, you can likely find a program that can benefit you regardless of how old you may
be. • Remember that education can help you get out of a rut. No matter your age or experience, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Going back to school can help a person get out of that rut and on a path to something new. A return to school can help professionals earn more money, update their skills or learn a new trade. • Ask for the support of friends and family. Students’ success often depends on a strong support network. Be sure to discuss plans to return to school with a spouse, family members or others who can lend a helping hand. Schooling will take time out of a schedule and certain responsibilities you handled may have to be taken on by
family members. • Explore accessibility. Now more than ever schools are adapting to the changing times by offering an abundance of classes online. Remote learning became a necessity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may be an increasingly popular method of conducting classes in the future. For adult learners who worry about juggling time inside of the actual classroom with work and home responsibilities, virtual programs can be the perfect fit. Goals for the new year may include returning to school. Whether a person is completing a diploma program, finishing a degree or learning new skills, there’s no wrong time to continue your education.
The various types of glaucoma and their symptoms Eyesight is important but easily taken for granted. Few people can imagine life without their eyesight, but hundreds of millions of people across the globe experi-
ence compromised vision every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blind-
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ness worldwide. In fact, estimates from the World Glaucoma Association indicated that 79.6 million individuals would experience glaucoma in 2020. By 2040, that figure is expected to rise to 111.8 million people. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma usually results from the buildup of fluid in the front part of the eye. As that fluid builds up, it increases the pressure in the eye, ultimately damaging the optic nerve. Are all glaucomas the same? All glaucomas are not the same. There are two major types of the disease: primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. • Primary open-angle glaucoma: The most common type of the disease, primary open-angle glaucoma develops gradually. Eyes affected by primary open-angle glaucoma do not drain fluid as well as they should, resulting in the buildup of pressure that slowly starts to dam-
age the optic nerve. • Angle-closure glaucoma: Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when a person’s iris is very close to the drainage angle in his or her eye. This proximity can block the drainage angle, causing pressure to build up very quickly. However, many people with angle-closure glaucoma develop it very slowly and have no idea they have it until they’ve suffered severe damage. What are the symptoms of glaucoma? The symptoms of glau-
coma differ depending on which type a person has. There are no obvious symptoms in the early stages of open-angle glaucoma. Blind spots develop in patients’ peripheral vision as the disease progresses. Because people often do not experience symptoms until the damage from open-angle glaucoma has become severe. Adults should schedule routine eye exams with an ophthalmologist so the disease can be found before any significant damage
Did you know? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of licensed drivers who are 70 and older increased by 65 percent
between 1997 and 2018. Older drivers are often considered less safe than their fellow motorists, but statistics from the IIHS indicate that
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has occurred. Blurred vision, halos, mild headaches, or eye pain are some early symptoms of an angleclosure glaucoma attack. However, people with angle-closure glaucoma do not typically notice any symptoms until the attack has started. As a result, anyone experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms to contact their ophthalmologist immediately. Once an angle-closure glaucoma attack has begun, symptoms may include: • severe pain in the eye or forehead • redness of the eye • decreased vision or blurred vision • nausea • vomiting No one is immune to glaucoma, which can quickly rob otherwise healthy individuals of their vision. Learning to recognize the early signs of glaucoma and seeking prompt treatment can reduce the likelihood of substantial vision loss.
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might be a misconception. While the number of drivers age 70 and older has increased considerably in recent decades, older drivers are now involved in fewer fatal collisions than they were in the past. Collisionrelated fatalities among drivers ages 70 and older declined by 15 percent between 1997 and 2018. Though such statistics are encouraging, it’s vital that aging drivers recognize that certain physical, cognitive and visual abilities may decline with advancing age, and that such impairment has been linked to an increased risk of being involved in a crash. As a result, it’s important that older drivers self-police themselves and pay particular attention to any changes in their abilities that may compromise their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
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OUR NEXT FEATURE - WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27