7 Ways to Step Up Your Self-Care as You Age

Senior couple hikes along trail out in nature

Try these things for a healthier mind and body — and to just feel good. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue

How do you cope with aging?

I’ve been thinking about that question since first exploring it two years ago on Next Avenue. This time, I was prompted to add to my list after a rather unusual conversation with my doctor.

Below are seven of my self-care “do’s.” What are yours?

  1. Get off the medical merry-go-round. “I am not accepting any additional medical conditions at this time.” That’s what I told my doctor earlier this month when she proposed a couple of tests to “rule out possibilities” of other medical conditions related to my growing older.

Saying “No” to the doctor is a powerful way to step off the medical merry-go-round when you’re sick of the ride, sick of the appointments, sick of the tests and all the follow-up conversations — and sick of thinking of yourself as a patient instead of as a whole person. read more

How to Turn Your Passions Into Retirement Income

Man in the woods with three labradors on leashes

You may be able to generate income from your passions and hobbies. Walt Galvin is a dog walker for Rover.com.

4 ways to profit from the activities and interests you love

By Nancy Collamer for Next Avenue

Last year, Mike Liff, now 71, relocated with his wife from San Francisco to Portland, Maine to be closer to family. The retirees explored their new hometown and thanks to a chance conversation at a barbershop, Liff learned that MaineFoodieTours.com was looking for part-time guides. After hearing that the job would give him a chance to walk around the city, share his enthusiasm for history and food and meet interesting people, Liff decided to apply.

“I’m having such fun,” he said. “I like to say I didn’t retire, I ‘rewired.’ To have a place to go and a purpose is really important to me — and my wife appreciates it too.” read more

When Music Becomes Your Medicine

Man sits at piano with mobile device, learning to play

Music therapy has been around for a long time, but only recently became a recognized medical discipline with board certification. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

Playing an instrument offers physical and emotional benefits if you have health issues

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue

If music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, then playing music hath charms to heal the savage breast, or, more appropriately, the damaged lungs.

This is what Tom Zoe of Austin, Texas believes. So he helped create a program at Seton Medical Center in Austin, where he volunteers, to teach sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases to play the harmonica as part of their physical therapy.

The blowing and drawing required to play the harmonica are excellent exercises that help patients with COPD. The exercise also improves muscle tone in lips, cheeks and tongue. read more

It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New

Woman with backpack looks at mobile device in library

Where to look for learning opportunities [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

Don’t just watch the kids go back to school this fall

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue

Lunchbox? Check. Backpack? Check. New outfit for the first day? Check.

So you’ve helped get a grandchild or other youngster ready to go back to school. But what about you? Staying mentally active after 50 stimulates neural networks, increases knowledge, enriches life and provides opportunities for social interaction and fun at the same time.

Maybe you’ve secretly always wanted to speak Italian or learn to quilt or try your hand at landscaping. Maybe you’re ready to take up Scuba diving or acting. Perhaps if’s time you developed a new skill that will boost your productivity at work. Or maybe you’re eager to go deep with Shakespeare’s history plays, take up memoir writing, better appreciate opera or learn to make beer. read more

Caregiving With Siblings: Your Questions Answered

Two adults talking seriously

Experts weigh in on your top questions concerning caregiving with siblings. [Photo: Adobe Stock]

How to handle conflict while caring for aging parents

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

Next Avenue recently asked readers to tell us the questions they’d like answered about getting along with family members while caregiving. We’re now back with two experts’ views on the top two questions; both concerned caregiving with siblings. They were:

  • How do you deal with siblings who don’t participate with the real work involved in caring for an elderly parent?
  • How do you handle conflict among siblings of aging parents when some live out of town and others nearby?

Caregiving With Siblings: It’s Not Easy

Even in the best of circumstances, caring for your aging parents is a tough job. And whether you are the primary caregiver or an adult child who is trying to contribute from afar, there will likely be disagreements, tension and even anger between you and your siblings. read more

4 Ways to Donate to Charity Without Writing a Check

These ideas can help you de-clutter your home and earn a tax write-off

By Ashley Eneriz for Next Avenue

People carry boxes of donated items

Want to make a difference, but the budget doesn’t allow? Consider donating something other than cash. [Photo credit: Getty Images]

When it comes to donating to charity, sometimes our budgets don’t allow us to be as generous as we we’d like. But you needn’t always open your wallet to help others. Here are four ways to give back that don’t involve writing a check or making a credit-card donation. As a bonus, you might even declutter your home and earn a tax-write off.

Donate Your Clothes to Job Seekers

Have a few suits or pieces of professional wear hanging in your closet that you’re tired of wearing? Donate them to charity so someone looking for a job can wear them and make a great impression. read more

What makes a not-for-profit senior living community different?

A volunteer board of trustees is holding the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America organization and its leadership accountable to the mission and the best interests of the residents. 

While shopping for a senior living community, it is common to consider the layout of the residence, the taste of the food and the friendliness of the staff as well as the financial requirements and availability of ongoing care.
But what about the operational status of the organization? A community operating with a for-profit business model vs. a not-for-profit business model can make a significant difference in the overall operation and culture of the organization.
Five major differences are worth exploring to understand the contrast better.

1. Faith-based; Mission-driven
As a not-for-profit organization, there is one governing philosophy to which all operational decisions must align- the mission!  At Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, our mission is to provide quality senior services guided by Christian values.  We carry a culture that makes all decisions by wearing two lenses, one is quality, and the other is Christian values.  All things must measure up to those standards.a
2. Continuous ownership
A popular avenue through which for-profit organizations gain revenue in senior living is acquisition and resale.  In fact, it is common to see ownership change every five years or so.  However, this growth model is simply a grab at revenue which makes it a rarity in the not-for-profit sector. Enjoying the consistency of continuous ownership can be a huge plus!
3. Oversight is provided by a volunteer board of trustees
Who is at the helm of an organization?  The shareholders?  The CEO?  The Board?  In a for-profit business, many decisions are based on what will be pleasing to the shareholders.  Compare that to the way a not-for-profit is managed.  A volunteer board of trustees is holding the organization and its leadership accountable to the mission and the best interests of the residents.  The fact that this group of highly-qualified individuals serves in a volunteer capacity means that there  are no alternative motives outside of the mission. This means that residents are always the priority.  
4. Net revenue is reinvested back into the community
Just because Presbyterian Manor is a not-for-profit company doesn’t mean the organization never makes money. The real difference is how that income is managed.  Naturally, in a for-profit, revenue goes to serve the shareholders. Conversely, there are no shareholders for a not-for-profit; therefore, all net revenues go back into the community to improve the quality of life for the residents.
5. Good Samaritan Program- supported by philanthropy
One of the number one fears of American seniors is running out of money.  In more than 68 years of serving seniors, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has stood in that financial gap for those who no longer had the resources to pay for their cost of living in the community.  The Good Samaritan Program is supported by philanthropic efforts to ensure residents always have a secure future. 
Choosing a senior living community is a complex decision with many variables.  As you go through the process remember to ask these questions:
1. What is the mission of this organization and how is it implemented each day?
2. Who owns this community and for how long?
3. Who is in charge? (Shareholders? Volunteer board?)
4. What happens to net revenues?
5. What would happen to me if I ran out of money? read more

Praise for Promotions!

Praise for Promotions!
Congratulations to two Fulton Presbyterian Manor employees who’ve recently earned promotions. We appreciate their dedication, and celebrate their advancements!

Bessie Boese has been promoted to MDS Coordinator

Bessie Boese: Bessie is currently taking online classes through Moberly Area Community College in Mexico. She is in the Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing (AADN) program to obtain her RN. She’s been promoted to MDS Coordinator after serving most recently in medical records.

Elinda Trower:
Elinda will begin classes with Moberly Area Community College (Mexico) in the spring of 2018. She will be enrolled in the Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing (AADN) program to obtain her RN. She was previously serving as an LPN, and will now be in medical records.

Elinda Trower is now serving Fulton
Presbyterian Manor in medical records.

Her favorite thing about working at Fulton Presbyterian Manor is the residents. “I love that they all become family. I enjoy making sure that they get the best possible care: the care that they deserve,” said Elinda. “I’m looking forward to learning new things, and exploring what possibilities are out there for an LPN.”
Congratulations to Bessie and Elinda! read more

Breaking Down Walls Between Medicine and Personal Care

Lack of communication results in waste and health risks, but other models show promise

By Howard Gleckman for Next Avenue

Scene of a busy nurses station and hallway in a modern hospital

“For the sake of the older adults who need both medical and personal care, and their families, we must do better.” [Photo credit: Getty Images]

(Next Avenue invited all our 2016 Influencers in Aging to write essays about the one thing they would like to change about aging in America. This is one of the essays.)

Imagine an 85-year-old woman who suffers from heart failure, arthritis and has some dementia. She is still living at home, but needs help. Doctors treat her medical conditions. Her daughter and a home health aide provide personal assistance such as cooking, help getting dressed in the morning and bathing. And she gets care that falls in a gray area in between, including help giving her pills and checking her weight to be sure her heart condition is well-controlled. read more

Caffeinated or Not, Coffee May Help You Live Longer

New research provides more good news for those who love their java

By Rita Rubin for Next Avenue

Man satisfyingly sips coffee from a mug while sitting outside with an open laptop

Two new, large studies found that people who drank even a single cup of coffee a day lived longer than people who didn’t drink any coffee. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

Two recent large studies suggest it might have been coffee that bubbled from the fountain of youth.

Both studies, one conducted in the United States, one across 10 European countries, found that people who drank even a single cup of coffee a day — decaf and/or caffeinated — lived longer than people who didn’t drink any coffee.

The effects were modest; compared to non-coffee drinkers, those who quaffed the most in the U.S. study, four or more cups a day, had an 18 percent lower risk of dying by its end. But given that half of U.S. adults drink coffee every day, the impact on the population could be substantial. read more