Are you getting enough protein? Too much?

How obsessing over protein could be harmful to your health

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

If you’re like me, you often find yourself confused by how many health headlines contradict one another. Lately, I’ve found this to be true where protein is concerned, particularly the protein needs of adults aged 50 and over.

In one study, published Jan. 1, 2015, in the American Journal of Physiology’s Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists split 20 adults aged 52 to 75 into one group that consumed the U.S. RDA recommended level of protein, and another group that consumed double that amount, measuring levels of whole body protein at the beginning and end of the trial. While both groups maintained a positive protein balance (their bodies synthesized more protein than they broke down), the higher protein group ended up with a higher overall protein balance than the lower protein group. The news media jumped all over this, proclaiming that older adults should double their protein intake if they want to live long, healthy lives.

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Front and center and behind the scenes

20170131_091839-2If you ask Keri Edwards what her typical day is like, she’ll have a lot of different things to describe. She wears multiple hats and has to keep many plates spinning to keep things running smoothly. And she manages this pace all while taking the time to build relationships with residents.

Keri was hired as the accounting assistant in October 2011 and was promoted to human resources director, while continuing to handle the accounts payable and receivable. In April 2014 she was promoted to marketing director, while keeping all previous duties. Her title changed in May 2016 to administrative services director.

“I currently have an administrative assistant who does the accounts payable, so I can focus more on marketing,” said Keri. “I love my job, and the only thing that’s hard is when we don’t have enough room to take someone. I wish we could make this a home for all seniors!”

Keri graduated from Fulton High School. She attended Sullivan University online and received an associate of science degree bin business management. Before Fulton Presbyterian Manor, she worked at All-Temp Refrigeration in Madisonville, Louisiana, for four years, working her way up from receptionist to sales administrator.

“That was a fun place to work. I gained so much knowledge, made lots of friends, and have amazing memories,” said Keri.

When asked about her favorite aspect of her role at Fulton Presbyterian Manor, she had this to say:  “My favorite part of my job is the residents. I enjoy helping seniors retain as much of their independence as they can while receiving the amenities and services that Fulton Presbyterian Manor’s community has to offer. Knowing that I am making a difference in not only the senior’s life but the life of their adult children and families is a wonderful feeling. It’s a big burden and stress relief off them,” said Keri.

Not only does Keri enjoy helping residents find a home at Fulton Presbyterian Manor, she also enjoys getting to know them once they’re part of the family.

“All of our residents and potential residents have a story. It’s amazing to hear what they have been through in their lives. They love sharing their stories. The residents also ask me about my family and kids. Over the past six years they have heard so many stories about my kids,” said Keri.

Keri and her husband have four kids between them, boys ranging in age from 10 through 13.

“Our home is very, very busy with school, sports and extracurricular activities. It seems like we are always on the move. I’ve learned to stay on my toes and handle many gross things that boys do, whether it’s letting frogs loose in the house, bringing mud in the house from playing outside, or needing to get stitches. Even though my kids keep me very busy, I love them and I don’t know what I’d do without them. The good Lord knew what he was doing when he gave me all boys,” said Keri.

“I enjoy riding four-wheelers and dirt bikes with my sons and husband. I enjoy watching my kids play sports and helping to coach them. I like to be outside in my garden and flower beds, although I’m not a very good gardener. Almost everything dies on me! I enjoy reading and snuggling with my dogs and cat when I have spare time.”

From the sounds of it, Keri rarely has spare time on her hands, but we’re glad she finds the time to be an exceptional administrative services director.

“Another favorite part of my job is explaining Fulton Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan program to current and potential residents and their families. Our Good Samaritan program will help supplement the resident’s income so they can stay with us, stay in their home, even if they run out of funds through no fault of their own. There is no greater feeling than knowing that we, through the Good Samaritan program, are making a difference in the lives of our residents,” said Keri.

Employee of the year named

20170123_092431-3Floor Tech Cameron Horstman has only been at Fulton Presbyterian Manor for a little more than a year, but he’s already made a big impact. He was recently named Employee of the Year, and for good reason.

“Cameron goes above and beyond. He takes it upon himself to request to work evenings at times when his floor care will be more convenient for the residents and staff. Cameron gets along with everyone very well,” said Cameron’s supervisor Lowe Cannell, environmental services director. “I can’t think of a time when he hasn’t been polite and professional with everyone here, even when he is being pulled in many directions. Cameron has just been a great addition to our team. He always seems to find ways to do that little extra to help someone out when they really need it.”

Cameron graduated from South Callaway High School and has a certificate in heating and cooling from Columbia Tech College. Previous to working here, he was at AT&T for two years.

“My favorite part of my job here is the residents. They all have great stories. It’s wonderful to hear them and get to know our residents. They always put a smile on my face,” said Cameron.

In his free time, you’ll find Cameron visiting with friends and eating out, fishing or working on cars. Congratulations to Cameron and his worthy selection as Employee of the Year!

How to prevent a real life nightmare at life’s end

A Next Avenue Influencer in Aging urges conversations around death

By Barbara Coombs Lee for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Editor’s note: This article is part of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging project honoring 50 people changing how we age and think about aging. 

To my everlasting shame, this boomer spent many of her formative years as an ICU nurse, thoughtlessly pushing tubes down the noses and pounding on chests of dying patients, torturing them with electric shocks, instead of allowing death to come peacefully.

The tragic reality is people who do not communicate their values and priorities for end-of-life care often pay dearly for this failure, by enduring futile, agonizing tests and treatments that only prolong the dying process. It is equally important for people to empower a loved one in writing to be their decision-maker if they are unable to speak for themselves.

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Making communities friendlier for those with dementia

Making Communities Friendlier for Those With Dementia

That’s the goal for the ambitious Dementia Friendly America initiative

By Beth Baker for Next Avenue


Credit: Courtesy of Paynesville (MN) ACT on Alzheimer’s Caption: Volunteers pass out laminated bookmarks with the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s at the local supermarket

Can a strong community network help ease the challenges faced by people with dementia and their families? That’s the hope of a national volunteer-driven initiative known as Dementia Friendly America (DFA), announced at the White House Conference on Aging in July.

“Our goals are to foster dementia-friendly communities that will enable people who are living with dementia and their care partners to thrive and to be independent as long as possible,” says Olivia Mastry, who’s guiding the effort. “The side benefit is that it’s beginning to normalize [Alzheimer’s], to reduce the stigma. It’s created an environment that’s allowed people to talk about this disease.”

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