A day in the garden

Resident Betty Brown preps the soil for her flowers.

Resident Betty Brown preps the soil for her flowers.

What better way to celebrate our beautiful earth than by making it even more beautiful? Fulton Presbyterian Manor residents did just that in late April. Thank you to all who took part in planting flowers!

Dinner raises thousands for seniors

Richard and Bessie Boese, Jared Boese, Jessie Anderson and Jake Lammers enjoy the Good Samaritan fundraiser. Bessie and Jessie are both Presbyterian Manor employees.

Richard and Bessie Boese, Jared Boese, Jessie Anderson and Jake Lammers enjoy the Good Samaritan fundraiser. Bessie and Jessie are both Presbyterian Manor employees.

A barbecue dinner and silent auction April 16 raised about $8,000 for Fulton Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Program, which benefits residents who have outlived their financial resources through no fault of their own.

It was the second annual fundraising dinner for the program, said Executive Director Dawn Smith.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to the event. We could not have made this happen without so many wonderful people dedicating their time to help those in our senior living community,” Smith said.

About 130 people attended the Good Samaritan Pork Dinner and Silent Auc- tion at the First Presbyterian Church. The band Oatmeal for the Foxhounds performed, and Presbyterian Manor managers and Advisory Council members worked the event. Manor Dining Services Director Francine Caddell and cook Nona Brown prepared the food. “We had many compliments about the food,” Smith said, adding, “Our cooks are amazing.”

Why I decided to make friends with death

We know we will die someday, so we must accept and plan for it

By Irene Kacandes for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

(This article was written as a part of The Op-Ed Project.)

While we may fear meeting death alone, most of us are actually more afraid of dying surrounded by the wrong kind of people — that is, by health care workers.

Yet that is all too likely to be our fate. Statistics are squirrely, but many point in this direction. Seven out of 10 Americans express the wish to die at home. More than 80 percent of patients say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care at the end of life. And yet, the current reality is that about three-quarters of us actually die in some kind of institutional setting.

What is the source of this disconnect? As someone who has spent most of the last 15 years grappling with loved ones’ life-threatening illnesses and deaths (and co-authored a book on the topic), I’ve come to the conclusion that it starts with our attitudes — with our failure to recognize that our births guarantee our deaths.

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5 things to do during and after a hospital stay

Tips for making your time there as painless as possible

By George H. Schofield, Ph.D. for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Any hospital stay can be a revelation. When it’s totally unexpected, the experience can be even more fraught with surprises. I speak from personal experience and have some advice based on it.

Last year, I had pain severe enough to require a middle-of-the-night visit to the ER. It turned out to be kidney stones — stones that felt like boulders and required an invasive procedure (a ureteroscopy) to view, measure and then zap them into dust. Star Wars inside my body while I was out cold.

The procedure was performed at a great hospital. I had a great specialist. It all went well.

Even so, as I was recovering, I realized just how important it is to be prepared for a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. What if the searing pain was a symptom of something far more serious — something that rendered me unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, such as what follows a stroke? What about an injury while I was out bike riding or a car accident?

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Purposeful aging: A model for a new life course

New possibilities for older adults produce dividends for all

By Paul H. Irving 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. Paul H. Irving was a member of the 2015 Influencers In Aging Advisory Panel.

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, offers an insightful observation about the promise and potential of longer lives. “Thousands of baby boomers each day surge into their 60s and 70s,” he wrote in a recent article for The Wall Street Journal. “It’s time to focus on enriching lives, not just lengthening them; on providing purpose and productivity, not just perpetuity.”

While population aging brings health, financial and social risks, an understanding of the opportunities is emerging. At the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging,  we study, convene, report on and respond to these risks and opportunities, searching for solutions to bring beneficial change. Joining with others who share our vision, we believe that it’s time to challenge conventional wisdom and established norms — that new possibilities for older adults hold promise for strengthening societies, expanding economies and improving life for all ages.

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