Monthly Archives: October 2015

‘The Odyssey’ in a long-term care community

Performing a play based on the epic poem transformed its participants

By Anne Basting for Next Avenue


Several years ago, I participated in a project that taught me something remarkable about aging and long-term care. The arts can transform long-term care into a meaningful experience — for people with dementia and those living independently. Allow me to explain.

Sending ‘Angels’ to the Good Samaritan Program

Angel Appeal Ornament_single Special angels will soon be adorning Christmas trees and holiday displays at every Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) senior living community.

The “angels” are paper ornaments that will arrive throughout the holiday season along with gifts to the annual Christmas Angel Appeal, which raises funds for the Good Samaritan Program for Benevolent Care. Donors who make gifts are asked to return paper Angel ornaments along with their gifts. The ornaments pay tribute to donors’ family members or friends and are displayed at PMMA communities designated by the donors. read more

Fifty-something diet: 4 tips to help you age well

How you can fine-tune your eating habits to live longer and healthier

By Maureen Callahan for Next Avenue


A bowl of oatmeal every morning, a handful of nuts, five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — researchers seem to be slowly compiling a grocery list of foods that can extend your lifespan.

At the same time, there are quite a few 95- to 100-year-olds in The Longevity Genes Project, a large ongoing study at Albert Einstein College in New York, who haven’t made healthful lifestyle changes. They smoke. They don’t eat a lot of vegetables. They don’t pay much attention to diet at all. read more

How to make a real difference giving to charity

The views of ethicist Peter Singer, author of ‘The Most Good You Can Do’

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue



Heartbreaking tragedies like the Nepal earthquake often make us want to donate to a charity and do our part to help. We’re also often touched by TV commercials imploring us to open our wallets for needy pets and children.

But since you can’t afford to help every cause, how should you decide which ones to assist? In his provocative new book, ‘The Most Good You Can Do,’ world-renowned Australian ethicist Peter Singer offers his views about “effective altruism.” (His site,, has a list of charities Singer thinks are highly cost-effective.) read more

Using business principles to downsize a home

This boss got the job done using a few ideas from work

By Terry O’Reilly for Next Avenue


Courtesy of Terry O’Reilly

After my wife passed away, there were five of us left sharing our family home: me, my two sons and a pair of dogs who had come to believe that they were in charge of the house.

In the two years that have gone by, life has assumed a new normal. And in that time, we’ve had the growing realization that our home of 17 years isn’t right for us anymore. It isn’t that the house is a little tattered around the edges — who among us isn’t? It’s the inescapable fact that it is simply too big, far more home than we need. read more

Recrafting a life after a stroke

A survivor and his wife offer advice for coping

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


At 71, Bob Seiter was an active guy. After retiring from Kaiser Aluminum, where he worked in sales, he played golf three times a week, playing at a 14 handicap and striving to regain his 4. When he wasn’t on the fairway, he spent a lot of time volunteering.

Then one morning, he had a hemorrhagic stroke, and everything changed.

How to visit your aging parent the right way

How to visit your aging parents the right way.


Taking a different approach can make things better for both of you

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

Katherine Arnup, a retired professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and now life coach, got an education in caregiving when her sister and parents got sick. She later became a hospice volunteer.

She drew on those experiences for her latest book, I Don’t Have Time for This!: A Compassionate Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents and Yourself.

Arnup writes about the importance of being “being present” when you visit an aging parent. The following is excerpted from one of the book’s chapters. read more