Category Archives: Lifelong Learning

Medicare Part D Changes: Learn how to maximize your benefits

What’s changing in Medicare Part D for 2018? What options do I have? These and other questions will be answered at a free presentation October 10 at Fulton Presbyterian Manor.

Cindy Carr, regional liaison with CLAIM, will share what you need to know about changes in Medicare Part D for 2018. Find out about new rates, and why participants should check their prescription drug plans every year. Medicare open enrollment begins October 15 and runs through Dec. 7.

CLAIM is a nonprofit organization providing free, unbiased information about Medicare to Missourians. Their goal is to provide local counselors to help you get the most from your Medicare benefits. Learn more at MissouriCLAIM.org read more

Get ready for the next season of life

Fulton Presbyterian Manor hosts free sessions for seniors

Just Ask (w-o PMMA purple-gold)-nobackRGBSelling your home, downsizing and moving into a new home can be an intimidating prospect. Fulton Presbyterian Manor is sponsoring a series of three workshops to help you get ready for the next season of life.

Linda Huffstedler, local real estate professional, will look at housing trends in the area and share invaluable tips on pricing and staging your home for sale in “Real Estate 101” on Nov. 30.

Melanie Dixon, professional organizer with 2B Organized, sees downsizing as an opportunity to “rightsize” your life. Get tips for packing and moving with an emphasis on how to sort through your belongings without becoming overwhelmed. “Rightsizing Workshop” will be Dec. 7. read more

Cards that offer better words for serious illness

Their cancer-survivor maker knows the pain of kind but hurtful sentiments

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

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If you have ever had cancer or another serious illness, you can probably make a long list of unhelpful things that friends, family and well-meaning acquaintances have said to you.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“I read about this miraculous new treatment on the Internet!”

“Oh, I knew someone who had that same thing and they died.”

Emily McDowell, a cancer survivor, has heard them all. In response, the Los Angeles graphic designer came up with a set of eight “Empathy Cards” to be used when traditional “get well” cards just don’t work. She launched them May 2015. Another set is due out in December 2015, she told NPR’s Ina Jaffe in an interview. read more

Keeping our brains young with kazoos

kazoo practice_747xBy Jeff Young, activity director, Fulton Presbyterian Manor

The 10:40 a.m. exercise group wanted to start a Kazoo Band.  They have talked, and joked, about putting on shows for the other residents and sitting at the curb whenever there’s a parade (and we have several every year) and play for them as they march by.

Learning to play a musical instrument has many benefits that will hopefully motivate us to keep on practicing and always hold music in high esteem. Some of the more notable physical benefits include: an increase in the capacity of your memory, team skills, coordination, perseverance, stress relief and respiratory system improvement. read more

The unexpected benefits of volunteering in nature

VolunteerNatureWhen ‘citizen scientists’ help gather data, they don’t get paid, but the rewards are priceless

By Akiko Busch for Next Avenue

There’s something innately restorative to the human spirit about watching the flow of water in a stream, and this is especially true in spring. The frozen landscapes and frigid temperatures of the winter months can cast a stillness across one’s interior terrain as well, so to watch the current of a river in May is surely to come alive again.

That sense of renewal is even greater, though, when it extends from one’s own spirit to the larger environment. Which is just what happens when I go to watch for the herring in the annual spring monitoring program. read more

How to Recover Your Footing When Things Go Awry

RecoveringBalanceWhen life gets slippery, react like an ice skater

By Donna Sapolin for Next Avenue 

“A woman at 20 is like ice,” famed Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida once said. “At 30 she is warm and at 40 she is hot.”

So, by that logic, at 50 or 60 she must be red-hot. In fact, the only characteristic she may still have in common with ice is how solid she is — how she reveals her inner self and the degree to which she’s had to contend with people trying to walk all over her.

Yet the obvious depth and shimmering emotional intelligence that many mature women possess may not always be enough to let them keep their footing on thin ice. read more

7 Secrets to Get Good Customer Service by Phone

Agents are now better trained, if you can get past phone purgatory

By Caroline Mayer for Next Avenue

7secretsGoodServicebyPhone

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Over the past few months, I’ve had to make more than my usual share of calls to customer-service centers. The calls dealt with issues mundane (trying to learn what happened to an undelivered online order); frustrating (seeking help setting up a new printer) and serious (trying to assist my daughter in signing up for health insurance).

I’ve spent hours trying to get these issues resolved and here’s what I discovered: Once I reached customer-service agents, almost all were polite and patient, knowledgeable and helpful. But… it’s become increasingly difficult to reach live ones. read more

Learning keeps your mind sharp

When you learn things, read or pursue a hobby, you’re not just having fun, you’re protecting your brain from the effects of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. “The research found that people who participated in mentally stimulating activities both early and late in life had a slower rate of decline in memory compared to those who did not,” according to the American Academy of Neurology.

The rate of mental decline in people participating in the research was reduced by 32 percent in mentally active seniors, while the rate of decline was 48 percent higher in those with infrequent activity. read more