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seniors

Aging Gracefully

Oct 31, 2008 ● By Super Admin

If you thought the “golden years” meant slowing down, think again. Just ask Barbara Terry. A very young 86-year-old, she holds the same job she’s had for nearly 40 years as a tax preparer for H&R Block, actively takes care of her spacious garden, cooks elaborate meals for family members, and completes a crossword puzzle every day. “It keeps my mind sharp,” she says of her daily routine. It’s not that life in the last couple decades has been completely smooth sailing. For her entire life she’s struggled with a serious asthma condition; in the mid-‘90s, she successfully fought off a bout with breast cancer; a year later she cared for her ailing husband who suffered from heart problems, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. But, even after his untimely passing, Terry never wavered. She went on with her job and usual activities, remaining a truly independent and inspirational force for all who know her.We will all face different hurdles as we age, from sudden stressful occasions to plain old genetics. But, there’s one element we can control, our attitude…and a good one goes a long way. Here are a few tips on staying younger and healthier well into your 60s, 70s and 80s....The Sensational 70sAccording to the WebMD, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years after age 65. And while many scientists believe genetics is one of the factors behind the disease, it’s unlikely to be the only one. However, there are many ways to combat this illness and have a great time doing it. It looks like Terry is pretty on track with her daily crossword puzzles. In fact, activities like board games, cooking, reading, playing an instrument and even dancing can help reduce your risk of dementia. They may seem like simple pleasures, but they do a lot more for your health by keeping you on your toes.For more about Aging Gracefully, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Staying Active

Jun 30, 2008 ● By Super Admin

OK, I need to provide full disclosure here. Most, if not all of the "seniors" I know, in particular my parents and in-laws, have more energy and a more vibrant social life than those of us of a younger generation. They travel around the world, attend countless social events, and can traipse off to Hawaii at the drop of a hat. Let's face it, today's 70 is the new 40. Those "experienced in life" are taking better care of themselves and living longer, more fulfilling lives. I'd like to think it's partly because there are so many wonderful opportunities for involvement and enrichment in their lives.The El Dorado Hills Senior Center (916-358-3575) provides a wealth of phenomenal classes and activities, with something for everyone at every fitness level. Yoga, book clubs, dancing, movie nights and more, provide connections and entertainment for anyone seeking to stay active. However, for some seniors we talked to, they weren't simply looking to be entertained. Rather, they sought opportunities for community involvement and a chance to make a difference. And in the midst of their busy lives, they wanted what little "down time" they had to really count. As we explored the staggering need for volunteers and mentors right here in our community, we pulled out just some of the openings available to those with life experience, compassion and hopefully a little spare time.Become a Mentor to Small Businesses Seniors with a business background can serve as professional mentors for organizations like SCORE - Counselors to America's Small Business (sacscore.org, 916-635-9085), which utilizes retired executives to assist small businesses and start-ups. As Jeff Hendy, chapter president for Greater Sacramento, says, "We are always looking for new volunteer counselors – it is a good opportunity to give back to the existing and emerging businesses in our community."Support Our TroopsThere are amazing local support groups throughout our area that invite and coordinate an outpouring of support to our men and women in the armed services. Volunteers are continually needed to help stuff care packages, coordinate fundraisers and donations, and keep the effort strong. Toys for the Troops Kids is one such local organization (toysforthetroopskids.org).Make Blankets for ChildrenProject Linus (projectlinus.org, 916-965-8955) provides new, handmade blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children in our community. If you love to quilt, crochet or sew, they can use your talents.Help Care for AnimalsOur county-run and non-profit shelters are desperate for help caring for, and giving a voice to, animals. Local animal rescue operations would love to get your call offering administrative or in-field assistance. The Grace Foundation of El Dorado Hills (thegracefoundationofnorcal.org) and Folsom Feline Rescue (folsomfelines.org, 916-484-4099) are two organizations that could use your help.Become a Foster GrandparentThrough the vital Senior Corps Program, seniors can make a difference in the life of a child by mentoring troubled kids, caring for premature newborns and helping abused children. Visit seniorcorps.gov for more information. Participate in Focus Groups Get paid for your life-formed opinions and input. Focus group research is vital in today's market-based economy, and it pays an average of $75-$150 for an hour-long focus group. To find a focus group near you, visit Senior Corps online at seniorcorps.gov, or Opinions of Sacramento Focus Groups at opinionsofsac.comVolunteer on a Political CampaignA unique opportunity this summer is the chance to volunteer on a political campaign, or for a party-affiliated organization. There are several races at the local, state and federal levels, and the campaigns or parties themselves welcome volunteers in all capacities. Find out how you can get involved by calling your local party representatives: El Dorado County Republican Party, edcgop.com, 530-676-4757; El Dorado County Democratic Party, edcdemocrats.org, 530-626-8270.Serve as a Museum DocentPut your love and appreciation for history or art to good use by serving as a volunteer tour guide at any of our regional museums.The Folsom History Museum is always looking for volunteers. Visit folsomhistorymuseum.org, or call 916-985-2707 to find out how you can help.Volunteer at Thrift Stores These non-profits directly support causes like hospice and the cancer society, and are always in need of volunteers as well as donations. As Nancy Symons, of the new Partners in Care Thrift Store in Placerville, says, "We love volunteers and can always use more!" The Snowline Hospice Thrift Store (snowlinehospice.org, 916-984-5853) and the Mercy Hospital of Folsom Auxiliary (916-984-7371) are always in need of volunteers and donations.For the senior who can't stand to sit still, volunteering just might be the solution. And where better to volunteer than in your own community?

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