Five things you may think about hospice that aren’t true
In the past 40 years, attitudes towards death and dying in America and much of the rest of the world have slowly changed. The hospice movement has grown considerably and now constitutes its own segment of the health care system. Prior to hospice, people often died alone, in institutional settings like hospitals.
While some people still pass away without their loved ones around them, many are choosing to receive palliative care at home as a way to make the end of their lives as comfortable and rewarding as possible. But there are still many common misconceptions about hospice. Nobody likes to dwell on the subject of death, so people are naturally reluctant to study what hospice care is until they are in need of hospice services.
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In this program, old and young people connect with one another
“Take two friendships and call me in the morning.”
That’s what Dr. Paul Tang, an internist and national expert on health care quality, would like to tell aging patients. He, and other doctors like him, view social engagement as a treatment for a very modern ill: loneliness.
Tang divides his time between Washington, D.C. (where he influences health care policy) and the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation (he’s the director). Tang has developed a cross-generational program meant to get people of all ages helping and connecting with one another. Called linkAges, the centerpiece of the program is a community-based service exchange in the form of a volunteer time bank. The service is being tested in California, with hopes that it’ll soon expand elsewhere.
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Be sure to include experiences and feelings that make your life story meaningful
When I overheard my father reminiscing with his old Army buddy about how desperate they felt as kids having to do menial tasks to earn money that would help their families — even plucking chickens — I realized I hadn’t heard much about his emotional life growing up.
In fact, other than the few stories he told about his two brothers, he didn’t talk about his childhood. Over the years, I managed to collect facts and figures— where his mother and father were born, important dates and some highlights of his life. But I knew little of his family’s financial struggles during the Great Depression and almost nothing about his older brother’s death.
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You don’t have to give up all the flavor if you use a “sliding scale of decadence”
Do you long to eat favorite foods from your youth without a side order of guilt? With creative tweaking, chocolaty brownies, creamy scalloped potatoes, hearty meatloaf, green bean-mushroom casserole with fried onions and other comfort foods can return from the list of no-nos. The key is determining which diet-wrecking ingredients you’re willing to compromise on and how much you’re willing to cut back on them. But the choices aren’t black or white: I think of them as existing on a sliding scale of decadence.
Leaving a little indulgence in foods helps us to eat better because we end up feeling more satisfied. Think about it: If your revisions are super-healthy but tasteless, you’ll probably do something at least twice as unhealthy later, like diving into a bag of chips or having a date with Ben & Jerry.
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Master these skills for your finances and career when turning each age
Staying on track with your finances and career requires checking in every so often to be sure you’re meeting your goals and anticipating your needs at each life stage. Although you may have been saving for retirement and enjoying success at work for years, there are still some things to learn. You may have gaps in expertise you’d like to fill or may be ready to plunge into a new career.
Whatever your goals, here’s a checklist of basic money and career management knowledge it’s good to have by age 50, 60 and 70:
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Even for serious wrongs like infidelity, hanging on to anger hurts you, too
By the time we reach midlife, we’ve experienced all kinds of things in our relationships, some good, some bad. It’s great to think back on the positive experiences once in a while, maybe even re-live them from time to time.
For the negative experiences, that’s not such a good idea.
And the more serious the situation, the harder it is to not think about it. Maybe you’ve had to deal with an infidelity or some other kind of betrayal by your partner. If so, its lingering effects may very well be interfering with your ability to fully embrace your partner in a healthy — and even in a literal — way.
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If your pet isn’t in your estate plans, it’s time to remedy that
Maybe you heard that Joan Rivers left a portion of her $150 million fortune to her four rescue pups, who are now living with her longtime assistant. Or that Lauren Bacall’s will said her dog, Sophie, would inherit $10,000 of her $26.6 million estate.
You might have even laughed when you heard the news.
But anyone who owns a pet or ever has understands exactly what Rivers and Bacall were doing — ensuring that their loved ones would be cared for after they were gone. As Rivers told The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman in early September: “I’ve left money so the dogs can be taken care of.” (In my own family, the loss of our beloved miniature schnauzer, Chance, a few years ago, was one of the saddest days of our lives.)
If you’re a pet owner, you should follow the lead of Rivers and Bacall, no matter how big your estate will be.
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Hele mei hoohiwahiwa!
For those who don’t speak Hawaiian, that means Come Celebrate! Which is exactly what Lawrence Presbyterian Manor does every year on the third Friday of August in honor of Hawaii’s Statehood Day.
Hawaii entered the Union on Aug. 21, 1959, (the third Friday in August) when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation making Hawaii the 50th state. Hawaiians were celebrating in the streets. Local stores closed for the day and parades of school children were proudly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Hawaii songwriter Harry Owens even wrote a song to commemorate the day:
“Hawaii is the fiftieth star in the U.S.A.
Aloha means how joyful we are
For at last we are brothers today
We know that you’ll be happy
When Hawaii falls in line
We sing a song of gladness as we
Join the forty-nine.”
Here in the middle of the USA, this holiday gives residents and staff an opportunity to come together for summertime fun. The day’s agenda has a Hawaiian themed lunch menu and the famous Flamingo Fling game that involves – you guessed it – flinging flamingos for prizes!
Staff and residents are also encouraged to dress in Hawaiian inspired clothing to join in the festivities.
This year, we will celebrate Hawaii Day on Aug. 19, so keep an eye on your weekly Activity Calendars for the day’s events.
Join us on Sept. 24 for a community 5K run/walk to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. We are excited to bring this event to the Lawrence community.
Alzheimer’s disease has been diagnosed in 54 million Americans, more than 4,000 of whom live in Douglas County. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event will be donated to aid local and national Alzheimer’s research. Across the nation, more than 600 communities participate in walks and runs at this time of year to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
The event takes place from 7 to 11 a.m. at the adult sports complex, 5101 Speicher Road in Lawrence. The morning starts with a 5K run/walk followed by a day of fun for the whole family. From bouncy houses, face painting, wagon rides and much more, there’s a little something for everyone. A breakfast buffet will be catered by Maceli’s for anyone making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. For more information or to donate use this link act.al.org.
Children 5 and younger: $5
Children 6-14: $10
Adults 15 and older: $25
Lawrence Presbyterian Manor • Brandon Woods • Maceli’s Catering • Asera Care • Interim Healthcare • A Helping Hand Home Care • Grace Hospice • Benefits of Home Senior Care.
What your doctor may not know, but you should
Want to stay mentally sharp for as long as possible?
I certainly do, and I’m guessing you do, too: an AARP survey found that 87 percent of respondents reported being very concerned about this issue.
And in April, a highly influential nonprofit released a new report whose recommendations represent the best available medical knowledge on how our brains change as we age and what we can do about this.
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