Minnesota Seniors Online

Tips, Articles, Information, and News

This section is dedicated to providing seniors, family members, and caregivers with news, tips, articles, and information pertaining to everyday living, housing, and other relevant issues that affect today's Seniors.  With all the options currently out there and the changing markets, choosing the best option can be difficult.  With valuable information provided here, we can help take the confusion out of the housing equation!

Past Articles

The Stories We Leave Behind by Meg Sobiek
Retirement Planning - What's Important to me - Check List
Should I Hire a Professional Organizer?
The Importance of Multimodel Therapy - Treating Chronic Pain
Hints a Loved One May Need Memory Support
Treating Chronic Back Pain Without Opiods
Bridging the Technology Gap in an Aging World
How Soon Can I Sell a  House After a Loved One Has Passed?
What Foods to Eat For Chronic Pain
Managing a Move in the Age of Coronavirus
Landmark Lakewood Cemetery Celebrates 150 Years
Four Reasons to Let Junk 360 Haul Away Your Junk
Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19
Coronavirus (Covid_19 2020) Stay Home MN
Brain Health... What Are You Doing For It?
New Outpatient Clinic at Camilia Rose Care Center
Save Energy and Stay Safe with Tips From CenterPoint Energy
Is CBD Right For Seniors?
How to Help a Hoarder
Cold Weather Safety Tips for Older Adults
Emotional Care: The underserved dimension of assisted living
Medicare Cost Plans Are Ending:  What It May Mean For You
Older Adults Build Momentum for National Senior Center Month
AAA Movers and Rose’s Daughters Partner
To Estate Sale or Not Estate Sale is that really the question?
Minnesota Cost Plans Phased Out in 2019
How Technology Benefits Seniors
Technology for Seniors:  The Benefits of Video Games
Remodeling? Here’s What Junk360 Does With The Waste!
Tips to Help Prevent and Treat Hearing Loss
Medicare's "Extra Help" Program
Three Helpful Tips for Seniors Looking to De-clutter
Meet Charlie
Isolation in Older Adults: What is it and how you can help
Winter Real Estate:  Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter
Stroke Information & Resource Guide

A Practical Guide to Downsizing for Seniors

Seniors and Gambling Addiction
Preparing for MNsure Open Enrollment
Healthcare Directives
Asset Protection Made Easy!
Financial Planners Continue to Dispute CFPB Report on Reverse Mortgages

Equifax Security Breach and Myths of Identity Theft

The Alzheimer's Medical Advisor Book
Using Music For Memory Care
Telemedicine - A Great Way to Offset Rising Medical Costs
Universal Design - New buzz word the last 2 years in design- what does it mean?
Activate Your Wellness From The Inside Out
Osteoarthritis—Relief of Pain and Increase in Function
Why Plan Your Funeral Arrangements in Advance?
The Problem With Seniors
ABOUT NERIUM EHT® SUPPLEMENT - Mind Enhancement Formula
Easy Meals For Seniors to Make On Their Own
What is FIT Functional Fitness®?
Take Control of Your Junk with the KonMari Method
Age is Just a Number...With a Little Help
Don't Wait To Get Sick To Get Healthy
Summer Cleaning: 4 Areas to Remember
From 1 – 10 How Important Is Your Independence...10?
How Are You Doing In This Emotional Time?
Local Businessman Awarded Special Reverse Mortgage Designation
Care Contributors Sacrifice Personal Care to Support People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Government Offers Tax Breaks For Long-Term Care Planners
Mary T. Making a Difference
Senior Living Transitions & Phone Freedom
I Should Have Been More Prepared
Counseling Tips For Untreated Hearing Loss
Knowing When To Get Help
Transitional Care From Hospital to Home
I'll Move When I Sell My House
Good News for Free and Clean Home Owners
Protecting Seniors from Schemes and Scams
Clear Vision, Living Independently Are Top Priorities for Older Americans
A Senior Friendly Work Place Make Sense
What an Eye Opener-I Dare You!
Worn Out:  Seniors Caring for Seniors
Why Don’t My Adult Children Listen To Me?
Beat the Heat: Summer Safety Tips
Soothing Senior Grief
Benedictine Health System's Bold, New Partnership Brings Innovation to Address National Healthcare Goals
Interlude Restorative Suites - Better Care, Lower Costs, Happy Guests
2015 Minnesota Business Ethics Awards Honors Mary T., Inc.
May is Older Americans Month
5 Benefits of Social Media for Seniors
Water Damage & Spring Checklist
Downsizing for Seniors
Healthy Feet by Mary T.
Guide For Overcoming Holiday Depression For Seniors and Caregivers
Who Would Speak For You If You Couldn't Speak For Yourself?

Extra Help For Medicare Part D Costs

Medicare Considers New Ruling to Eliminate Coverage of Bone Anchored Hearing Solutions
Quiz Your Doctor Before Taking Meds
Living Independently At Home
Hearing Loss Often Overlooks, Easy To Detect
A note from Jack Benke: 10 paces to your own spaces
Why Use a Certified Buyer Representative, CBR®?
Top Scams Targeting Seniors
To Sell or Not To Sell - A Question For Baby Boomers
Guidelines for Giving Wisely to Charities
Legal Alert of the Month - Reverse Mortgages - Considering a Reverse Mortgage?, Read This First
Multigenrational Living
Roadwise Rx: Your Prescription for Medication Information
Ebenezer Ridges Campus receives a $10,000 grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
President's Award Winner Dr. Jack Churchill of Churchill Dental
What is Respite Care and Where Can I Find It?
What Should You Do If Your Property Is Damaged In A Storm?
What is a Senior Housing Cooperative?
Rehabilitation - Ask Dr. Marion
Ways That Grandparents Can Help With College Costs
No one wants to believe they need Long Term Care
Medicare Open Enrollment
Beat The Heat
Senior Helper's Alzheimer's Quiz
Advisers Reverse Thinking on Reverse Mortgages
What is a Reverse Mortgage?
Woman and Estate Planning
Moving to housing with services? 
New State Law Requires Calling Senior LinkAge
A Guide to Home Care Services
Independent Living for Seniors - Understanding your Choices
Private Pay Services - How They Can Help Seniors
Tips For Living Safe
6 Costs You Should Always Negotiate
8 People You Trust With Your Credit Card, But Shouldn't
Credit Card Had a 79.9% APR from First Premier Bank
How To Make Multigenerational Living Work
Online Dating Is Not Just for Kids, Seniors Say
Telephone Equipment Distribution Program (TED)

New FHA Reverse Mortgage Program Gives More Flexibility To Senior Homestead

Extension & Expansion of Home Buyer Tax Credit
High Medical Bills? Don’t Fret, They ARE Negotiable!
Medicare Chief Says Health Law Working
Age Is Just A Number - A Humorous Look At Ways To Stay Young
Diet Tips for Healthy Senior Living -- What You Eat Controls It All!
Health Care Overhaul - Important Medicare Changes Are Here
Health Care Reform: Considerations For Seniors
Ideas To Cut Health Care Costs In This Economy
New Laws to Protect Consumers
Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bill Reintroduced In Congress
Don't Get Taken To The Cleaners - Protect Yourself
BBB Lists Top 10 Scams and Rip-offs For 2010
Blood Clots and Stroke - Quick Info That Can Save A Life
Look-and-See Signs A Senior Needs Help
10 Tips To Help Seniors Stretch Their Dollars
Grieving & Healing: 5 Steps To Help You Through The Grieving Process How To Work Through Grieving and Begin To Enjoy Life Again
Has The  Economic Downturn Affected Your Loved Ones?


The Stories We Leave Behind
By Meg Sobieck

"Where did you get all this stuff, Grandma?" asked Hazel, 3 years old.

Have you ever stopped to think seriously about the story you want to leave behind, or rather how you want to be remembered? Your space and stuff at home or work can help you leave the legacy you want, and with the right resources, it’s a doable task that you can easily begin today.

One helpful tool I recently came across is a small paperback book titled, "The Stories We Leave Behind: A Legacy-Based Approach to Dealing with Stuff," by Laura Gilbert. I spotted someone in a local historical society reading and marking up pages while sitting behind the front desk. Intrigued by the title, I asked her about it. She went on to tell me the fascinating concepts the author outlines to help the reader reorganize and pair down their "stuff." Things they bought, pieces they inherited, gifts they received, odds and ends in the attic, and so on.

As I paged through the book, immediately I loved the simplicity of each chapter: 1) Lost Stories; 2) The Story of Stuff; 3) Choosing and Telling Legacy Stories; 4) Putting it All Together; and finally, 5) Living Among Your Best Stories.

One of my favorite parts is the activities section at the back of the book. A page titled, "Stand and Consider" asks the reader thoughtful questions to help them specifically survey their space. #1. What themes, personal values or characteristics are reflected in your stuff (e.g., family, adventure, art, entertaining)? #2. Which themes do you consider important to pass on; to be part of your legacy? #3. Which items tell those stories efficiently and meaningfully?

So, how do you want to be remembered, and what story tells that legacy? Does your home and the belongings in it shine in the spotlight they deserve, or is it clouded with clutter and excess? If these are questions you want help in answering, Smart Organizing Solutions can step in today and assist. We provide basic transition services for people all over central Minnesota who are looking to downsize their property, and right size their space, for whatever reason.

Call Kelly at 320.333.7733 or Julie at 320.248.6694 for a free consultation. Mention this ad when you become our next client and receive a $25 in-store credit at our thrift store / consignment shop, The SOS Treasure Chest, located at 24 7th St. N. in Sauk Rapids, MN. 

Click Here to visit our website.


Being clear about your priorities

Determining what you want in retirement living takes serious thought. So what’s important to you? What do you value most about where you live? And what kind of things do you like to do with your time, energy and talents? What makes life fun and truly fulfilling for you? Before you begin to compare your different options for the future, it’s important to have a clear picture of the way you want to live in your retirement years.

Where I live: What matters most to me

How I live: What matters most to me

Click Here for Check List



Should I Hire a Professional Organizer?
by Julie Braun
Smart Organizing Solutions

If you're like the average person, clutter and disorganization stress you out. But, like most people, the idea of tackling the clutter overwhelms you because you don’t know where to start.

I get it! I’ve been there. It is overwhelming, especially when you’re looking at decades of treasured possessions.

Let's face it. Clutter has a sneaky way of creeping in. It may start with yesterday’s mail on the kitchen table, a plate in the sink, a box of memories, or a closet with clothing you no longer wear.

You may not even initially notice the clutter. But then all of a sudden, one day, when you're thinking about a move or visiting your parents, you realize just how much "stuff" has accumulated.

Just a year ago, our family decided to declutter my parent’s house while they were still around to have a say in where their belongings went. My parents grew up during the Depression and saved every box, plastic container, or bag, which is pretty typical of this era. It was a process to go through everything they owned to help them downsize someday.

It was a good thing we were proactive. Due to health and safety reasons, they are now moving to a patio home. And while there is still much to gift, donate, or sell, it will be a much easier process because we have no clutter or garbage to toss during the move.

While organizing my parent’s paperwork, I realized some critical items were missing. They didn’t have a healthcare directive or estate plan. Organizing their paperwork and the items in their home has alleviated the stress of their future move and helped our family get those items taken care of.

I couldn’t imagine trying to tackle this while also dealing with a sick parent. Once you get to that point, you really want to spend your time creating memories with your loved one.

That’s why it’s so important to get organized now – BEFORE you are faced with moving.

For many people, especially seniors, the hardest part of the organizing process is letting go. Everything in your home has meaning. Working with a professional organizer can help take the pressure and emotion out of what to keep, sell, or donate.

Organizing doesn’t have to be stressful.

At Smart Organizing Solutions (SOS), we take a compassionate and caring approach to help your family sort and organize. Whether you're looking at downsizing, moving, or just want to live a less cluttered life, we can help – and we love to hear all the fantastic memories in the process.

We will work together to develop a plan on how to organize your surroundings to create a more inviting atmosphere that you will enjoy living in.

Working with a professional organizer takes away the stress of doing it on your own. We’ll be here with you throughout the whole process. At SOS, we also help you sell your items to ease the process of letting go.

Still not sure if a professional organizer is for you? Schedule a free consultation and ask me all the questions you have. I’d love to visit with you! Call today at 320-248-6694, or visit www.sosmn.net.


The Importance of Multimodal Therapy
Tools for Treating Chronic Pain
by Cody Foster, MD


Chronic pain is a major health issue affecting millions of people globally. It can have a debilitating impact on lives, preventing people from enjoying activities they love and limiting the quality of their day-to-day life. Recent surveys indicate that approximately 50 million adults in the U.S.—more than one in five—report experiencing pain every day or most days, most commonly in their back, hips, knees, or feet. People with chronic pain say it limits their functioning, including social activities and activities of daily living.

Chronic pain is generally defined as pain persisting for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Clinicians may use various determinations, but a general rule of thumb is that the pain has lasted beyond the expected duration after an acute injury or illness or is present without any history of an injury or insult. 

Taking a Multimodal Approach to Treatment

Treating chronic pain is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. To optimize outcomes, it is critical to form a multimodal treatment strategy. A multidisciplinary approach has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to manage chronic pain. A combination of medications, physical and behavioral therapies, injections, neuromodulation and in rare cases, implantable pain pumps should be considered in order to provide patients with the best possible results. Physicians who specialize in interventional pain management typically offer a full range of such options and work with their patients to develop a course of treatment aimed at helping them manage their chronic pain to the best extent possible.

Classifying Pain

For all physicians considering the challenge of chronic pain management, it may be helpful to review the different types of pain classification:

  1. Somatic pain is felt in the muscles, bones or soft tissues. It is typically localized and can be intermittent or constant. It is often described as an aching, gnawing, throbbing, or cramping type of pain.

  2. Visceral pain comes from the internal organs and blood vessels and is typically more diffuse than localized. Visceral pain tends to be referred to other locations, and can be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or tension in lower back muscles. It can be intermittent or constant, and is typically described as being dull, squeezing, or aching.

  3. Neuropathic pain occurs when the nervous system is damaged or not working properly. It can be experienced at the various levels of the nervous system, from peripheral nerves to the spinal cord and the brain  Nerve pain can be described as shooting, sharp, stabbing, lancinating, or burning.




Hints a loved one may need memory support services

Dementia is a brain and memory disorder that seriously affects a person’s lifestyle and behavior, including difficulty doing familiar tasks such as cooking, driving and paying bills on time. There may be a change in personality, problems with language, forgetting common words, or disorientation and frequently getting lost. While memory is often impaired, memory loss doesn’t always mean dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people; it involves the part of the brain that controls thought, memory and language. It’s progressive and degenerative.  This disease usually begins after age 60, risk goes up with age, and nearly half of those over 85 have symptoms. However, researchers remind us AD isn’t a normal part of aging. Scientists have discovered that in people with AD, nerve cells die in the areas of the brain relating to memory, which affects cognitive functioning and lowers levels of the chemicals that carry messages back and forth between nerve cells. Research hasn’t fully disclosed the causes of AD.

Knowing what to look for

When you see a loved one only on holidays and special occasions, it may be harder to detect problems. Couples often cover for one another, and when the family visits irregularly, it’s easy to miss the changes. Mental deterioration has “patterns of consistent neglect,” according to The Complete Eldercare Planner.

Things to watch for in your loved one include:

  • Unkempt appearance

  • Decline in bathing and personal grooming

  • Accumulating stacks of mail

  • Unpaid bills

  • Appetite changes

  • Curtains drawn all the time

  • Lack of interest in friends or activities

  • Depression

  • Abuse of alcohol

  • Loss of reasoning skills

  • Loss of short-term memory

  • Forgetting how to do simple things

  • Wandering

  • Incontinence

  • Sleeplessness

Experts suggest you seek help, but not jump to conclusions. If several of these things are going on with your loved one, you might make an appointment and talk to their doctor to see if medications or a medical condition could be causing the unusual behavior. Dementia may be caused by stress, depression, nutritional deficiencies, Parkinson’s Disease or other illnesses. When help is clearly needed, go with your loved one to seek a professional evaluation.

Further information is available online at:

alzfdn.org  -  Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

alfa.org  -  Assisted Living Federation of America

bhshealth.org  -  Benedictine Health System

nia.nih.gov/alzheimers  -  National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s resource

seniorresource.com  -  The “E-cyclopedia” of senior housing options and information for retirement, finance, insurance and care

Click Here to Print

Toll Free: (800) 833-7208 | www.benedictineliving.org



Chronic pain is the single most common major medical complication among adults. In the U.S. alone, chronic pain is estimated to affect over 50 million people and cost $635 billion annually, more than the annual costs of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.

Chronic pain comes in all shapes and sizes. However, the most prevalent place where chronic pain in experienced is in the back. Over 16 million people in the US have chronic back pain. If you are among those 16 million, we understand what you are going through. Luckily, there is a revolutionary, minimally invasive treatment option for most kinds of chronic back pain that does not require pain medication.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

This amazing wonder treatment is known as spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS is an FDA-approved, opioid-free, outpatient therapy that treats chronic pain by using electricity to block pain signals. Spinal cord stimulation can provide significant, long-term relief from back pain conditions such as:

  • Sciatica

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Herniated discs

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Facet joint syndrome

  • Cervical radiculopathy

  • Failed back surgery syndrome

The SCS System

The device that performs SCS therapy is called a spinal cord stimulator. A stimulator consists of two parts, a small battery and a pair of thin leads with electrodes on the tips. The leads are placed along the spine, next to the nerves causing pain. The leads are then connected to the battery, which is implanted into a small pocket in the lower abdomen.

The battery emits mild electric pulses which are carried to the nerves by the leads. The leads apply the electricity to the nerves, "stimulating" them. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask pain signals before they reach the brain.

This innovative technique, which is covered by insurance, can provide at least as much pain relief as opioid medications, without the negative side-effects. The most current stimulator models are MRI-compatible, barely larger than a silver dollar, and can last ten years or more.

Additionally, patients seeking SCS therapy undergo a brief trial period, during which the battery is worn outside of the body. If the trial determines that SCS therapy is effective at relieving the patient’s pain, they may proceed with the implant.

Spinal Cord Stimulation at Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Twin Cities Pain Clinic is one of the foremost spinal cord stimulation authorities in the Midwest, performing hundreds of implant procedures each year. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to learn if SCS could help relive your chronic back pain, contact us today! Give us a call at 952-841-2345 or visit us online at www.twincitiespainclinic.com



Bridging the Technology Gap
in an Aging World

By Deb Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Senior Community Services

Post-COVID, most Americans would say technology is essential, yet more than half of Minnesotans aged 65 and older still do not have broadband internet. Technology is built into nearly everything we use on a daily basis, yet many older adults are unable to take advantage of its benefits. This isn’t for lack of awareness or interest. They’re willing to learn, but ageism has created barriers to equitable technology resources and education for older adults.

Technological Barriers in an Age-Denying World

Connecting with family and friends, virtual doctor’s visits, online shopping and navigating social services all come with digital literacy expectations. For many aging adults, a "mouse" is a furry little critter, "click" is the sound a camera makes and "scroll" is an ancient document. Training courses for the masses, or lessons from well-meaning millennials and Gen Zers, often neglect the first critical step: teaching digital vocabulary. As with any new language, it takes time to become fluent.

An estimated 63% of U.S. adults 50 and older will be defrauded, harassed, threatened or intimidated online. New technology users haven’t yet learned the most common ways scammers will engage with them to get personal information. Different devices and apps each have their own security options and settings. With every system update, a folder or function may change, or a once familiar app might look different. Providing tips to help identify potential cyber threats and explaining how to adjust security settings for devices and online profiles is critical.

Affordability and accessibility are also barriers for many aging adults. Technology training courses need to be low or no cost for those on a fixed income. Programs must be designed to accommodate hearing, visual and mobility impairments and offer both in-home and community-based options.

Bridging the Digital Divide Together

The greatest digital divide is not based on income, race or level of education; it’s age. Older adults are often underrepresented and undervalued by our society, but we can fight ageism by admitting our biases and getting involved.

Senior Community Services' Technology Partners Program assists older adults with signing up for affordable internet service. Participants with limited income may also be eligible to receive a donated digital device. Once they have access to technology, ongoing support and coaching helps them become familiar with and learn how to use these tools effectively. Our digital handypersons’ unhurried approach builds relationships with program participants, allowing them to ask as many questions as they need to whenever they arise. Participants are learning to text and email loved ones, set up grocery and prescription deliveries and stream Netflix shows they can talk to their grandchildren about.

Mary, age 82, was referred to Senior Community Services a few years ago by a neighbor after returning home from a hospital stay. She knew she’d need extra help managing a chronic medical condition and applied for the Household and Outdoor Maintenance (HOME) program services for minor home repairs and has been a participant ever since.

Mary facilitates a suicide loss support group and wanted to create a Facebook page so members could interact with one another virtually. She learned about Senior Community Services’ Technology Partners Program and began attending sessions at her local senior center. While she admits she doesn’t feel very adventurous when it comes to using new technology, Mary now uses her iPad to navigate Facebook and manage the group page.

Aging is Our Only Common Experience

Technology resources and education for aging adults is something we all need to get involved with and passionately advocate for so we can bridge the digital divide together. Volunteer to provide one-on-one support and coaching at a senior center. Donate to help fund the purchase of devices for low-income participants. Share this article and, if you’re a professional working with older adults, connect them with these services. Together, we can create technological equality for all.

About the Author:

Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services, a local nonprofit with a mission to innovate and deliver services that meet the changing needs of older adults and their caregivers in our community, keeping them healthy, connected and thriving.


Typically, a person’s home is the most valuable single asset – or at least the most valuable real property – that they leave behind when they die. Often, people designate in their estate plan that their home is to be sold and the proceeds returned to their estate to be included in the assets distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. They may designate that the home goes to a specific beneficiary.

Whatever the case, if you’re the one responsible for selling the home, you’re likely anxious to get moving on it. When can you do that?

If the home has to go through probate

So how soon can you start that process? It depends. If the home needs to go through probate, that can easily take months or longer.

That doesn’t mean you have to wait until the probate process is complete to move forward with selling it. However, you will need to have probate oversight of the process.

When can a home avoid probate?

There are a couple of ways a home (and other assets) can avoid probate. If the home was included in a living trust, it and other assets in the trust can bypass probate. It can go to the beneficiary to handle as they choose or be sold and the assets returned to the estate almost immediately.

Another way one’s home can go directly to a beneficiary and bypass probate is if there is a “transfer on death” deed naming the designated beneficiary. Then the home transfers directly to them.

Just remember that there may be some items in the home that are designated to go to other beneficiaries. Therefore, if you’re in charge of administering the estate, you’ll need to secure the home until that is done.

Caring for the home until it’s sold

Regardless of how long you have to wait to place the home on the market, remember that if you’re administering the estate, it’s your responsibility to secure the home and continue covering mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes and other expenses.

Every situation is different. It’s smart to bring in a real estate agent with experience in selling homes after the owner has died – particularly if it’s in probate. If your loved one didn’t have an estate planning professional, it may be wise to retain your own to advise you on this and other matters.

rb Legal, LLC

Listen First. Solve Second. Care Always. As a woman-owned and operated law firm with over 30 years of experience and a range of practice areas, rb LEGAL, LLC, is uniquely qualified to help you through your challenges with compassionate understanding and innovative problem-solving. At rb LEGAL, LLC, we treat our clients like family. Our team of law professionals will care and work with you to solve your challenging legal questions. We make sure we listen to our clients’ concerns first to get a feel for who they are and all of their issues so we can offer personalized services.

Tel: 763-582-1414
Address: 5801 Duluth Street Suite 380 , Golden Valley, MN 55422
Website: https://www.rblegalmn.com/


One of the main factors in managing chronic pain is making smart lifestyle choices. Along with getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, eating a nutritious diet has a big impact on the severity of chronic pain, which in turn affects overall quality of life. The types of food you consume can help or hinder your journey to pain relief in a variety of ways.


One of the most significant issues has to do with inflammation and how certain foods contribute to it. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury or an infection. You may experience symptoms like pain, heat, redness, and swelling, otherwise known as acute inflammation.

Other times, inflammation becomes chronic (think of it as happening over and over again), at which point it can really start to wreak havoc on the body. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells and organs and cause consistent pain in muscles, tissues, and joints.

Many foods are known to cause and/or increase inflammation in the body, including sugar, dairy, gluten, trans fat, and refined grains. Reducing intake of these foods is an important first step to reducing pain-causing inflammation. Follow that up by eating more foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation, which include:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, including fish (ideally salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and other cold-water fish), nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, and almonds), olives or olive oil, flax seed/oil, eggs, and enriched dairy foods

  • High-fiber foods, including lentils, beans, chickpeas, 2-3 different colors of vegetables (like bell peppers, hot peppers, carrots, onions, and broccoli), brown rice, and quinoa

  • Fruits, including cherries, blueberries, and raspberries

  • Spices and herbs, such as garlic, turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon, sage, thyme, and mint

  • Sweets, such as honey (a good substitute for sugar), and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

  • Beverages, such as tea (white, green, or oolong), and moderate amounts of coffee

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight also goes a long way in managing chronic pain. When you gain weight, your joints are put under more stress and your muscles have to work harder to perform regular functions. The heavier you get, the greater the impact on your body. Over time this can result in significant pain.

Many of the same foods that lead to inflammation are also the main culprits in weight gain, particularly simple carbohydrates like sugar, and the saturated fats found in foods like butter, fatty meats, and most baked treats.

However, most of the foods that reduce inflammation are also the best foods for controlling weight gain, particularly fruits, vegetables, and legumes like beans, peas, and nuts. That means you can tackle inflammation and weight management by making the same dietary choices!

The Chemical Effect

Pretty much all of the foods we eat are loaded with chemicals. Some of them are good and allow our bodies to carry out most of their daily functions. Others are not so good and can negatively impact our bodies.

Heavily refined, sugary, and chemically processed foods are known to irritate muscles, disrupt sleep, and interfere with immune function – three things that can enhance chronic pain. Aspartame, a chemical sweetener used in diet soft drinks, has also been found to heighten pain sensitivity in some fibromyalgia patients.

There is a small subset of vegetables known as "nightshade vegetables," which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. While these veggies still have a number of healthy properties, they contain mild neurotoxins that can increase joint pain and arthritis symptoms in some individuals. Most will experience little to no difference, but some sensitive patients may improve remarkably by reducing nightshade vegetable intake.

Healthy Food for a Healthy Life

It is a fact that we heal quicker when we are well nourished. We can maintain a healthy weight and keep our bodies functioning at their best when we choose to eat a diet rich in fresh, nutritious foods. Try eating a wide variety of foods by eating colors of the rainbow to make your plates bright and nutritious. When choosing food items aim for quality. Ideally that would be grass-fed and pasture raised meats, as they support the highest nutrient levels. Aim for organic and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods when possible. Consume dairy products and red meat in limited quantities.

Eating a nutritious diet may not completely eliminate your chronic pain, but it is a step in the right direction that you can control. Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet can help reverse the development of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and pain syndromes. There is no magical food that can make everything better, but eating the right foods can help produce remarkable results.

Pain Management with Twin Cities Pain Clinic

Incorporating a healthy diet is an excellent way to help keep your chronic pain at a manageable level. But if you want to explore options for additional pain relief, contact Twin Cities Pain Clinic. Our team of highly trained experts specialize in the treatment of pain and can prescribe a care plan that will help you get back to living your best life.

Call: (952) 800-3840
Website TwinCitiesPainClinic.com

Schedule Online


Managing a Move in the Age of Coronavirus
by Rachael Protas of Junk360

Moving is time-consuming and overwhelming. No one likes doing it. Now, add in a pandemic and your moving process just became that much more stressful.
Here’s how to make your move a little more manageable from your friends at Junk360!

Safely Moving During Coronavirus

The key to moving safely during coronavirus is to plan ahead. Make sure you have access to the critical moving services you need to relocate. Here are some steps to take before your moving day:

  1. Book Your Movers: Make an appointment and ensure you understand the company's policies regarding loading up boxes, entering your house, and payment.

  2. Buy Supplies: To the best of your ability, buy all your moving supplies in one trip. This includes boxes, tape, gloves, bubble wrap, and sanitizing wipes.

  3. Clean: Use this opportunity to wipe down and sanitize your belongings.

  4. Pack In Advance: If you’re able, finish packing at least 24 hours before your movers arrive. This allows your boxes to sit untouched for at least a day.

Before you start cleaning and packing things away, this is the perfect opportunity to make a list! Save yourself some time, energy, and supplies by knowing what you want to take with you in advance versus deciding as you go.

Declutter Your Home Before Moving in a Pandemic

With the right mindset and strategies in place, decluttering your home before a move is easy (even in a pandemic)! Here are some tips:

  • Use the 12-month method: Conflicted on whether to pack or donate an item? Ask yourself if you’ve used it in the past 12 months. No? Don’t take it with you to sit unused in your new home.

  • Start early: You’ve spent years accumulating this clutter. Don’t wait until the last minute to go through it! Start your decluttering as soon as you possibly can before a move.

  • Stay focused: When decluttering, it’s easy to get bogged down by all your stuff. Go one room at a time, and stay consistent with your decluttering method. One way to motivate yourself is to set mini-goals and reward yourself when you reach them.

    Items that are worn down, broken, or just gross have no business being packed away with your other belongings. Additionally, you might find items with no resale value that are still usable. Do the right thing and give them to someone in need.

Kickstart Your Move With Junk360’s Contactless Pickup!

Junk360 is here to help make your pandemic moving experience easy, stress-free, and efficient. Just point us to what you want gone and we’ll make it happen in one simple step.  Plus you can leave your donations and junk in the same box. Junk360 will do the sorting and delivering, and even take items that can’t be donated to the recycling center. Additionally, Junk360 offers a contact-free junk removal service.

Let’s get you moving successfully! For a free estimate call Junk360 today at 651-395-8659 or request a free quote online!


Landmark Lakewood Cemetery
Celebrates 150 Years

One of the Most Storied and Extraordinary Urban Cemeteries in America Looks Back – and Ahead – As It Celebrates a Major Milestone in 2021

Lakewood Cemetery, located in Uptown Minneapolis, is celebrating 150 years this year as a local treasure, industry pioneer and resting place for thousands of remarkable individuals and families. From its founding by a few visionary leaders in 1871 to its expansive public programming today, Lakewood has always been a place where people come together to celebrate, honor, mourn, reflect and remember what’s sacred in life.

Throughout 2021, the nonprofit cemetery will be celebrating its 150th year by encouraging people from all walks of life to take part in a full calendar of experiences and activities that showcase Lakewood’s proud history and bold vision to reimagine the role of a cemetery in modern life. There will be opportunities to explore Lakewood’s 250 acres of urban memorial parkland, to share stories and memories of Lakewood, to learn more about Lakewood’s history, art and gardens, and to discover ways to bring more creativity and meaning to memorialization.

Lakewood’s story began with several New England-born leaders who came to Minnesota in the late 1800s and helped build the city of Minneapolis. Progressive and enlightened, they envisioned Lakewood as a place for all individuals and families to be memorialized in a peaceful and beautiful setting. Over time, Lakewood has become a keeper of some of this city’s treasures — its historical figures and events, art and architecture, park-like landscape, and people from many cultures and walks of life.

“Lakewood is a haven in the heart of Minneapolis and an integral part of the Twin Cities community,” says Lakewood’s president, Chris Makowske. “For our 150th anniversary, we’re opening our doors and inviting the entire community to get to know us better. If you haven’t seen our historic mosaic Chapel, participated in one of our seasonal celebrations, or taken a walking tour of Lakewood, this is the year to do it,” Makowske adds. “We’re offering our most robust year of community programming ever to encourage people to connect or re-connect with this very special place.”

“Not only are we celebrating the past, but we are also looking ahead to the next 150 years,” Makowske continues. “The world of death, dying and remembrance is changing. People today are looking for more personal and meaningful ways to honor and remember, both at the time of death and in the years that follow. Because as many of us know, we never forget those we’ve lost.”

“As we move forward, Lakewood intends to continue to inspire individuals and families to discover what’s meaningful for them when it comes to memorialization, whether it’s planting a tree in memory of a loved one, inscribing a name in stone, joining others in a grief meditation or tying a ribbon to our Living Memory Tree, we intend to bring more offerings forward that encourage personal and collective remembrance so that memorialization becomes more inviting, accessible and relevant for people’s lives today,” says Makowske.


Events and Activities this Year

Visitors can learn about the virtual and seasonal activities taking place this year at lakewoodcemetery.org/150. All activities are open to the public and will follow the latest Covid-19 mandates and guidelines. More experiences and events will be added as the year goes on.


Lakewood is collecting memories from everyone who has a personal connection to this storied place. This includes stories from people who have loved ones memorialized at Lakewood, people who grew up or have lived nearby, and people who have a love of a history, gardens, art or cemeteries. Whatever your interest or connection, Lakewood would love to hear about it. Visit lakewoodcemetery.org/150 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. #lakewood150 #mylakewoodstory


Lakewood offers a series of memorable outdoor events tied to each season that have become an annual tradition for many families and the community. Seasonal events are open to the public and include celebrations of Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Midsummer Memory Mandalas, Lantern Lighting and Fall Colors.


Visitors can discover the natural and historic treasures of this unique urban sanctuary through a wide array of tours, walks and activities focused on interests such as art & architecture, bird watching, photography, sketching and more. These events and experiences are carefully curated to allow guests to view Lakewood through a new lens.


The Lakewood Experience Series offers immersive experiences created to expand understanding and bring new depth and meaning to subjects like grief, healing and remembrance through personal reflection and creative expression. Some of the experiences in this series include grief meditations, legacy writing workshops, journaling, mandala-making, art therapy, and Lakewood’s Living Memory Tree, a tree of colorful ribbons dedicated by community members to those they love and have lost.


Sparking conversations on topics related to death, dying and memorialization, Learn @ Lakewood workshops and seminars explore diverse perspectives from experts and professionals in their field. Topics range from Death Café discussions to end-of-life planning and diverse memorialization traditions and practices.

Visit lakewoodcemetery.org/150 to learn more or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to swap stories, see upcoming events, learn about Lakewood’s history, and join in the celebration. #lakewood150 #mylakewoodstory

About Lakewood — A Place to Remember -

Lakewood is a serene haven in the heart of Minneapolis’s renowned Chain of Lakes—a place to come together to honor, remember and reflect. Since 1871, Lakewood’s 250 acres of urban memorial parkland have served as a community gathering place and a chronicle of our region’s traditions, cultures and people. A history keeper and a thought leader, Lakewood honors its roots as a landmark cemetery while reimaging its role in modern life, through thoughtfully designed events, experiences and spaces.

Today, Lakewood is making memorialization more relevant, accessible and inviting for new audiences and generations—with more creativity and choices. As a nonprofit organization governed by a board of trustees, Lakewood is committed to preserving and enhancing our grounds and architectural treasures, and we use proceeds generated from activities and events for that purpose.

Visitors can learn about the virtual and seasonal activities taking place this year at lakewoodcemetery.org/150. All activities are open to the public and will follow the latest Covid-19 mandates and guidelines. More experiences and events will be added as the year goes on.


Four Reasons to Let Junk360
Haul Away Your Junk!

A veteran-founded and family-owned business, Junk 360 is a reputable and reliable junk removal organization. From construction debris to home clutter to real estate cleanout, Junk360 is your source for clearing away unwanted waste.

Here are four reasons to choose Junk360 for your junk removal needs.

1. Our Customers Come First 

  • At Junk360, we specialize in:

  • Commercial Cleanups 

  • Real Estate Cleanouts 

  • Home Junk Removal

  • Construction Waste Disposal

However, no matter who are clients are, our customers always come first. Junk360 provides five-star customer service 100% of the time. Need a night removal? Junk360 is there! Multi-day project? Junk360 is there! Helping your elderly relatives downsize? Junk360 is there!

From the moment our clients contact us, they, their belongings, and their property are treated as our number one priority. 

But don’t take our word for it! Check out the five-star reviews Junk360 consistently earns.

2. Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose 

At Junk360, we don’t just bring items to the dump. First we:

  • Sort items to see what can be donated or recycled

  • Bring donations to the proper facilities

  • Recycle all materials that qualify 

We’ll sort through all your items to make sure they end up in the right place - whether that be a local charity or an e-waste recycling center. So, when you use Junk360, you are doing your part to create a more sustainable community! 

All of this is done with every truck load, at no extra cost to the customer.

3. Upfront Pricing

Our pricing is simple and easy for the customer to understand. Unlike other junk removal companies that set their prices based on weight or by the hour, we charge by the amount of truck spaced used. For example:

  • A load of ⅛ of truck space, equal to about 1 couch and a small cabinet, runs $134. 

  • Hauling away junk that takes up ½ of truck space, about 9 cubic yards and the equivalent of 4 couches and a stove, costs $399.

  • A full load, which is the entire 18 cubic yards of our truck, is $579. This space can hold about 9 couches and 1 stove. 

At Junk360, we believe in fair and transparent pricing. Before you contract our services, we always provide a free estimate with no obligations attached. 

Our estimates include the cost of the sorting process, loading, all fees (recycling, dumping, ect), and clean up. To see our complete pricing breakdown, view our pricing chart.

4. Support a Local Business

Junk360 is a locally owned, operated, and staffed business! We care about and are invested in the well-being of our community and its future.

While it isn’t always easy to or most convenient option to support an independent business rather than a large national chain, there are also notable benefits that come from supporting businesses in your local community. For example:

  • We utilize other local businesses such as banks, charities, mechanics, and waste disposal facilities.

  • We are accountable to our community!

  • As an eco-friendly business, we have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies.

So the next time you have some junk you need hauled away, think local! Experience the great service Junk360 offers while helping to build a strong and successful community around you.

Contact Junk360 Today

Want a junk removal service that stands above the rest? Contact Junk360 today! We’ll provide you with a free estimate using our transparent pricing chart, and schedule a time to provide our services that fits with your schedule.

Call us today at (651) 395-8659. We’re ready to make you our next five-star review!




CORONAVIRUS (Covid_19) 2020

Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

It is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to:

If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your healthcare provider within 24 hours

Venturing out into a public setting? What to consider before you go.

As communities and businesses across the United States are opening, you may be thinking about resuming some activities,running errands, and attending events and gatherings. There is no way to ensure you have zero risk of infection, so it is important to understand the risks and know how to be as safe as possible.

People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, should consider their level of risk before deciding to go out and ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves. Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures may be difficult, such as activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness.

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.

  • If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.

  • Keep these items on hand and use them when venturing out: a mask cloth, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.

  • If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

Are you considering in-person visits with family and friends? Here are some things to consider to help make your visit as safe as possible:

When to delay or cancel a visit

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:

  • How many people will you interact with?

  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others?

  • Will you be outdoors or indoors?

  • What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?

Encourage social distancing during your visit

  • Visit with your friends and family outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows or doors) and large enough to accommodate social distancing.

  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart from each other.

  • Consider activities where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or yard games.

  • Try to avoid close contact with your visitors. For example, don’t shake hands, elbow bump, or hug. Instead wave and verbally greet them.

  • If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

  • Consider keeping a list of people you visited or who visited you and when the visit occurred. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.

Wear masks

  • Masks should be worn over the nose and mouth. Masks are especially important when it is difficult to stay at least 6 feet apart from others or when people are indoors to help protect each other.

  • Masks may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others

    • Wearing a mask helps protects others in case you’re infected, while others wear one to protect you should they be infected.

  • Who should NOT use masks: Children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Wash hands often

  • Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the visit and whenever you think your hands may have become contaminated.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, such as with outdoor visits or activities, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Remind guests to wash or sanitize their hands before serving or eating food.

  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so visitors do not share towels. Have a no-touch trash can available for guests to use.

Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items

  • Encourage your visitors to bring their own food and drinks.

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use.

  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.

If you are thinking about participating in an event or gathering:

If you are at increased risk for severe illness, consider avoiding high-risk gatherings. The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staying healthy during the pandemic is important. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your vaccinations and other preventive services are up to date to help prevent you from becoming ill with other diseases.

  • It is particularly important for those at increased risk of severe illness, including older adults, to receive recommended vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease.

  • Remember the importance of staying physically active and practicing healthy habits to cope with stress.

 If you have an underlying medical condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.

  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply (i.e., more than 30 days) of prescription medicines, if possible, to reduce your trips to the pharmacy.

  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your underlying medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments have contingency infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your underlying medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.

  • If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest community health centerexternal icon or health department.



CORONAVIRUS (Covid_19) 2020

Stay Home MN




Brain Health... What Are You Doing For It?
Article submitted by Angela Bohnsack
Neora Brand Partner


A healthy lifestyle is an important part of the aging process.  Eating well and staying active is vital.  So is taking care of the ONE organ that controls EVERYTHING!  When your brain is unhealthy—for whatever reason— you are more likely to be sadder, sicker, poorer, and less successful. There are many causes and behaviors that can lead to an unhealthy brain. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Brain injuries such as concussion

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • Illicit drug use – including marijuana even if it is legal in some places!

  • Obesity

  • Medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and untreated sleep apnea

  • Mold toxicity

  • Infections such as Lyme disease

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • A chronically poor diet filled with processed foods, sugar and unhealthy fats.

If your brain is troubled, don’t despair!  EHT® Mind Enhancement Supplement can help!  It is never too late to have a better brain.   EHT® comes after 20 years research from Dr. Jeffry Stock's labs at Princeton University and Signam BiosciencesEHT® protects & stabilizes tau protein & PP2A ensuring the PP2A is in a balanced state providing neuroprotection. EHT® works by helping neurons, the "wiring" of our brain, maintain an optimal, functional state.

EHT® Age-Defying Supplement helps protect against mental decline with a groundbreaking formula that includes our exclusive, patented EHT® extract, a natural mixture of bioactive molecules isolated from coffee.  Fortified with other rejuvenating ingredients, including vitamins B6, B12, D3, folic acid, magnesium citrate, selenium, Huperzine A (which increases focus) and the antioxidant lipoic acid. 

This supplement:

  • Promotes better cognitive function and overall brain health

  • Combats oxidative stress and chronic inflammation

  • Fortifies and strengthens natural brain functions

  • Protects and supports neuronal networking

  • Enhances the body’s natural energy stores

  • Boosts the body’s immune system

  • Increases focus

Click Here for more information on EHT® and how to order. 

30 day money back guarantee. 

Angela Bohnsack
Neora Brand Partner

Healthy Sources:

Eating Well

Exercise and Fitness As you Age

Dr. Amen’s Brain Fit Life - Try a Free Brain Health Assessment‎


New Outpatient Clinic at
Camilia Rose Care Center

Article by Camilia Rose Care Center




As temperatures drop, CenterPoint Energy offers tips to save energy and stay safe

Article by CenterPoint Energy

As temperatures drop to deep-freeze levels, CenterPoint Energy reminds its Minnesota natural gas customers of some important energy efficiency and safety tips to stay safe and warm at home in the cold weather. 

Energy-Saving Tips

Make sure your heating system is operating safely and efficiently with an annual tune-up by a qualified technician. Check your furnace filter monthly and clean or change it as needed.

Set your thermostat setting to 68 degrees when you’re at home and awake. Lower it at night or when you’re away. Every one degree reduction in the setting can save 3-5 percent on your heating bills.

Use a smart programmable thermostat to match your household’s schedule by automatically lowering the heating temperature at night or while you’re away from home.

Close fireplace dampers when not in use so you don’t lose heat.

Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow the sun's heat to warm your house. Close curtains and blinds at night so you don’t lose heat when the sun goes down.

Get more information about energy-saving tips and energy efficiency incentives and programs by visiting CenterPointEnergy.com/SaveEnergy.

Safety Tips

Fuel-burning appliances in the home have the potential to produce carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating. CO can build up to life-threatening concentrations indoors if fuel-burning devices are not properly vented, operated or maintained. CenterPoint Energy offers these safety tips to prevent CO buildup:

Properly vent and maintain fuel-burning appliances. They should be checked by a qualified technician every year to detect potential problems.

Clear obstructions such as snow and ice from vents, fresh-air intakes and chimneys.

Never use an appliance inside that is intended only for outdoor use, such as barbecue grills, camp stoves or portable generators.

Install CO alarms. Minnesota law requires that every home have at least one operational CO alarm within 10 feet of every room used for sleeping. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement of your alarms, and keep track of the suggested replacement date.

Know the signs of CO poisoning. Early symptoms such as headache and fatigue are similar to the flu, but without a fever. Continued CO exposure can lead to more severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty thinking clearly and fainting. If everyone in a household is experiencing symptoms, it may be CO poisoning. Get fresh air immediately and call 911.

Get more information about natural gas safety at CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.



Is CBD Right for Seniors?

Article by Canviva

Who wants to slow down as they get older? “Not me!” you might be saying to yourself.

As you grow older, your body starts to change. You’re likely to notice a few more grey hairs or wrinkles. If you’re fortunate, you will live a long healthy life. Even better, you will remain healthy and active. But aging affects your cardiovascular system, digestive system, joints and muscles, and even your cognitive skills, amongst others.

So what can you do to take better care of yourself or someone you love? A lot, and CBD might be part of the answer!

The Aches And Pains Of Growing Old

CANVIVA co-founder, Dave Rye, was a skeptic before being convinced that CBD products could improve the quality of his life. “Since taking CANVIVA products, I have stopped taking ibuprofen before and after golfing.” Like Dave, many other individuals are turning to CBD (cannabidiol).

Did you know that there are over 46 million people 65 years or older. And, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 49.6% suffer from arthritis. In addition, Mental Health America reports that 27% of seniors suffer from severe anxiety, which impacts their ability to function. It’s no wonder CBD (cannabid oil) use is on the rise, especially with Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).

According to a survey by Consumer Reports (CR), more than a quarter of people in the U.S. say they’ve tried CBD. One out of seven (7) of those people said they use it every day. And, 15% of people 60 and older have tried CBD.

You can learn more about your endocannabinoid system and how CBD may help keep your body in balance here.

What Can You Do To Stay Healthy?

Here are 10 tips for seniors!

  1. Stay active. Walk, bike, do something you like—just make sure to get regular exercise!

  2. Eat healthy. Eat nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Avoid overly sweet, salty, and processed foods. And don’t forget to follow your doctor’s advice regarding any dietary restrictions.

  3. Sustain your brain. Take a class, learn a new skill. Never stop learning! Studies suggest that stimulating your brain slows cognitive decline.

  4. Stay connected. Call or visit someone you love. Get together with a friend. Even better, go for a walk with them.

  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Older adults need 7-10 hours of sleep per night. Make sure you turn off the TV and your phone. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine late in the day. And, keep your bedroom cool, dark, and noise-free. (Psst, we also recommend CANVIVA REST CBD Oil.)

  6. Reduce stress. (Read our blog to learn more about how stress effects your body and what you can do to help manage it. 

  7. Practice prevention. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date—this includes a yearly flu shot. Get your vision and hearing checked in addition to regular wellness check-ups.

  8. Be your own health advocate. When you do see your doctor, bring a list of your current prescription and non-prescription medications, including herbal supplements, bring a list of your health concerns; and, ask questions if you have them.

  9. Look on the bright side. Staying positive is good for your health.

  10. Try a CBD product like CANVIVA. Many older adults start with topicals, like roll-ons or balms. Another popular form of CBD is tinctures. Both methods are easy to use and easy to incorporate into your wellness regimen.




How to Help a Hoarder
by Rachael Protas of Junk360


Hoarding is a psychological disorder. Up to five percent of Americans are classified as hoarders. Hoarders suffer from a compulsion. Rather than being “messy”, they simply cannot bring themselves to get rid of the possessions consuming their homes.

So how do you recognize the signs of hoarding? And what can you do to find help?

Hoarding Warning Signs

Some people’s homes become so cluttered to the point where they are overwhelming to themselves or others. This can affect their family relationships, friendships, and daily stress levels.

Hoarding typically has three components:

  • Acquiring possessions compulsively
  • Constantly buying or collecting free things
  • Saving all these possessions and never discarding anything
  • Struggling to organize and maintain all the saved possessions

People who hoard keep things for the same reason as anyone else:

  • Sentimental: The hoarder has an emotional attachment to the items or saves them to remember an important life event.
  • Utility: The item is, or could be, useful.
  • Aesthetic: The item is considered to be attractive or beautiful.

However, hoarders also struggling with additional issues such as:

  • Compulsion: They often feel as though they need to accumulate these objects.
  • Anxiety: The thought of recycling or getting rid of these items brings about feelings of dread.
  • Disorganization: Even to a hoarder, the sheer number of belongings can be overwhelming. This often results in clutter and eventually causes stress and isolation.

Finding Help for Hoarders

Hoarding tendencies can vary in severity, but if you recognize more than one of the above symptoms in your loved one, seeking professional assistance is vital to moving forward.

Here are a few tips for helping someone who hoards:

  • Be there: People with hoarding disorder are often socially isolated and have minimal support in their lives. Let your loved one know that you are thinking about them, and remind them often what you love about them.
  • Encourage Therapy: Encouraging someone to reach out is not always easy, especially if they’re not ready. There are several foundations that can help you find a local therapist who specializes in hoarding disorder.
  • Set Goals: Once your loved one is ready to start decluttering, make sure to set achievable goals. For example, identify just one small area in the home to clear. This could be a box, a drawer, or just one particular room.
  • Give Them Control: Avoid the temptation to take over the decluttering process. Ask your loved one how you can be most helpful, and set some guidelines together about boundaries

Once you’ve brought in professional help and addressed the underlying issues of their hoarding tendencies, you can start helping your loved one clean their home.

Junk360’s Compassionate and Professional Junk Removal Service

Hoarding is complex and with it comes challenges. When it comes to removal services, Junk360 provides professional junk removal that is sensitive to this type of disorder. With our reputable, dependable and knowledgeable services, you can ensure that not only will the job get done, but the customer feels comfortable throughout the process.

Contact our team today at (651) 395-8659 or request your estimate online. We’ll help your loved one make the transition to a clutter-free, healthy lifestyle!

Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults
Article by
National Institute on Aging


If you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young.

Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what's happening.  Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attackkidney problemsliver damage, or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

Bob's Story

Vermont winters can be very cold. Last December, I wanted to save some money so I turned my heat down to 62°F. I didn't know that would put my health in danger.

 Luckily, my son Tyler came by to check on me. He saw that I was only wearing a light shirt and that my house was cold. Ty said I was speaking slowly, shivering, and having trouble walking. He wrapped me in a blanket and called 9-1-1.

Turns out I had hypothermia. My son's quick thinking saved my life. Now on cold days, I keep my heat at least at 68°F and wear a sweater in the house.

Keep Warm Inside

Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60°F and 65°F, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. This is a special problem if you live alone because there is no one else to feel the chilliness of the house or notice if you are having symptoms of hypothermia.

Here are some tips for keeping warm while you're inside:

  • Set your heat to at least 68–70°F. To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using. Close the vents and shut the doors in these rooms, and keep the basement door closed. Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts.
  • Make sure your house isn't losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed. If you have gaps around the windows, try using weather stripping or caulk to keep the cold air out.
  • Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • When you go to sleep, wear long underwear under your pajamas, and use extra covers. Wear a cap or hat.
  • Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don't eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.
  • Drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.
  • Ask family or friends to check on you during cold weather. If a power outage leaves you without heat, try to stay with a relative or friend.

You may be tempted to warm your room with a space heater. But, some space heaters are fire hazards, and others can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has information on the use of space heaters. Read the following for more information: Reducing Fire Hazards for Portable Electric Heaters and Seven Highly Effective Portable Heater Safety Habits.

Bundle Up on Windy, Cold Days

A heavy wind can quickly lower your body temperature. Check the weather forecast for windy and cold days. On those days, try to stay inside or in a warm place. If you have to go out, wear warm clothes, and don't stay out in the cold and wind for a long time.

Here are some other tips:

  • Dress for the weather if you have to go out on chilly, cold, or damp days.
  • Wear loose layers of clothing. The air between the layers helps to keep you warm.
  • Put on a hat and scarf. You lose a lot of body heat when your head and neck are uncovered.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it's snowy.
  • Change your clothes right away if they get damp or wet.

Illness, Medicines, and Cold Weather

Some illnesses may make it harder for your body to stay warm.

Talk with your doctor about your health problems and how to prevent hypothermia.

Taking some medicines and not being active also can affect body heat. These include medicines you get from your doctor and those you buy over-the-counter, such as some cold medicines. Ask your doctor if the medicines you take may affect body heat. Always talk with your doctor before you stop taking any medication.

Here are some topics to talk about with your doctor to stay safe in cold weather:

  • Ask your doctor about signs of hypothermia.
  • Talk to your doctor about any health problems and medicines that can make hypothermia a special problem for you. Your doctor can help you find ways to prevent hypothermia.
  • Ask about safe ways to stay active even when it's cold outside.

What Are the Warning Signs of Hypothermia?

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person has hypothermia. Look for clues. Is the house very cold? Is the person not dressed for cold weather? Is the person speaking slower than normal and having trouble keeping his or her balance?

Watch for the signs of hypothermia in yourself, too. You might become confused if your body temperature gets very low. Talk to your family and friends about the warning signs so they can look out for you.

Early signs of hypothermia:

  • Cold feet and hands
  • Puffy or swollen face
  • Pale skin
  • Shivering (in some cases the person with hypothermia does not shiver)
  • Slower than normal speech or slurring words
  • Acting sleepy
  • Being angry or confused

Later signs of hypothermia:

  • Moving slowly, trouble walking, or being clumsy
  • Stiff and jerky arm or leg movements
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Blacking out or losing consciousness

Call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone has warning signs of hypothermia.

What to do after you call 9-1-1:

  • Try to move the person to a warmer place.
  • Wrap the person in a warm blanket, towels, or coats—whatever is handy. Even your own body warmth will help. Lie close, but be gentle.
  • Give the person something warm to drink, but avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, such as regular coffee.
  • Do not rub the person's legs or arms.
  • Do not try to warm the person in a bath.
  • Do not use a heating pad.

Hypothermia and the Emergency Room

The only way to tell for sure that someone has hypothermia is to use a special thermometer that can read very low body temperatures. Most hospitals have these thermometers. In the emergency room, doctors will warm the person's body from inside out. For example, they may give the person warm fluids directly by using an IV. Recovery depends on how long the person was exposed to the cold and his or her general health.

Is There Help for My Heating Bills?

If you are having a hard time paying your heating bills, there are some resources that might help. Contact the National Energy Assistance Referral service at 1-866-674-6327 (toll-free; TTY, 1-866-367-6228) or email the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project to get information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

If your home doesn't have enough insulation, contact your state or local energy agency or the local power or gas company. They may be able to give you information about weatherizing your home. This can help keep heating bills down. These agencies and companies may also have special programs for people who have a limited income and qualify for help paying the heating bill. Your local Area Agency on Aging, senior center, or social service agency may have information on these programs.

For More Information About Cold Weather Safety

Eldercare Locator
1-800-677-1116 (toll-free)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program 
National Energy Assistance Referral Hotline (NEAR) 
1-866-674-6327 (toll-free) 

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Consumer Product Safety Commission
1-800-638-2772 (toll-free)              
1-301-595-7054 (TTY)

This article can be found on the National Institute on Aging


Emotional Care
The underserved dimension of assisted living

Article by
Scott Hemenway
CEO, The Geneva Suites


As a society we’ve become accustomed to warehousing our seniors. The economics of typical assisted living facilities work out well when there are more seniors in one place. This model may work for seniors who are relatively independent, enjoy large social circles and don’t require too much care. But it’s a disaster for seniors with higher physical and emotional care needs.

If you’ve been into an assisted living facility lately chances are you saw someone sitting by themselves for a very long time. They may be sad, soiled, in need of a hug or just need someone to talk to. The sad news is the system isn’t designed for that. When one caregiver has 12 or more seniors to get up, dressed, bathed and off to breakfast there just isn’t time to sit with a resident to talk. It’s not that caregivers don’t want to spend emotional time with seniors. It’s that they often can’t. They’re just too busy. As a result, emotional care gets left out. Depression, anxiety and loneliness are as rampant in America’s assisted living facilities as any other disease. Yet the bulk of resources are spent caring for the body.

Fortunately, the tide is turning. “Small care” is a growing thing. With small care, we are able to attend to the high physical and emotional needs of residents. The Geneva Suites (My company) and others like it are popping up around the United States. Why? Not because it makes the most economic sense for shareholders. We’re not the most efficient or profitable business model. However, we are the most caring model. When a senior cannot return home due to health, “Small care” is the softest landing there is. It is gut wrenching to face the reality that mom or dad is never going home again. Everyone cries. And we should. It’s a huge life change that no one wanted or predicted. Yet there it is. Dropped in everybody’s lap. Suddenly daughters are no longer daughters. If mom or dad move in they’re now caregivers, therapists, psychiatrists, bed changers, personal chefs and medication administers. (Sons too) When the decision to choose an assisted living option comes it happens lightning fast. It’s a confusing, scary and emotional process all at once. And there’s no stopping it. The entire family goes from being drivers of their own life to passengers. Whatever the momentum of the industry is, that’s where mom or dad go. As a result, seniors continue to be funneled into large assisted living facilities, where they just may not fit.

Pause for a moment and consider the data:

Typical Small Care residence

Typical Big Box Facility

  • 1 caregiver for every 3 resident
  • 6 residents per home
  • Residential neighborhood
  • Heavy personal attention
  • Quick response time
  • Personal Choice Respected
  • 1 caregiver for every 15 residents
  • 109 residents per facility
  • Non-residential neighborhood
  • Light personal attention
  • Slow response time
  • Cookie cutter approach expected

We have much work to do in order to perfect the dignity of care for our seniors. It’s not an easy task. But the next time you are discharging a patient, or considering where mom or dad should go, ask yourself, “Will mom be happy here?”

By now you have probably guessed that I’m driven by dignifying the care of our seniors. I have chosen to create a company that is dedicated to Small Care. We may not be the most efficient or profitable, but I believe we are the most caring kind of senior residential experience a person can have.

Scott Hemenway is founder of The Geneva Suites and an advocate for seniors. Scott can be reached at Scott@thegenevasuites.com.

At Geneva Suites, we believe in superior care for each resident.  We have created a home experience that our residents are proud of, where each member feels safe, supported, and cared for. Residents benefit from round-the-clock care supported by a staffing ratio of 1:3, 24 hours-a-day, every day, even at night.  You won’t find that level of care and attention at any assisted living facility.

With 6 residential locations, serving the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area, each senior residential home within The Geneva Suites provides aesthetically beautiful surroundings in which to reside.  Contact us today for more information at 612-208-8888 Click Here to download our brochure. 


Medicare Cost Plans Are Ending:
What It May Mean For You

Article by Tom Prideaux
The Prideaux Group


Medicare Cost plans won’t be available in most Minnesota counties in 2019 due to a change in federal law. The change affects more than 400,000 Minnesotans. Not every Minnesotan will be affected by the change. Medicare beneficiaries that have a Cost Plan are concerned about what to do. Many Medicare beneficiaries that do not have cost plans are concerned about their plans too. Below is a list of scenarios in Minnesota and whether you may need to act to have continued coverage.

No Action required- If you live in one of 21 Minnesota counties where Cost plans will continue, you can keep your current Cost plan in 2019. You will receive your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents before October 1. These documents will explain any changes to your plan benefits and show your monthly premium amount for 2019.

No Action required- Individuals that have a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (MediGap) plan already don’t need to do anything.

No Action required – Individuals with a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) with Original Medicare or a Medicare Supplement (MediGap). 

No Action required but investigation recommended – Individuals that have a Cost Plan with an embedded Prescription Drug Plan or with the same insurance carrier will be automatically converted to an Advantage Plan. Even though it is likely, please confirm that your physician is in the new plan’s network and that the plan is reasonably priced and has the benefits, copays and deductibles you are comfortable with compared to other plans that are available. Confirm that the new plan’s prescription drug formulary has the prescription drugs that you are taking in the new formulary and that they are reasonably priced compared to other PDP Formularies. There are many new plans available this year due to the changes in Minnesota

Action required – Individuals that have a Cost Plan and a PDP (Part D) with different insurance carriers must take action or they will revert to Original Medicare only (parts A and B) and will not have any type of Medicare Supplement (Medigap) or Advantage Plan.

Recommended - Even if you are converting to an Advantage Plan or currently in an Advantage Plan, it may be in your best interest to explore alternative Advantage Plans. There are more major health insurance companies entering the Minnesota market this year due to the Cost Plan disruption. They may have Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plan Formularies that are more economical or better suited to your needs.

Remember – If you are losing your Cost Plan this year you will have the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy with Guarantee Issue Rights. That means you won’t have to medically qualify for the supplement and they must cover all your pre-existing conditions. If you are spending a lot of money on hospital stays or Doctor/Clinic visits and care, a Supplement may be your best option.

Many Minnesota seniors will likely see new options from companies they already know. They may also see Medicare plans from health insurance companies that are new to the Minnesota market. It all means you could have more Medicare plans to choose from than ever before. Whatever you choose to do, we can help with the enrollment or conversion process. We can research the plans and formularies to help you find the plan that is best suited to you. There is never any cost for our services. We are independent, Licensed and Certified Medicare Agents.

Tom Prideaux    Phone: 612-868-5329   TTY:711 tprideaux@prideauxgroup.com

Click Here for Website



Article by
Deb Taylor
CEO of Senior Community Services


Today’s older adults are a far cry from the era of your great-grandparents.  There is a new generation of older adults looking to redefine retirement and reimagine how we age. Now more than ever, older adults are opting to “age in place”, a term used to describe a person living in their own home independently and safely without losing their quality of life. Senior centers are undoubtedly an invaluable part of that process. They serve as a community hub for older adults, connecting them to indispensable services to maintain and elevate wellbeing through a combination of life engagement and both cognitive and physical stimulation.

But it’s more than just keeping our older adults physically healthy and independent; it’s about creating a physical space to forge meaningful relationships within the community that help foster purpose, prevent isolation, and promote mental health. “Depression unfortunately is very real for too many older adults in our community,” says Pam Loidolt, Director of the Monticello Senior Center, ”Being part of a senior center can help combat depression and without a doubt improve a person’s wellbeing.” Research shows older adults who feel lonely and isolated are more likely to report also having poor physical and/or mental health and is even linked to quicker cognitive decline, high blood pressure, and higher rates of elder abuse. 

When these centers are at their best, it’s because intergenerational members of the community are coming together to promote a positive image of aging as we all grow older.  So this year, take some time to celebrate the many ways your own community’s senior center builds momentum for the future of people’s health, economic security, and independence.  “Include older people in all community and local decision making,” says Steve Pieh, the Manager of Senior Services at the Minnetonka Senior Center, “advocate for meaningful senior programs and resources, for older adults in their communities.  Highlight active roles and accomplishments of folks during their retirement years.  Evaluate how we use older workers, in their various part or full time jobs.”

That’s exactly what aging in our society should look like; collaboration between generations to create a richer and more meaningful future for the members of our community.  It’s been 75 years since the first senior center opened in the U.S., and with that comes 75 years of experiences, lessons and wisdom. Looking forward, we’re only going to continue to build on that momentum with the help of lasting community engagement from all ages to truly reimagine the way we age.

To find the Senior Center in your community and a list of all the centers in MN, visit: https://www.mnseniorsonline.com/senior-centers.html

Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers navigate aging to maintain independence and quality of life. We provide a wide array of programs -- www.seniorcommunity.org


AAA Movers and Rose’s Daughters Partner
to Produce the Ultimate Senior Move Experience.
Packing/Unpacking, Downsizing, Organizing, Sorting,
Clearing, Shipping, Storage, Waste Removal & Moving


Minneapolis, MN: AAA Movers, a leader in the moving industry and Rose’s Daughters, a leader in the senior move management industry, announce their partnership. In joining forces, these leaders will maintain their consistency and commitment to produce the ultimate senior move for their customers and communities. Both companies are members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).  Click Here for Press Release.

AAA Movers is a full service storage and moving company in Minneapolis that’s been delivering excellent service to Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond for over 50 years. They’re an award-winning leader in residential and corporate moves, and they’re proudly committed to ensuring your move is the best you’ll ever make. They handle each of your possessions as if it were their own.

Rose’s Daughters is a senior move management company in Minneapolis servicing the twin cities and surrounding area with a personal touch approach for over 16 years. They continue to help people and seniors who are adapting to a new living situation or just needing their services to improve their quality of living.

Owner of AAA Movers, Joe Schwartz said, “… AAA Movers has been providing professional moving services in the Twin Cities since 1964, Our Team completes around 8,000 moves per year with our current demographic between 35-50 years of age. I knew for AAA to provide exemplary service to the Senior Community we would need to partner with Rose’s Daughters who has been the leading name in this industry for decades. When I first met Eddie and Tommy I knew right then this is who AAA would match very well with, their passion in this industry is paramount, I also love their hands-on approach with every move! This partnership will let AAA focus on what we’re great at…moving!”

Owner of Rose’s Daughters, Eddie McGill said, “We have stayed true to our core beliefs with our customers. They appreciate our personal touch approach. I couldn’t be happier to partner with a leader like AAA Movers to continue servicing our communities. This partnership will maintain our consistent, superb level of service for our customers. This is exciting for the communities we serve.”

As partners, AAA Movers and Rose’s Daughters will maintain this experience:

  • Professional move-related services with respect and understanding to their customers and their families.

  • Handle every move as if it were their own.

  • Use their superior industry knowledge and a real understanding of the issues to make their customers’ moves as stress free as possible. 

  • Offer strategic counsel, creative solutions and timely, responsive move services.

AAA Movers is one of the top moving companies in Minnesota because we take care of all your moving needs from start to finish so you can rest easy. Our highly trained, professional movers are committed to making sure you are 100% satisfied by showing up on time, moving your belongings with care using the proper equipment, and by providing top-notch customer service. Smart moving. Safe packing. Secure storing. Your AAA Movers team is with you every step of the way. We promise. Contact us today for a free quote.

Address: 8201 Brooklyn Blvd , Minneapolis, MN 55445
Tel: 612-588-6683 (MOVE)
Email: jschwartz@aaamoversinc.com
Email: jsilva@aaamoversinc.com

Website:  www.AAAMoversInc.com


To Estate Sale or Not Estate Sale is that really the question?
By: Geraldine Holseth, CEO of Old Is Knew, LLC


There are pros and cons to every venture and when we look at them we always need to look at them in the light of our specific needs. My Mother always said, what is good for the Goose is not necessarily always good for the Gander… my Mom was not always conventional. As a child, I would picture a Mom and Pop goose fighting over the piece of bread at my Grandmothers farm. Realizing that each one of us is coming at the process with a different perspective is important. We can’t always rely on our partner, friend, or family member to understand our underlying challenges. My Father use to say, “It is easy to assume but it is better to not.” I think that was spurred by years of dealing with my dear sweet unconventional Mother. When we approach the idea of downsizing or estate sales, we need to remember and consider all the voices that are in the process. It is best, if we can sit down and find a strategy that works with all parties. Consider respecting the other persons feeling of loss – whether that is your spouse, parent, sibling, friend or another family member. If we can emotionally move on, it will make the next phase of selling those items less challenging.

We are moving so I am going through and downsizing much of my 93-year-old Mother’s items. As I packed up things and got them ready to be sent to storage, I notice how irritated she was getting, and I knew this was not just her dementia. For the most part, she was not losing her things they were just going to storage. She went from “I don’t care about that any more” to screaming at the top of her lungs, “get rid of it all.” Taken back, I needed to find out what was going on. During one of her rages, I sat with her and let her vent and eventually the truth came out. In her mind her treasures were no longer present, so they were being taken away from her and therefore those items were lost. She had already left her home and now I was moving her to an even smaller space.

My Mother is a depression kid and they moved a lot…her Father moved where he could find work. He worked on many of the New Deal projects but that would take him and his family all over the Midwest. My mother lost a lot during those days. She would get settled and then she would need to move. From the time she was a baby they were moving from one end of Minnesota to the other side of the Dakotas. My Grandmother eventually settled down but not until she was in her 60s and that was after my Grandfather had passed away. So now that you understand the back-story of my Mother - you understand the reasoning for her irritation. She grew up leaving things behind; she never could covet special treasures, spend a decade in the same room, or grow her roots anywhere. When she became an adult and settled in her own place, she could grow those roots that she never had as a child. When I packed up her treasurers, I was cutting her roots. Now that I understood, it became abundantly clear that I needed to find different strategies for approaching this situation. My Mother knew that things needed to go but seeing them go in front of her eyes made it hard for her to let them go…thus the irritation. I no longer packed things when she was in the house. I would have her friends take her out to dinner while my husband and I would scramble to pack up and move the knickknacks, dishes, curios to the garage before she got home. She knew things were gone and she even would ask about them. However, having this done in front of her eyes was killing her emotionally but having it done behind her back helped her feel less threatened. We are down to her bed, dresser, night stand, lazy boy chair and we have moved her upstairs with us for her safety. She still has issues of loss, but we try to give her positives assurance that things are going to get better and she will be safe again…. giving lots of hugs helps. The reality is, she will not have everything she once had. Some things needed to be toss – broken knickknacks, worn out furniture, etc. Some things needed to find a new home – a dining room table and chair set she loved was given to her Great Granddaughter. Together, she and I, celebrated the passing of the torch so to speak as WE dropped off the table. Some things have been packed away for storage for when we arrive at our new home and she can be surrounded by her lovely things again. Understanding where she was coming from helped us move forward in the process.

The question I rose by the title of this article, “…is that the question?” Are you ready to sell your lovely treasures? Have you and your family identified what is for family and what is for sale? Is that a hard line or is that some wishy washing gray area that spans for 10 miles? Have you reconciled with the loss of these items and you are ready to let go? Like my Mother struggled with seeing those things being packed up - some clients cannot handle watching even their Parents items being sold without some emotional reaction. I have worked with some Estate sales where the client is, “get rid of, get rid of all of it… I don’t care how – just get rid of it” and others where they just can’t let go of even the little things and they question even the way we price a pair of nail clippers. The first step in an Estate Sale process is letting it go. Whether you are a family member selling your Mother and Fathers treasures; an Executor of an Estate burdened with all the responsibilities of wrangling the masses and distributing the proceeds; or downsizing yourself - are you ready to let go? Even the best Estate Sale Company in the country cannot function properly unless you release those items to our care and let us do our job. We need to prepare your treasures - merchandize, advertise, market, and sell those items. We need to have the freedom to identify what can be sold and price them accordingly, so they will be attractive to buyers. We need you to allow us to function within the confines of our contract so that we can do the best job for you. Yes, there are shysters in the business. Yes, you should do your homework when you choose a company – check the BBB and other reliable sources. However, I believe I can speak for my reputable colleges, I would say we are there to take this burden from you, but we ask you to be ready to let go.

With Oldisknew.com, Estate Sales don't have to be a burden. Let us do the work for you and we'll turn your treasures into profits! We are Moving and Estate Sales professionals who have 25+ years of experience. Our associates have experience managing sales, understanding market demand, and pricing. We provide you with great looking setups, top advertising, and peace of mind all sales are done with respect. Family owned and operated business. We also offer after sale cleanouts, professional appraisals and real estate options. Give us a call today for more information!

Tel: 763-464-5005
Tel: 763-464-5035
Email: oldisknew@outlook.com
Website: http://www.oldisknew.com


Minnesota Cost Plans Phased Out In 2019

Article by Tom Prideaux
The Prideaux Group


Due to a change in federal law, many Minnesota seniors with a specific type of Medicare plan, known as a “Cost Plan”, may need to enroll in new Medicare coverage for 2019.

Beginning January 1, 2019, Medicare Cost Plans will no longer be available in Minnesota counties where at least two Medicare Advantage plans are available. The passing of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015 requires insurance companies to convert Costs Plan offerings to a Medicare Supplement or Advantage Plan by the end of 2018.

Cost Plans, a hybrid version of Medicare Coverage provided by private insurers, were introduced in 2009 and have proven to be very popular in Minnesota. Over 90 percent of the nation's Cost Plan membership resides in Minnesota. The change will impact many of the nearly 400,000 Minnesota seniors with Cost Plans. They may need to enroll in a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan this Fall or choose to revert to Original Medicare.

Cost Plan FAQ's

What happens if your plan is a Cost Plan?

If you have a Medicare Cost Plan, you will have coverage through 12/31/2018 if you are in an affected area. Your existing insurance company may have Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plan options for you and they will contact you about your options.

What if I don't have a Cost Plan?

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare but are not on a Cost Plan, you may be enrolled into a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage plan. You will not be affected by this change.

Will I need a medical exam or have to answer health questions to get new coverage?

With Cost Plans going away, there will be a Guaranteed Issue period where you may enroll in a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan. Guaranteed Issue means there are no medical exams or required health questionnaires. You will be guaranteed to receive the Medicare plan you select (if available in your area).

Will I lose coverage if I am currently on a Cost Plan and don't do anything?

If you do nothing, you will still have Original Medicare.

I have more questions that are not answered here, who can help me?

You may reach out to Tom Prideaux. He can help ensure you understand all of the Medicare options.

Phone - 612-868-5329 800-328-3993

Email - tprideaux@prideauxgroup.com

Click Here for More Information 


How Technology Benefits Seniors
Article by The Internet Experts


Usage of smart, internet-connected devices is becoming the norm amongst people of all ages—even seniors.1

For the elderly, advanced technology and high-tech devices make daily tasks easier and can enhance quality of life. With technology, seniors have the tools and assistance to be more independent.

 Click Here for the Full Article


Technology for Seniors:
The Benefits of Video Games
Article by The Goodman Group


When you think of a "gamer," you probably don't think of a 65-year-old woman spending her afternoon on the Wii. But think again — an estimated 26% of people who play video games are over the age of 50. What’s more, it turns out that some of those older "gamers" are reaping some very significant benefits as a result.

Here are some of the social, cognitive, and physical benefits video game technology has to offer seniors.


Doing anything you enjoy improves emotional health whether it be going for a walk, meeting friends for lunch, or going to see a movie. So, it's no surprise many seniors who enjoy playing video games find themselves in better moods.

recent study of 140 seniors over 63 years old concluded that regular — and even occasional — video gamers reported greater well-being, social functioning, and health than non-gamers. Not only were those indicators positive, but the gamers showed significantly less depression than non-gamers.


Video games can provide physical benefits, too. Certain games that require physical interaction, like Wii Sports and similar titles, can help seniors improve balance, coordination, and reflexes due to the quick decision-making and action required to play. Some seniors have even reported faster walking speeds as a result of playing video games.

It may not be obvious at first, but improving cognitive skills can translate into improved balance and gait.


Not only do video games help emotionally and physically, but cognitively as well. In fact, a University of California San Francisco study showed significant improvement in cognitive ability, effectively reversing signs of aging, in seniors who played 3D video games.

Playing video games exercises a gamer’s memory, especially short-term memory. Playing even occasionally can help seniors remember things like names, addresses, phone numbers, date, and times. In addition, video games force players to switch quickly between different tasks. That can lead to increased mental flexibility and multi-tasking ability for seniors.


Amazingly, recent research has even demonstrated a link between playing video games and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. With an estimated 5.5 million seniors suffering from Alzheimer's in the U.S. alone, that's a big deal.

The study looked at connections between 3D gaming and tissue growth in different areas of the brain — especially the hippocampus, an area associated with memory and Alzheimer’s progression. The study linked gaming with increased hippocampus gray matter in a group of 33 people between the ages of 55 and 75. 


"They love it," says Katie, life enrichment director at Village Senior Residence in Missoula, Montana, an assisted living community that's residents play Wii bowling. "They think it's fun." It's not competitive, just great fun for players. "We encourage everyone to cheer for each other. That helps everyone have even more fun because they're cheering for everyone."

Of all the Wii Sports games, our residents tend to prefer bowling. "It's a fairly easy activity that many of them enjoyed before moving to our communities," she says.

Not only are residents at Village Senior Residence playing, but residents at Katella Senior Living in Los Alamitos, California, and The Inn on Westport in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, enjoy it, too.

It's one of many activities that residents both enjoy and benefit from. 

At The Goodman Group, we pride ourselves in helping you make the most of every moment. Click Here to find out more about The Goodman Group senior communities and experience just how rich your life can be. 

Commons on Maurice
Address: 1380 Marice Dr.
, MN 55121
Tel: 651-688-9999

Chandler Place
Address: 3701 Chandler Dr.
St. Anthony, MN 55421

Tel: 612-788-7321

St. Anthony Health & Rehabilitation
Address: 3700 Foss Rd.
St. Anthony, MN 55421
Tel: 612-788-9673

Old Main Village
Address: 301 South 5th St.
, MN 56001
Tel: 507-388-4200


Remodeling? Here’s What Junk360 Does With The Waste!


Are you planning a home renovation project? Whether your remodeling the bathroom or the kitchen, one of the main issues to consider is what you’ll do with all the waste. Hauling away the debris yourself means you have to sort, load, and properly dispose of everything yourself.

The risk of damaging your car aside, the waste created from renovation projects are often too big and heavy to handle on your own. Junk360 will help you haul all that renovation junk away. Here’s what we do with it!


Tons of materials from renovation projects are reusable! This includes:

        Old appliances

        Construction materials




        Doors and windows


        Door handles and cabinet knobs

Junk360 will sort through all your remodeling waste and set aside anything that can be donated. This keeps big, bulky items out of landfills while helping others! We’ll even take it to the donation center for you. It’s a win-win.


Did you know that Junk360 is an eco-friendly organization? We refuse to take junk to a landfill unless it absolutely belongs there! After setting aside every possible item for donation, Junk360’s five-star customer service team will sort through the remaining items for recyclables.

Here are a few of the things we’re looking for:









        And more!

Don’t know what else to look for? We do! Let Junk360 help you cut down on your renovation waste! We make taking things to the landfill a last resort.

360 That Junk!

If the remainder of your remodeling waste isn’t salvageable or recyclable, Junk360 will load it into our trucks and transport it to the proper facilities.

Aside from sorting through your waste for reusable and recyclable items, here are some of the many benefits of using Junk360 to haul away your junk.

   No Pressure: Our estimates are free with no obligations attached.

   Peace of Mind: Junk360’s renovation waste removal services are efficient, eco-friendly, and safe.

    Community Improvement: By using Junk360, you’ll reduce your waste and give back to the community.

   Five-Star Service: Our friendly, professional, and courteous staff are consistently earning us five-star reviews.

A remodel or renovation is stressful enough. Why add clean-up and waste removal to your list. With Junk360, you ensure that all your junk is hauled away properly - leaving you to relax and enjoy your new space!

How Much Does Junk Removal Cost?

 Junk360 offers the most transparent and competitive junk removal prices in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Since we charge by truck space, our pricing includes sorting, loading, cleaning, and most fees.

Use our online chart to get an idea of our prices or contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate. Contact us today at (651) 395-8659 or via our online form.


Tips to Help Prevent and Treat Hearing Loss During May’s Better Hearing & Speech Month
By Sam Ho, M.D. chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare


Hearing loss is a significant health issue in Minnesota and across the country, affecting more than 48 million people nationwide. It could become even more widespread in the coming years: more than 1.1 billion young adults worldwide at risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

Spurring the increased risk is more frequent exposure to loud sounds that can cause noise-induced hearing loss, including the growing popularity of earbud headphones. Hearing loss is especially common among older Americans, but younger people can also be affected. About 20 percent of people over age 12 experience some level of hearing loss. 

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, a reminder for people to check their hearing health – and that of their loved ones – to help prevent the condition or, if necessary, obtain treatment. Research shows hearing loss is associated with social isolation, dementia, depression and increased risk of falls, reinforcing the fact that hearing health is crucial to overall health.

To help encourage better hearing health, consider these tips: 

·       Limit exposure to loud noises: People should limit their exposure to loud sounds, such as music, lawn mowers or motorcycles, to no more than 20 minutes at a time. Most Americans (82 percent) know that exposure to loud sounds can cause hearing loss, but just 41 percent correctly recognized that both one-time exposure to a loud sound and cumulative exposure to moderately loud sounds can harm hearing health, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey.

·         Opt for noise-cancelling headphones: Over-the-ear headphones, especially models with noise-cancelling properties, are generally considered a better option than earbuds. When using earbuds, follow the “60/60 rule,” which means listening for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at no more than 60 percent of the player’s maximum volume. If someone else can hear your music while you’re using earbuds, it’s an indication of excessive volume.

·       Talk to a health professional and schedule a hearing test: Common signs of hearing loss include turning up the volume on the TV or radio to levels that others find too loud, having trouble hearing people on the phone, and difficulty following conversations in noisy environments. Some primary care physicians are starting to offer hearing testing, making it more convenient to follow recommended guidelines, which includes being screened at least every decade through age 50 and then at three-year intervals thereafter.
Click Here for a list of Hearing Centers/Clinics throughout Minnesota. 

·        Explore ways to save on hearing aids: Hearing aids can be expensive, but more affordable options are available. Direct-to-consumer hearing aids can enable people to save 60 percent or more compared to devices sold through traditional channels. And a growing number of health plans are offering coverage for hearing aids, including through some Medicare Advantage and employer-sponsored benefit plans.

·        Use effective communication strategies – Hearing aids are more helpful when people use effective communication strategies, such as watching lip movements and facial expressions, and selecting settings that are “hearing friendly.” For example, people with hearing loss should opt for restaurants that are relatively quiet and go at times that are less busy. Another strategy is to select a table along a wall or in a corner, which will reduce background noise.

With hearing loss on the rise, now is the time for prevention and treatment.  By following the above tips, people can help maintain their hearing health and help those with hearing loss live fuller, healthier lives. 

Click Here for a list of Hearing Centers/Clinics throughout Minnesota. 


Medicare's "Extra Help" Program
Article by Becky Cole of Cole Insurance
Connecting Resources Together


Medicare’s “Extra Help” program helps people with limited income pay for their prescription medications

Making ends meet should not mean going without your medications. If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Extra Help to pay for some health care and prescription drug costs. Drug costs in 2018 for most people who qualify for Extra Help will be no more than $3.35 for each generic drug and $8.35 for each other drug. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that more than 2 million people with Medicare may be eligible for Extra Help but aren’t currently enrolled to take advantage of this program. The law establishes how your income and assets are counted: 

•  Life insurance policies don’t count as resources.

•  Any help you get from relatives, friends, and others to pay for household expenses—like food, mortgage, rent, heating fuel or gas, electricity, water, and property taxes—doesn’t count as income.

Many People Qualify and Don’t Know It

Even if you were previously turned down for Extra Help due to income or resource levels, you can reapply. If you qualify, you’ll get help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums, copayments, and deductibles. To qualify, you must make less than $18,090 a year (or $24,360 for married couples). Even if your annual income is higher, you may still qualify for some extra help. Your resources must also be limited to $13,820 (or $27,600 for married couples). Resources include bank accounts, stocks, and bonds, but not your house or car. 

Dual eligibility

Some people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are called “dual eligibles.” If you have Medicare and full Medicaid coverage, most of your health care costs are likely covered.

You can get your Medicare coverage through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). If you have Medicare and full Medicaid, you'll get your Part D prescription drugs through Medicare. And, you'll automatically qualify for Extra Help paying for your Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Medicaid may still cover some drugs and other care that Medicare doesn’t cover.

There’s No Cost or Obligation to Apply

It’s easy and free to apply for “Extra Help.” You, a family member, trusted counselor, or caregiver can apply online at socialsecurity.gov/i1020 or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.  (Note: this will only help you to enroll in the “Extra Help” program, you will still need t contact your county office for enrolling in Medicaid).

You can also get help from the Minnesota Board on Aging and many tribal organizations.  Contact MBA at 651-431-2500, or 800-333-2433.

Have Other Questions?  Let’s talk.
Call Becky Cole - 612-930-3630


After a lifetime of experiences and memories, your collections of sentimental items will accumulate. Soon, your living space, shelves, and boxes are stuffed with newspaper clippings, photographs, gifts from family members, tax returns, letters, and greeting cards. When that happens, it’s time to declutter.

Why Should Seniors Regularly Declutter?

While it’s always difficult to purge, decluttering is especially important for seniors. Some reasons for seniors to declutter include:

  1. Efficiency: With time it can become more and more difficult to find items you need. Decluttering cuts down on searching and saves you time.
  1. Safety: Clutter is a tripping hazard. Decluttering enables you to move about your home with peace of mind.
  1. Focus: Because messy environments affect cognitive thinking, it’s important to have a clean space where you can process information.

Tips for Seniors Decluttering

  • Go Slow: Don’t try to tackle everything at once. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Instead, carve out two to three hours per day. See what gets done, and then take a break. Doing so will keep you from getting stuck, and allow you to begin the next day with a positive outlook.
  • Bring in an Objective Party: Going through all your old belongings is a challenge. Going through all your old belongings objectively is practically impossible. In that case, we recommend bringing in an objective third party to make the decisions easier. This could be a professional organizer, downsizing service, or housekeeper. These people will help you navigate the emotional terrain effectively.
  • Ask Your Family to Help: Tell your loved ones you’re decluttering! This will give them the opportunity to rescue items of remembrance or personal value from your donation or junk pile. Also, you might need help moving some of the heavier objects…

What’s the Next Step?

When you’re decluttering, set up a space, bag, or box for the items you’re getting rid of. At the end of each day, go through those items and organize them into three sections:

  • Sell: If there are items you want to sell, contact your local consignment store. Craigslist and ebay are also great ways to sell your stuff online.
  • Donate: Less valuable objects make great donations. Call your local charities to find out what items they need. Some of them will even come pick those items up themselves, saving you a trip.
  • Junk: At the end of the day, throw out everything in your junk pile. Don’t give yourself a chance to rethink it. It’s worthwhile to hire a professional junk removal service for larger items, such as furniture and old appliance.

Don’t add any more options! Make sure you’re taking care of things immediately. Otherwise they’ll continue to clutter up your home.

Junk360 Can Help Seniors Declutter!

It’s important to for seniors to regularly declutter their homes off all junk and unused objects. Not only does a clutter free environment keep you happy, it saves you (and your loved ones) time and effort in the long run.

Junk360 is here to help all seniors in decluttering their space! Our professional, five-star staff can help seniors organize their belongings and take care of all the heavy lifting. We’ll even clean up afterwards!

Since we charge by the truck space, our prices are guaranteed to be the best. Call (651) 395-8659 to discuss and schedule your junk removal or get a free estimate online!

Don’t get bogged down in the clutter. Leave it to us!


Meet Charlie
Article my Mary T. Inc.



Isolation in Older Adults: What is it and how you can help
Article by Deb Taylor of Reimagine Aging Institute


Recently, AARP completed a report on the Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50. The report defines isolation as the experience of diminished social connectedness stemming from a process whereby the impact of risk factors outweighs the impact of existing protective factors. A person’s lack of social connectedness is measured by the quality, type, frequency, and emotional satisfaction of social ties. Social isolation can impact health and quality of life, measured by an individual’s physical, social, and psychological health; ability and motivation to access adequate support for themselves; and the quality of the environment and community in which they live.

The report also states that isolation in adults aged 50+ occurs due to a complex set of circumstances and factors that exist at the individual, social network, community and societal levels. The primary risk factors associated with isolation include: living alone, mobility or sensory impairment, major life transitions, socioeconomic status (low income, limited resources), being a caregiver for someone with severe impairment, psychological or cognitive vulnerabilities, location (rural, unsafe or inaccessible neighborhood/community), small social network and/or inadequate social support, language (non-English speaking), and membership in a vulnerable group. Isolation can also be triggered by the change/loss of social network, social role, physical health, mental health, and resources.

The National Council on Aging estimated, in a recent study, that 17% of all Americans over the age of 65 are isolated because they live alone and face one or more barriers related to geographic location, language, or disability.

According to the findings in the report, the most prominent individual-level risk factors for older adults are living alone, having a physical impairment, losing a partner and/or close friend, and losing an important role such as employment.

This information is important to share because, if we’re lucky, we will all one day have the privilege of growing old. That’s why it’s crucial that we care for those of us who are already there, right now. But what do we do with this information? How can we change this?

This time of year has everyone thinking about how we can be better neighbors, friends, etc. to those around us and ensure they have somewhere to go or someone to be with during the holidays, but knowing how to help prevent isolation is something we should be concerned about all year long. Isolation is an ongoing issue, not just a seasonal one.

Here are a few things you can do all year long to be a friend to an isolated older adult:

Get to know your neighbors - This is the first step. Maybe you have an older adult living in your neighborhood that isn’t very active in the community. Introduce yourself, invite them to dinner, have coffee with them. The simplest acts can make a big difference in the life of a person who’s isolated.

Offer to drive - Not having access to transportation can be a big factor causing isolation for an older adult. If you can’t personally drive them, offer to help them find an organization that can. The holidays are just around the corner. Maybe you want to gift an older adult a bus pass to help them get around town.

Ask questions - As evidenced in the AARP report, there are many reasons an older adult may be isolated and it may have nothing to do with lack of transportation. They may have just lost a loved one and are finding it hard to find the motivation to leave the house or maybe they had to move recently and don’t know anyone in town. They may even have been feeling under the weather and haven’t been able to talk to anyone about it. You will never know if you don’t ask.

Encourage social activities - Senior centers are great places for older adults to engage with others as well as provide meaning for them with a variety of activities offered from woodworking to cards to yoga and more! With so many options, you’d be hard pressed not to find an activity you enjoy.

Offer to help - There may be a home project that is limiting an older adult’s mobility. For example, they may have trouble bathing themselves because they find it difficult to stand in the shower for so long. Or, this time of year, they may be limited by the snow on their driveway that they’re unable to shovel on their own. Be a neighbor and offer to shovel and salt a path for them. Or better yet, give our HOME program a call at 952-746-4046 to set up regular snow removal or a free in-home safety assessment to ensure the older adult is as safe and mobile as they are able to be.

There are numerous simple ways in which you can help prevent isolation in older adults, many of which require only a few minutes of your time. These are just a few suggestions. We hope that by reading this article you will become more aware of the older adults in your life and community and begin to engage with them more often. Older adults add so much value to our communities, it is time to show them the appreciation and support they deserve. In closing, I have just one question for you, what will you do to help prevent isolation in the lives of the older adults in your community today?

Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers navigate aging to maintain independence and quality of life. We provide a wide array of programs -- www.seniorcommunity.org


Winter Real Estate
Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter
Article by Junk-360, Rachael Protas


Any real estate agent worth their salt will tell you that spring and summer are the peak home-buying season. But don’t despair just yet! According to a study by the real estate company Refin, December through May is the best time to list your home. Winter buyers tend to be the more serious shoppers, and data shows that homes sold in winter often go for more money that those in summer.  Therefore, we at Junk360 thought we’d provide a couple of tips for selling your home during the winter season.

Create a Sense of Warmth

With the sun setting earlier every day, it’s important to keep that darkness from creeping into your home. Potential buyers prefer well-lit houses and a sense of welcoming warmth. While that’s easy enough in the summer, creating that atmosphere in the cold darkness of winter requires a little creativity.

Junk360 suggests the following for adding more brightness to your home:

Open your blinds. Minimal window coverage means that the windows look bigger and encourages whatever daylight is left to shine into your home.

Experiment with different light bulbs. Find the most flattering tone for each space. Go for cozy and bright. LEDs in general play well with interior color palettes. However, bedrooms and living space tend to look best with a soft white bulbs while daylight bulbs brighten up bathrooms.

Add extra light. Any dark “walk through” spaces are going to stand out in the dreariness of winter. Installing recessed lighting or even adding some lamps on a timer into these space will go a long way during a showing.

Include some summer photos. In the Twin Cities, chances are the lawn’s going to be buried under a couple inches (or a couple feet) of snow. Buyers might hesitate to buy a house if they can’t even see the land that it’s on. While you can’t control the weather, a great way around this is to include a photo album or even a slideshow of the exterior in the fall, spring, and summer. Make sure to highlight your lawn’s best features, such as vegetable gardens, flower beds, and decks with all the outdoor furniture in place. This will help the buyer envision themselves in your home year round.

Taking these simple steps ensures that your property sparkles against the seasonal backdrop, especially in comparison to other houses on the market.

Turn up the Heat

Hey, Minnesota! Just in case you didn’t notice, winter is cold. And the one thing buyers in the Twin Cities definitely aren’t looking for is a cold house. Double check your doors and windows for drafts. If you do find any, spend a little extra time and money to insulate and weather seal them.

Make sure your boiler and furnace are in top shape. If possible, get them inspected by a maintenance team before the house goes on the market. Ask them to leave an inspection sticker in plain sight since buyers will want to make sure those systems are up and running.

If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, now’s the time to show them off. The smell of burning wood triggers positive sense memories.

But, whatever you do, don’t turn the heat off, even if you’re selling a vacant property. If you must, put your heating system on a timer to make sure that the house is at least 65 degrees during the showing. Buyers don’t want to spend more than a few minutes in a freezing property. Don’t lose an opportunity to showcase your house’s features because of the temperature!

De-Junk and Deep Clean

Always declutter and depersonalize. That’s sound advice for selling a home year round. This is the time to get rid of all the junk you don’t want to move with you to the next house anyway. Give Junk360 a call at 651-395-8659, and we’ll help you junk that stained spare mattress or the armchair your cat’s shredded away over the past five years.

You can also start packing up all the seasonal items you won’t need for the next couple months. Summer clothes, outdoor sports gear, and patio furniture can all get boxed up or even placed in storage. This helps declutter the house space, allowing potential buyers to envision how their belongings will look nestled against the walls.

Additionally, a decluttered home is easier to clean.Try to dry mop and remove all dust and dirt that’s settled into the cracks and corners. Vacuum area rugs and carpets. Sweep hardwood floors and keep toys tucked away. Decluttering and de-junking your house will help you maintain cleanliness between showings.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that buyers can’t appreciate what your house has to offer. Follow these steps to prep your house for the best offer of the season! Contact our friendly, five-star movers at Junk360, and breath a sigh of relief. We promise to do all the heavy lifting!

Need a Real Estate professional to help you sell your home? 

Click Here for our Approved List of Real Estate Professionals



Stroke Information & Resource Guide
Article by ACLS Training Center.  Click Here for the Full Article.


A stroke is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition. It is a leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death among Americans. Until recently, if you were to experience a stroke, supportive care was all that was available. But now, stroke management has progressed to a point where a stroke can be stopped in its path.

There are treatments available that can prevent or limit disability caused by a stroke as well as saving many lives. The success of such treatments is dependent upon how much time has passed since the stroke symptoms appeared. Therefore, the early recognition of a stroke by the patient or their family is of the utmost importance. This article will attempt to give you the information you need to recognize a stroke and respond accordingly.

Recognizing a Stroke by Signs and Symptoms

Because the medical management of stroke varies depending on the length of time since symptoms first appeared, and due to the fact that this will affect prognosis, a prompt recognition of a stroke is extremely important.

Keep in mind that stroke symptoms usually start quite suddenly and get worse over time. You may be sitting at a table and suddenly be unable to hold your coffee cup or get your words out correctly. Signs and symptoms of stroke include sudden onset of weakness on one side of the body and slurred speech or dysarthria, meaning, the inability to make your words come out right. A sudden change in the way you walk or feeling that one leg is not “acting right” can be a sign of stroke. Some patients also notice changes in their ability to see. Loss of balance is another common sign of stroke. Patients who have bleeding around their brain may complain that “they have the worst headache of their life”.

A useful acronym to recognize and respond to stroke is FAST:

  • Face - Drooping of one side of the face. Ask the person to smile and note if it is uneven.
  • Arms - Weakness or numbness in one arm. Ask the person to lift both arms. Does one extremity drift downward or is the person unable to lift it?
  • Speech - Difficulty in speech, is it slurred? Ask the person to repeat a phrase and note any changes in speech.
  • Time - If any of these symptoms are present, it’s time to call 911 immediately. Also, take note of the time since symptoms onset, which will be required by doctors to decide on appropriate treatment.

In the case of an hemorrhagic stroke the symptoms appear in a more abrupt way and varies from the ischemic one, the headache is the first thing to appear, it consists on a very severe pain which makes the patient feel like “his head is gonna explode”, then the rest of the symptoms start to appear.

Nausea and vomiting are common along with dizziness and a very stiff neck and are accompanied by confusion and even seizures, this set of symptoms are called “meningeal syndrome” due to the inflammation of the meninges (a set of membranes that cover the brain and spinal chord), thanks to a severe and sudden hemorrhage in the brain.

It is important to remember though, that the only and best way to ascertain the type of stroke along with the adequate treatment for it, is through imaging studies, for example, a CT scan or an MRI, this last one uses magnets and radio waves in order to create pictures of the organs and structures of the body. This test can detect changes or damage to the brain tissue. All of this is done in the confines of a medical center, so it’s important to take note that we have to act fast in order for the adequate treatment to happen.

For more information Click Here for the Full Article

  • What is a Stroke?
  • Why Me? Causes of Stroke
  • I’m Having a Stroke! What Should I Do?
  • What to Expect When the Ambulance Arrives
  • What Treatments are Available for Stroke?


For seniors transitioning to smaller homes, the prospect of downsizing can seem overwhelming. While Junk360 is able and prepared to assist with junk removal and hauling, there are a few actions seniors and their families can undertake to start the process.

First, start early. Seniors have a lifetime of things to sort through. Planning a day or a weekend to downsize just isn’t practical and will leave you feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Instead, give yourself a month or two. This will allow you to go through one room at a time, taking breaks as needed.

Know Your Goals. Hopefully, you have an estimated size of your next space. If you currently own a four bedroom three bathroom house, and you plan on downsizing to a two bedroom two bathroom then eliminate two bedrooms and one bathroom worth of stuff. Does your new place have a smaller kitchen? If so, weed through a third of your cooking supplies. For seniors downsizing, knowing how much space you’ll have and what you need to get rid of helps elevate some of the doubt and anxiety of decluttering.

Don’t start with photos. Margareta Magnusson, the master of senior downsizing and decluttering herself, offers this important piece of advice. Starting with photos risks losing yourself in memories and never accomplishing anything. Instead, start in areas with little emotional attachment. The laundry room or linen closet for example. As you sort, make only ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles – no ‘maybes’ or ‘ifs.’

Get rid of what you can. Especially the duplicates. Seniors downsizing to a one bedroom apartment won’t need five sets of bed sheet. If you’re moving to a place with no garage or office area then everything in those rooms will need to get eliminated. If you collect football jerseys or glass figurines, pick the two or three that mean the most to you and give the rest away. Yard sales are a great way for seniors to downsizing – passing on materials to others looking to make their own memories.

Involve the family. Enlisting trusted loved ones to help seniors downsize and declutter can turn a painful task into a helpful heart-to-heart. Maybe your daughter doesn’t want that china set; maybe she wants the rolling pin you taught her to take pies with. You’ll remove items from your home while being able to enjoy passing them onto the next generation, making you happy while lightening the load.

Finally, ask for help. Garages, attics, and basements are the most difficult areas to tackle. Not only are those the spaces where we tend to shove our junk, but they’re uncomfortable spaces that run swelteringly hot to bone chillingly cold depending on the season. This is the point of the process where Junk360 can help.

Junk360 is prepared to assist you organize your clutter, haul away the leaf blower that hasn’t worked in years, clean out the garage, and remove the junk from your basement. With a careful eye, Junk360 can aid seniors downsizing figure out what to donate and what to haul away. As a community orientated, veteran-owned business, Junk360 is ready to help you save memories and remove the clutter. 

Junk360 - 651-395-8659 - www.junk-360.com



Seniors and Gambling Addiction
By Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance


You may have heard terms like “problem gambling” or “gambling addiction” but what do they really mean? Are seniors more at risk for developing these afflictions? And what can you do to make sure you gamble safely?

Most people gamble within their means and enjoy it as a regular form of recreation. But unfortunately, some take it to excess and it becomes an obsession that they can’t stop.

Problem gambling, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is defined as the urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. It’s estimated that approximately 160,000 to 214,000 Minnesotans struggle with this addictive disorder, which can destroy lives, threaten family relationships and empty retirement savings.

Today’s seniors are gambling more than any previous generation of older adults, whether it’s spending an afternoon at the casino, playing weekly bingo or placing wagers on sporting events. Accompanying this increase in gambling participation has been a rise in the number of people developing gambling addiction.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to gambling addiction because they: 

·        are often coping with big changes or facing life transitions and losses, such as the death of loved ones, end of a career or isolation from family and friends

·        may not understand addiction, making them less likely to identify a gambling problem

·        may be less willing to seek assistance for a gambling problem than younger adults

·        may hide their gambling because of the perceived stigma associated with it

·        are rarely asked by health professionals about their gambling activities

·        may have easy access to gambling and be drawn to gambling to fill time or to be with other people

·        may suffer from a cognitive impairment that interferes with their ability to make sound decisions

Compared to younger generations, seniors with gambling problems are up against the challenge of time. In the event of financial problems caused by the addiction,

they have fewer remaining years to earn additional wages to recoup their losses and rebuild retirement savings.

What are the Signs of Gambling Addiction in Seniors?

Because seniors tend to live away from their younger family members, their addiction can remain hidden for long stretches of time. However, there are some detectable signs that an older adult may have a gambling problem. Seniors may:

·        appear withdrawn or be frequently unavailable

·        be vague when describing their days and activities

·        have sold off their valuable possessions for unexplained reasons

·        talk a lot about exciting wins, but never discuss their losses

Safe Gambling Tips

To minimize your chances of developing problems with your gambling, there are things you can do. The following tips can help you stay in control and keep it fun.

·        Play for fun, not just for money

·        Bet only what you can afford to lose

·        Don’t play to escape or cope with problems

·        Never gamble when stressed, depressed or in recovery from other addictions

·        Know when to quit; don’t chase your losses

·        Understand that everyone loses over time

·        Gamble only with money set aside for entertainment

·        Avoid mixing gambling with alcohol or other substances

·        Never borrow money to play

·        Balance recreational gambling with other healthy activities

·        Know where to get help

Help Is Available

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-333-4673. The Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides free, confidential help from specially trained counselors. Treatment is available at no cost to Minnesotans with gambling problems. Additional resources available in Minnesota can be found here. More information about senior gambling can be found here.




Preparing for MNsure Open Enrollment
Article by Connecting Resources Together
Beck Cole Insurance


Open Enrollment will start on November 1, 2017 and go through January 14, 2018.

Minnesota’s enrollment period will be longer than the federal period, but the window of opportunity is still short. Not only is the window of opportunity changing, but many of the plans are changing, too. There will be caps on several of the plans again this year, so it is a good idea to prepare for it to ensure you can get the right coverage for the providers who are important to you.

Here’s a few tips to help you get through it: 

1.  If you need help with Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care enrollments, it’s best to contact a navigator if you have questions. They often have access to additional social services and community resources that brokers typically don’t have. Brokers are great for helping with traditional health policies both on and off the exchange, as well as other types of insurance policies.

2.  Be sure you can use your online account. All plans and renewals must be done online. It’s a good thing to check out your account before open enrollment starts. 

Write everything down and keep it in a safe place

Since this is a yearly process, it is easy to forget what you did before, or what are the answers to your security questions.


Confirm your username and password

A good strategy for avoiding a call to the MNsure Contact Center is to reset passwords online. Forgotten user names or passwords can be recovered with the appropriate links on the Sign In page.


Update your account information

It’s important for enrollees to update their MNsure account if any of their household information changes. This could include a new address, changes to income or changes to family size. Updating records will ensure that notices and forms are mailed to the correct address, the amount of financial help enrollees qualify for is adjusted, and accurate information about available plans is provided.


Account updates should be reported to the MNsure Contact Center before open enrollment begins: 1-855-366-7873 or 651-539-2099.

3.  Don’t start a new account. It’s tempting to do this if you have forgotten your login information from last year, or you are having trouble logging into the system, but having multiple accounts on the exchange can wreak havoc in a lot of ways. Call the Contact Center for help in accessing your current account.

4.  Be aware that many of the insurance plans will be changing networks and providers who are in their networks for next year. It’s a good idea to do some preliminary “window shopping” before you enroll. It’s also a good idea to enroll early because many of the plans will have caps again this year, too.

5.  Schedule an appointment with a broker or an assister. Help can happen either in person or online, but with the shortened window this year, many calendars are already filling up.

If you are in the 694/35W area of the metro area (or are willing to travel to that area) and need help with a traditional plan, I’d be happy to help you sort things out. In addition, I am also credentialed to help with Medicare enrollments. 

If you are anywhere in the state and need help with Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care plans, call the Contact Center and tell them you need and assister to help with those programs.

MNsure Contact Center: 1-855-366-7873 or 651-539-2099

Becky Cole: 612-930-3630 or email: ColeInsurance@outlook.com.


Healthcare Directives
Article by Ahmed Bachelani
Bachelani Law Offices


Healthcare Directives go by various names such as advanced directives or a living will. If you are confused about the difference, do not worry because many are confused. There is no difference except for what each particular state calls these directives. 

A basic healthcare directive is allowing another person, usually a relative, to make healthcare decisions for you. These are used when the grantor, the one who gives the power to make the decisions, can no longer make the decisions necessary due to incapacity. However, the directive has to be in place prior to incapacity. A key requirement is that the grantor have capacity to give the power.

These go beyond just granting the power to make decisions but may also specify specific instructions to follow. Famous cases involve "Permanent Vegetative States" where the grantor is without brain function but may still have body function. This where the Grantor may specify that they do not want to live on machines or how long they want to be in that state before making a decision. 

A healthcare directive can do much good for the family of the grantor by specifying wishes or allowing one person to make the decisions necessary. This prevents a family from guessing and fighting about what they think that the Grantor would want in any serious scenario. This can also save a lot of money if the Grantor loses capacity and needs someone to make decision. Without the document necessary the family of the person would have to spend quite a bit of money to get guardianship of the person.

A little planning in advance can save time, money, and headaches in the long run. If you have any questions please contact Ahmed at Ahmed@BachelaniLaw.com


Bachelani Law Office





Final Expenses Insurance - RJF Brokerage Services Robert Frello

Final expense insurance is designed to cover the bills that your loved ones will face after you pass. Even a very basic funeral can costs thousands of dollars. Find out today why it makes sense to have final expense insurance to help your loved ones avoid the burden of those costly bills. We can help protect your assets from the nursing home! Call Bob Frello today for complete information on what would work best for you.

Tel: 651-407-6039
Email: bobfrello@msn.com



Major upcoming changes to the reverse mortgage program may have dominated industry headlines over the past week, but financial planners have continued to respond to another Home Equity Conversion Mortgage story: a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report that warns against using the products to delay Social Security payments.

Last week, American College of Financial Services professor Jamie Hopkins took to two online news sources — Forbes and The Hill — to rebut the CFPB, which posited that the costs associated with a reverse mortgage outweigh the benefits of using a HECM line of credit to delay Social Security payments.

The strategy, popularized in recent years as a novel financial-planning use of the HECM, remains valid, according to Hopkins and others who have weighed in on the issue.

“If anything, the strategy is probably vastly underused, not over,” Hopkins wrote in Forbes, questioning why the CFPB would spend a significant amount of time criticizing a strategy that remains relatively rare in the retirement world.

The main benefit of putting off Social Security as long as possible, Hopkins claims, comes from protecting against a longer-than-expected retirement — something that the CFPB didn’t consider by basing its analysis on the average lifespan of American retirees. He also objected to the way the bureau calculated the costs of a reverse mortgage, arguing that its estimate was inflated.

Hopkins expressed similar opinions in a piece this week from Investment News, which also dove into the tax implications of using a HECM to delay Social Security. Curtis Cloke, a retirement planner in Iowa, told the publication that the CFPB didn’t think about the tax implications of taking or deferring Social Security benefits.

“Depending on the total household income, the reverse mortgage creates cash flow without tax, while the Social Security benefit could create tax,” Cloke told Investment News. “Taxes were completely ignored in this paper.”

Cloke emphasized that the strategy is more complicated than simply using the proceeds instead of Social Security payments, and recommended that borrowers establish a line of credit as soon as possible to cover a variety of potential eventualities — adding that other investment products, such as bonds or CDs, may not mature when retirees need them most. He also advised borrowers to pay back the reverse mortgage proceeds to take advantage of potential tax benefits.

“The ability to have access to a reverse mortgage line of credit while waiting for the maturity date to pay off the loan balance may actually enhance the total net worth, taxes, and optimization of the use of a reverse mortgage,” Cloke told the publication.

Read the full rebuttal to the CFPB’s analysis. 

Article written by Alex Spanko and Shared by Earl Rose of Guaranteed Rate

Earl Rose
Vice President of Mortgage Lending
Reverse Mortgage Specialist

First licensed in Real Estate in 1979, Earl’s many, many years of experience in both the Real Estate and mortgage industries, affords him the ability to share with the public and his clients, the wisdom of real life experiences. It is that experience that drives his passion for Reverse mortgages. Earl has been a VP of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate since 2009 and has been originating Reverse mortgages since 2003 and currently Reverse mortgages are his exclusive product offering. Earl’s originating and education endeavors are supported by a very experienced Reverse mortgage processing staff and his entire group is highly regarded in the Reverse industry as one of the best for not only how they handle the client, but how well they assemble and close client files. Contact Earl today. His experience is your key to understanding what some find at times to be a ‘different’ but very intriguing and useful consumer product. Reverse mortgages.

Address: 855 West Broadway, Ste B, Forest Lake, MN 55025
Tel: 612-293-0209
Email: earl.rose@rate.com
Website: https://www.guaranteedrate.com/loan-expert/earlrose
License: #NMLS ID: 212480 GR: 2611


Equifax Security Breach and Myths of Identity Theft
Article by Connecting Resources Together
Beck Cole Insurance


By now you have heard the news about the security breach at Equifax. This is the fifth database from which my information has been stolen, so I can appreciate the headaches this type of thing can cause.

Identity theft can happen to everyone. Not just adults, but children, too, are at risk for having their information stolen and used illegally. It affects us all.

Here are some quick statistics about the impact of it:

Hundreds of Millions of Americans’ Identities have been reported lost or stolen since Jan 2005. – www.privacyrights.org

Over 400,000 Dead People opened Bank accounts last year.

The revenue from trafficking financial data has surpassed that of drug trafficking. – US Secret Service

As a victim of identity theft, you are guilty until proven innocent!

There is more than one way your information can be used: 

  • Criminal ID Theft occurs when a bad guy uses your ID when committing a crime.

  • Employment ID Theft begins when fraudster uses your social security number and other information to obtain employment.

  • Medical ID Theft happens when someone uses your medical information.

  • Financial ID Theft is used to gain access to your financial records and accounts:
       Most noted and feared
       Can ruin someone for years
       But accounts for only 17% of overall ID Theft events

Myth 1:  Given the time frame of when the breach at Equifax happened, if they haven’t used my information by now, thieves won’t ever use it.

Truth:  Thieves have no particular time frame in which they work. Sometimes they will hold onto the information to use later when they think you are confident the threat is over and are no longer paying attention.

Myth 2:  I don’t have credit so I don’t have anything to worry about.

Truth:  Credit is only one part, and often the smaller part. It’s your social security number that is more useful to them, because they can use it in multiple ways to establish credit. In fact, those without credit or recent credit are more likely to not monitor their report, which gives thieves more opportunity to do some damage to you.

Myth 3:  All of the “Identity Theft” products are the same.

Truth:  Read and listen to what they are saying before you buy anything. Those that say they will only monitor your credit report are not worth considering. For example, when someone uses your information to get a driver’s license, that’s not something that will show up on your credit report. Besides, monitoring just your credit report is something you can do on your own.

So, What Can You Do?

Check the Equifax site to see if you were impacted. If you were, sign up for the service they are offering.

Even if they say you weren’t impacted, check your credit report and lock your report and ask for it to be locked. Also, remember that everything is not always reported to all three agencies, so it is a good idea to check Transunion and Experian, as well.

A good resource to check out is www.IdentityTheft.gov. It has a checklist of steps to take if you think your information has been utilized.

Another useful resource I found is with LexisNexis ® https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/

They collect information from a wide variety of public sources and will be able to show you items such as real estate transaction and ownership data, lien, judgment, and bankruptcy records, professional license information, and historical addresses.

They also can give you a FACT report. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was enacted in 2003 and amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law that regulates, in part, who is permitted to access your consumer report information and how it can be used. The FACT Act entitles a consumer to obtain one free copy of his/her consumer file from certain consumer reporting agencies during each 12-month period.

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has a company that maintains consumer files that are subject to the free disclosure requirement: C.L.U.E. Inc. maintains information on insurance claims histories. This company designed an easy process for consumers to request their free file disclosure.

The C.L.U.E. Personal Property report provides a seven-year history of losses associated with an individual and his/her personal property. The following data will be identified for each loss: date of loss, loss type, and amount paid along with general information such as policy number, claim number and insurance company name.

The C.L.U.E. Auto report provides a seven-year history of automobile insurance losses associated with an individual. The following data will be identified for each loss: date of loss, loss type, and amount paid along with general information such as policy number, claim number and insurance company name.

Remember, it’s not about what you have or have not done with regards to your personal information. It’s about who else is using it, and making sure you are keeping your information safe.

If you have any questions, or need help with finding other resources, feel free to contact me.

Becky Cole


The Alzheimer's Medical Advisor
A Caregiver's Guide to Common Medical and Behavioral
Signs and Symptoms in Persons with Dementia
Edited by Philip Sloane, MD, MPH - Article by Sunrise River Press


As we move through life many of us find ourselves needing to help a family member or friend with a medical condition.  Chronic conditions such as Alzheimer's and other dementias require longer-term, possibly every-increasing assistance. Problems with thinking and memory conditions lead to new, different and often challenging behaviors.  In addition, caring for someone with Alzheimer's often means helping them deal with other medical problems that are often difficult to recognize.

This book is a resource for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's or dementia who are also beginning to experience non-memory-related medical conditions.  It addresses 54 medical conditions that caregivers often must deal with when providing care.  Each medical condition is addressed in an easy-to-follow, two-page guide that provides basic facts about the medical condition, signs that indicate a possible emergency, tips on providing relief in the home, other related issues to watch out for, and safety tips for the caregiver.

Written by experts at the University of North Carolina  at Chapel Hill and Duke University, this book is based on the latest clinical knowledge and scientific research on Alzheimer's and the care of Alzheimer's and dementia patients.  It includes basic facts about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and practical guidance when conferring with doctors and nurses, when visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living residences, and during the dying process.  Also, an entire chapter is devoted to what caregivers need to do to take care of themselves while helping someone with Alzheimer's and related dementia. 

This amazing informational book is available at all major bookstores, Amazon and Sunrise River Press (www.sunriseriverpress.com or 1-800-895-4585). 

About the Editor:
Philip Sloan, MD, MPH, the Elizabeth and Oscar Goodwin Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), is a geriatrician with over 35 years of experience managing and researching issues related to older persons, with a focus on Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive disorders and those who assist them with care and services.  Among his many awards are the Academic Award from the National Institute on Aging and the Pioneer Award from the national office of the Alzheimer's Association.  He has authored over 300 publications, including 18 books. 

Sunrise River Press
838 Lake Street. S
Forest Lake, MN  55025


Using Music for Memory Care
Karen Blomgren, MT-BC, NMT
Mary T. Hospice


In the field of Neurologic Music Therapy, exciting new evidence is emerging as studies of music’s effects on the brain become more credible.  While music in itself cannot cure Alzheimer’s Disease and the many forms of Dementia, it is certain that the use of music can greatly enhance the lives of our loved ones and increase their quality of life for an extended period of time.  One does not have to be a Music Therapist, or even a trained musician, in order to implement some of the basic strategies that have been found to be effective while caring for someone with a cognitive impairment.  

Whereas speech, physical movement, etc., utilize just one small area of the brain, music activates all of the neuropathways throughout both the brain’s right and left hemispheres.  Music is the only medium that provides a direct link to all of our senses and to our executive functions:  cognition, speech and communication, emotions, motor control, eyesight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.   Music is “full brain,” and music is “sensory.”  These are key factors in helping our loved ones to communicate as fully as possible for as long as possible.   The more sensory input they receive, the greater their opportunity to respond verbally in order to tell us what they need, thereby increasing their quality of life.

Here are some specific ideas on how and when to utilize music with a loved one in daily living:

·       For Speech and Communication:  Singing.
It is important that the songs be familiar and of the preferred musical genre of the person with memory loss.  Whether she/he likes country music, classical, patriotic, or hymns, etc., use songs of his/her favorite artist.  Popular music from the decade of their twenties will most often elicit a response.  Depending on their level
of cognition, singing a song (audio input) while holding their hand (tactile input) and making close eye contact (visual input)  may produce a response.  (Repetition might be necessary because of delayed cognitive processing).  However, if your loved one is able to sing, then the perfect time to ask if anything is needed is immediately after the song, ie: “Are you hungry/thirsty?  Are you cold/warm?  Does anything hurt?” -  All helpful questions to obtain information that if communicated, can add to their level of comfort.  You may in turn find that your loved one’s verbal ability increases for an extended period of time after singing.

·       For Reality Orientation:  Use recordings of their favorite music to orientate your loved one to time of day, transporting, and activities of daily living.  Structure is very helpful as cognition declines.  Recordings of morning and breakfast songs to start each day; songs about food when eating; songs about water when bathing; songs about walking/marching/dancing to exercise or to move from one place to another; and finally, songs about evening and bedtime for relaxation and comfort. 

·       For Memory Recall:   Utilize old pictures with associated songs to begin conversations (Visual/audio input).  Reminiscence contributes to life satisfaction and intimacy.   

·       For Improved Mood / Emotional Expression:  Music can be used to redirect difficult behaviors and to allow for feelings to be addressed.

·       For Relaxation/Pain Management:  Instrumental recordings of soft and slow, rhythmic songs to focus on can be helpful to decrease agitation, anxiety, stress and insomnia.

·      In addition to providing mental stimulation, all of the above serve as a means to combat social isolation and withdrawal as well as provide opportunities for spiritual support, if desired. 

It is our hope that the information provided here about the use of music in memory care can be of some assistance to those in both private and professional caregiving roles. Please feel free to contact Karen Blomgren, MT-BC, NMT at Mary T. Hospice for more information, as well as for specific questions concerning your loved one.   Call Karen at 763-760-3519.

Mary T. Inc.
Karen Blombgren, MT-BC, NMT



A Great Way to Offset Rising Medical Costs
Article by Becky Cole
Connecting Resources Together


A few months ago, I woke up with what later turned out to be a sinus infection. It was annoying, but I have a busy schedule and really didn’t relish the thought of having to go sit in a waiting room for hours, and then there were the co-pays and deductibles to deal with, too.  Besides that, I was sure it would go away on its own, if I ignored it long enough. Finally, I got tired of tissues and clearing my throat every time I wanted to talk, and decided to do something about it. Then it occurred to me, I didn’t have to take time off from work. I have access to telemedicine providers, and to solve the financial side of things, if I use telemedicine, I have no co-pays or deductibles.

What is telemedicine? It is the ability to use technology – either the phone or through video – to have a live consultation with a medical provider.  All providers have to be licensed and credentialed in order to provide the services. Some plans use nurse practitioners, some use MD’s, others use a combination of the two.

Its purpose is to augment or supplement the services of your primary care provider (if you have one), and provide an alternate option to receiving care.

What services can be provided by telemedicine?

Telemedicine can be used for a wide variety of health services. Here’s a short list of common conditions a primary care doctor may treat via telemedicine:


Arthritic Pain Asthma
Bladder Infections Bronchitis Cellulitis
Colds and Flu Conjunctivitis Diarrhea
Infections Insect Bites Joint Aches and Pains
Pharyngitis Rashes Respiratory Infections
Sinusitis Skin Inflammations Sore Throats
Sprains and Strains UTIs Vomiting

Mental health and wellness programs are also a good fit for this modality.  However, telemedicine should never be used for things like broken bones, severe symptoms, or medical emergencies.

When should I use this kind of service?

·        When you’re considering the ER or urgent care for a non-emergency medical issue.

·        Your primary care physician is not available

·        At home, travelling or at work

·        24/7/365 even Holidays!

·        When you have a high deductible insurance plan and aren’t sure whether or not your condition requires a full medical work-up

·        When you have mobility or transportation challenges

Interested in learning more?  Contact me:

Becky Cole - 612-930-3630
Connecting Resources Together
MN Producer License #40405236


New buzz word the last 2 years in design- what does it mean?
Article by Minnesota Rusco


Universal Design is a new way to look at your space when designing. In a remodel it may help you make your home ready for you to age in place or more marketable as it fits all stages of someone’s life- anyone can live there and be comfortable.


Factor’s to think of when remodeling your bath with this concept in mind are:


Ample clearance. For a wheelchair to make a 180-degree turn in a bathroom, there must be at least 5 feet of open space.


Universal design Showers - critical in a bathroom design is safety, including slip-resistant surfaces, proper lighting and features like attractive grab bars that can work as a hanger for towels or a support in case you lose your balance. “The same logic with universal design bubbles up into overall space planning,” says Diana Schrage, senior designer at Kohler. “We are providing more creative solutions for the long-term that are beautiful and are not a trade-off


Curbless shower - The Roman shower without a rim to step over is the best design for people of all ages, and especially those who use walkers or wheelchairs. The shower has no lip at the floor, which slopes down toward the drain (in some designs, an infinity drain.


Grab bars - Forget the tubular, obvious bars that scream “senior.” Who couldn’t use the security of a grab bar in the shower, after all? This feature is suitable for all ages, and sleek grab bars can double as towel holders until the homeowner needs the extra support, Perrin says.


Slip-resistant floor - You can maintain the cohesive look of using a single tile design in your shower for the wall and floor while improving traction by increasing grout lines on the floor for slip resistance, suggests Diana Schrage, senior designer for Kohler.


Hand-held shower - A hand-held shower is a necessity for those who have physical limitations, and the fixture is convenient because it can be used for a quick spray-off (even replacing a bidet). But where the fixture is positioned makes all the difference. “Most of the time, the water supply is positioned too high,” Perrin says. “The hand-held reaches down to your knees and that’s it. It’s too short.” Be sure the hand-held sprayer reaches your feet when you sit on the shower bench.


Shower seat - A bench in the shower gives you a place to sit and bathe. You can use it for storage or to prop your leg up while shaving if you don’t need the seat. A triangular bench or seat that runs along the length of a shower is an example of two configurations.


Walk in bathtub - easier to get I and out of, soothing to aching joints. New designs are more aesthetically pleasing and Kohler now has the lowest step-in thresh hold ever.


No barriers - Rather than soap dishes and shower shelves that protrude, Schrader designs niches so people aren’t tempted to grab on to these features for support if they accidentally slip. Even consider water tile shower heads that are flat. “I try to design as few items projecting into a showering space as possible,” she says.


In the rest of the bath important factors are:


Tall toilets - Opt for a commode that is 16 to 18 inches high compared to standard 14- or 15-inch high seats. Once referred to as handicap toilets, these “comfort height” or chair height seats, as they’re not marketed, are ideal for most everyone in a household.


Wall-mounted sinks - Wheelchairs and walkers can easily slide under sinks that are mounted to the wall. There are no cabinets or pedestal which translates to more leg room.


These design ideas don’t mean your bathroom has to look like a sterile hospital room. The options out there are endless and most lend to a “spa-like” feel that anyone of any age will enjoy!


Contact Minnesota Rusco today to learn more about our shower and bath remodeling options, or for more information about our other products.  We have over 60 years experience serving Minnesota.  We stand by all of our work with Lifetime Warranties.

In addition to installing high-performance windows and doors, the professionals at Minnesota Rusco can help you with many other home improvement projects. We offer customizable bathroom remodeling solutions, featuring a wide array of shower, bathtub, flooring, lighting, and vanity products, along with countless accessories. Whether you want a tub to shower conversion, a walk in tub by Kohler, or a luxurious jetted soaking tub, we can create the calming oasis you’ve always wanted. If making your home more spacious and bright is a priority, we can build a sunroom that will fit perfectly with your home’s architecture. Similarly, we can add attractive insulated siding to your residence that will not only look great on your home, but will also help lower your utility bills. Contact Minnesota Rusco to learn more about our replacement windows, exterior doors, or any of our other products and services.

Tel: 952-935-9669
Email: angela@minnesotarusco.com
Website: http://minnesotarusco.com/walk-in-tubs/



Article from Neriumblog.net


After five years of unprecedented growth, Nerium International is ready to broaden our horizons yet again. This time around, we’re adding two innovative solutions to our revolutionary line of age-defying products: Youth Factor™ Complete Vitality Complex tablet and Youth Factor Superfood & Antioxidant Boost powder.

Recently, Nerium undertook a mission to develop a comprehensive, anti-aging wellness solution that targets universal aging needs in a way that we have never done before. Mission accomplished. Powered by our patent-pending Youth Factor enzyme blend and Complex NAA™ blend, both Youth Factor products work together to help improve wellness inside and out. Powerful alone, unstoppable together, Nerium’s new innovative products are sure to keep your body healthy and vibrant!


Great news! It’s no longer necessary to scan pharmacy shelves and grocery aisles for multiple products to address many universal anti-aging concerns. With one little pill, Nerium’s new daily supplement targets several issues simultaneously and is specifically designed to support health where it starts – the cellular level. Our Youth Factor tablet includes a host of antioxidant and other ingredients to help fight free radicals and support the immune system.

The Youth Factor tablet also includes Nerium’s exclusive, patent-pending Youth Factor enzyme blend that enhances the optimal absorption and bioavailability of polyphenol antioxidants Nutrients such as PrimaVie® Shilajit, PQQ, and Coenzyme Q-10 help mitochondrial function at their optimal level.

Nerium’s exclusive, patent-pending Complex NAA blend, which helps brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, rounds out this complete anti-aging product.

Ingredients in Youth Factor Complete Vitality Complex help:

  • Support cellular energy*
  • Defend against radical damage*
  • Support your immune system*
  • Reduce the appearance of wrinkles*
  • Reveal brighter-looking skin*


The second product and counterpart of Nerium’s latest dynamic duo are Nerium’s Youth Factor Superfood & Antioxidant Boost Powder – a drink powder packed with daily essentials, antioxidants, pH adjusters and superfoods, as well as Nerium’s two proprietary, patent-pending ingredients, Complex NAA and Youth Factor enzyme blend.

In addition to providing smooth and non-jittery energy for the body, this unique product also supports the body’s alkaline balance. The Youth Factor powder has a unique mix of benefits to help fight signs of aging all around.

Ingredients in the Youth Factor powder help:

  • Balance pH levels to keep your body optimally alkalized*
  • Defend against free radical damage*
  • Help your body absorb beneficial nutrients*
  • Include up to 4 servings of fruits and vegetables*
  • Reduce the appearance of wrinkles*
  • Reveal brighter-looking skin*

Already a global leader in skincare, Nerium International now raises the bar by offering its first-of-its-kind, streamlined approach, consisting of advanced ingredients targeting the most common signs of aging. If life gets too busy to eat right, having a refreshing Youth Factor drink and tablet can provide peace of mind knowing your body is soaking up the nourishment it needs.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Testimonials given by Nerium Independent Brand Partners.

To order these amazing products go to www.angb.nerium.com or contact
Angela Bohnsack, Nerium Independent Brand Partner
763-614-0546 or email angbn13@gmail.com


Osteoarthritis—Relief of Pain and Increase in Function
Article by Handi Medical Supply


Pain Relief Grows with Regular Therapy and Joint Function Improves

Sam Sport is an FDA-cleared medical device that reduces the pain associated with tendon, ligament or muscle injuries and also accelerates the natural healing cascade. Sam Sport provides ultrasonic waves that penetrate 5cm into the tissue; this increases circulation along with oxygen and nutrient delivery.


Ultrasound therapy is clinically effective for Osteoarthritis pain management. In multiple clinical trials, sam® Sport daily wearable multi-hour ultrasound therapy has been proven clinically effective on reducing pain and improving function of patients suffering from moderate to severe Osteoarthritis. When applied  during normal daily activity, patients experience 39% to 51% pain reduction in the treated joint.

In one randomized placebo controlled clinical trial on knee Osteoarthritis, treatment of patients with moderate- to severe pain with sam® Sport (four hours per day, daily for six weeks) resulted in a 39% reduction in pain levels, compared to only a 17% decrease in pain in the control group (p<0.05).  

Sam Sport: reduces pain, enhances tissue recovery, increases deep circulation, delivers mechanical compression, provides deep heating, increases oxygen and nutrient delivery, provides daily, multi-hour therapy and it is wearable and portable.

Sam Sport is available exclusively at Handi Medical Supply in the Twin Cities, Mankato and Coon Rapids.

Currently sam Sport is a private-pay item; or in the case of an injury, it is covered under most workman’s comp or personal injury plans. For more information please contact one of our offices.

Sam Sport can be purchased at
Handi Medical Supply:

Twin Cities 651-644-9770
Mankato 507-779-7560  
Coon Rapids 651-789-5858


Though it’s not a topic many of us want to think about, most people can agree that planning for what happens after your death can reduce the stress of grieving loved ones. It’s easy to understand how making decisions now about your funeral arrangements can help assure those left behind that your wishes are being honored.

Advance Funeral Planning Makes Financial Sense

You may not realize, though, that preplanning your final arrangements also makes good financial sense. There a few key ways in which funeral preplanning can impact your financial bottom line.

Guaranteed Price

Funeral home services and merchandise are forever priced-guaranteed, stopping inevitable inflation of funeral costs.

Preneed funds are deposited in a federally regulated insurance or trust vehicle.

You can make preneed funeral arrangements at one of our funeral homes or in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  Flexible financing is available. 

No Health or Age Restrictions

You may receive the benefits of Prearrangement regardless of your age or health status.

If you move, your preneed funeral contract is transferable to any funeral home, including anyone of our worldwide affiliates.

Eliminate Doubts

Spare your family the emotional stress of making decisions during a challenging time.  A preneed funeral arrangement records your exact wishes ~ consider it the final gift for those you love.

Peace of Mind

Responsible estate planning requires many considerations.  In conjunction with your life insurance and will, your prearranged funeral contract protects your family from inflation AND they will be secure in knowing that you have spared them added stress, worry, and expense by thoughtfully providing advance funding and guidance. 

Call today to meet with a Pre-Planning Advisor and receive your complimentary Personal Planning Guide. 


The Problem With Seniors
Article by Deb Taylor, CEO of Senior Community Services


By now, you’ve probably heard the statistics: 10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day, in less than three years, by the year 2020, there will be more people over the age of 65 than school age children. This is the first time in Minnesota history that seniors will outnumber children.

The senior population is increasing faster than it ever has and seniors are living longer than ever before. Here in Minnesota, we are the land of 10,000 lakes. Now, imagine if we added 10,000 more lakes every single day. We’d have a big issue pretty quickly, wouldn’t we?

The problem we’re facing with the rapidly growing senior population is a lack of preparation. There aren’t enough caregivers. Housing is a major issue, as is healthcare and the importance of supporting organizations that provide affordable resources that support senior independence is being overlooked.

The solution to this issue is simple: provide more resources for seniors to age in place. The reality is that it’s cheaper to provide resources to seniors to help them remain independent than it is to put them in a nursing home. A 2012 study of 39 nursing home residents and 39 independently living seniors found that the total cost to Medicare and Medicaid were $1,591.61 lower per month for the independently living seniors over a 12-month period.

Part of the lack of readiness to support the growing senior population is society’s persistent Ageist perspective. Often time’s seniors are pushed aside and treated as second rate citizens, having their value to society consistently undermined simply because of their age despite their years of experience and knowledge. In fact, studies have proven that quite the opposite is true. Nonprofit, Generations United shares that the regular presence of seniors helps improve the reading scores of children, provide a positive attitude toward aging, improve communication and problem-solving skills, and more. The Ageist perception that society holds has blinded us to the many beneficial and productive ways seniors give back to our communities. It has created a lack of empathy towards the needs of seniors, which has all but stripped away the true urgency of the matter.

Ageism is one of the largest obstacles in creating a solution to this fast approaching issue. Solutions cannot be created for a problem no one believes exists. The first step we need to take as a society is to make a shift in our thinking and how we view those older than ourselves. We need to see the value in our older citizens and appreciate the wisdom they have to offer.

Changing the conversation surrounding seniors may be the first step, but it is no doubt one of the most difficult. While it’s easy to be disheartened by the attitude our society holds towards seniors, there are steps you can take right now to see real, actionable, and immediate change.

One very actionable step you can take is to contact your local congressman and inform them about this important matter. Another, similar step, is to participate in days of action. LeadingAge Minnesota will be holding a Day at the Capital on March 30th. This event is an opportunity for individuals to let their voice be heard in support of Minnesota seniors and those who care for them.

Another step, to take matters into your own hands, is to donate to an organization that provides these much needed resources to seniors. They say “money talks”. By making a financial contribution to an organization, you have the opportunity to make yours speak for the change you want to see happen. There are numerous worthy organizations: Senior Community Services, Meals on Wheels, and local Senior Centers, just to name a few. Financially supporting these organizations will help them to grow and expand their services, so that all Minnesota seniors can have access to the resources they need. 

It’s time we stop talking about what needs to happen and start taking real steps to make it happen for the sake of our seniors and our community. 

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost service.  (www.seniorcommunity.org)


Click Here for Other Resources, Phone Numbers and Helpful Links



Mind Enhancement Formula


Throughout our lives, we work hard to fight off the effects of aging, both physically and mentally. But one of the most important elements that make us who we are is one that we cannot see: our brain.

Just as we try to protect our bodies from the inevitable signs of aging, our minds need just as much TLC.

EHT® Supplement is a groundbreaking product that includes our exclusive and patented EHT molecule. The formula is further fortified with other key ingredients such as vitamins B6, B12, D3, magnesium citrate, selenium, Huperzine A and alpha lipoic acid.

This breakthrough supplement features the patented EHT molecule, which helps keep neuronal connections strong, resulting in improved brain wellness, memory and a focused mind (1). Nerium has exclusive rights to the use of the EHT module.  Source: Signum’s R&D Experimental Biology Conference (1)

This supplement:

  • Promotes better cognitive function and overall brain health

  • Combats oxidative stress and chronic inflammation

  • Fortifies and strengthens natural brain functions

  • Protects and supports neuronal networking

  • Enhances the body’s natural energy stores

  • Boosts the body’s immune system

  • Increases focus

We recommend taking one tablet per day with foods that contain healthy fats such as nuts, avocados and yogurt. These foods will aid in the absorption of the powerful vitamins and minerals found in EHT.

With daily use of Nerium EHT, you may begin to notice results within the first 30 days.

For best results, be sure EHT is part of your daily regimen for at least 90 days and beyond so that you can discover all its amazing benefits.  And remember, a healthy body deserves a healthy mind!

Click Here for more information on EHT® and how to order. 

30 day money back guarantee. 

Angela Bohnsack
Neora Brand Partner


Easy Meals For Seniors to Make On Their Own
Article by The Goodman Group


Nutrition plays a major role in keeping seniors healthy and maintaining or improving overall well being. A healthy diet can guard against numerous health challenges such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. By following a few simple guidelines, there’s an endless variety of easy and nutritious meals that seniors can make on their own.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seniors will do best by choosing foods, which are high in nutrients (lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals) and low in calories.  Your options include: 

  • Lean poultry and meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs, beans, and nuts (preferably unsalted)
  • Whole grains
  • Low- or non-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, kefir)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

Other tips include:

  • Prepare meatless entrees (use plant-based options)
  • Use whole wheat pasta
  • Try ancient grains, quinoa, faro, barley, etc.
  • Use lower sodium broth for soups
  • Use fresh herbs whenever possible

What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do. It’s a good idea to limit or avoid foods that don’t provide much nutrition but add a lot of calories. Often that’s snack or dessert foods such as chips, soda, cookies, cakes, and pies. Try to avoid saturated and trans fats, use salt sparingly, and limit alcohol.

Here are some ideas for putting together easy, nutritious meals. Mix and match, and add your own twists for variety!


  • Scrambled eggs (or egg whites if you’re watching your cholesterol) with diced onions, mushrooms, or chives.
  • Fruit, such as sliced apple or pineapple, orange or grapefruit sections, grapes, or melon balls. A dollop of yogurt (don't forget greek yogurt!) adds freshness and zest.
  • Whole grain toast. Try apple butter, naturally sweetened jam, or a drizzle of honey instead of butter!


  • Homemade tuna salad. Try using canola mayo and adding pine nuts or chopped cashews for added texture. Add curry seasoning for extra flavor. Serve as an open-faced sandwich or as a salad.
  • Green leafy salad with your favorite vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, olives, and avocado.
  • Homemade soup. Start with vegetarian or chicken stock, then add your favorite vegetables and seasonings. Potatoes add a nice thickening texture, and squash or fresh corn add a sweetening factor. Best if made the day before, but a large batch can be frozen into individual portions for anytime use.


  • Baked or broiled chicken breast (skin removed) or fish fillet (tilapia, salmon, and tuna are delicious choices). Season with a squeeze of lemon and herbs such as rosemary or thyme.
  • Potato, yam, or squash — baked or broiled with the poultry or fish. Baking them together in tinfoil will preserve the flavors and speed the cooking time.
  • Steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, spinach, or kale. Choose different combinations for variety and rounded nutrition.

Helpful Resources

The USDA recently replaced the old “food pyramid” with “MyPlate,” which illustrates how important it is to have balanced nutrition. The website provides excellent information and tips on maintaining optimal nutrition for the whole family. The government website MedlinePlus has many resources for seniors, as well.

Bon appétit!

Link to article



What is FIT Functional Fitness®?
Article by The Goodman Group


Developed in partnership with a board certified exercise physiologist, FIT Functional Fitness® is designed to go beyond typical senior fitness programs to help improve residents’ core strength, balance, cardiovascular health, and promote relaxation. The targeted exercises are created to deliver the maximum benefit for each participant. The goal is to increase overall health and wellbeing, reduce potential for falls and encourage residents to remain active. Where possible, the program can reduce the need for assistive mobility devices.

FIT Functional Fitness® incorporates four fitness programs, taking current health levels into consideration and allowing all residents to participate, no matter their current functional fitness level. As their strength and endurance increases, residents may choose to progress to the other programs offered.

FIT to be Strong® – The core of the FIT Functional Fitness® program, FIT to be Strong® incorporates strength building exercises both seated and lying down, and balance exercises while standing.

FIT to Stretch® – Stretching exercises aimed at decreasing pain and improving range of motion, while promoting relaxation.

FIT to Pedal® – Endurance based exercise where participants use a stationary pedaler.

FIT to Balance® – A progressive program designed to enhance the time individuals spend on their feet, improving endurance and balance skills. Participants can work their way up to having more balance confidence, which equates to fewer falls and increased independence.

Katie Westberg, National Director of Life Enrichment for The Goodman Group, walks you through the elements within the FIT Functional Fitness® program.   Click Here to watch a short video. 



Take Control of Your Junk with the KonMari Method
Article by Junk360


If you’re like most of us, the combination of overwhelming amounts of junk and a lack of time. The KonMari Method, made famous by Marie Kondo, highlights the importance of eliminating the things that don’t “spark joy” in our lives. Inspired by this method, we created these steps for you to regain control over your belongings and to increase your free time:

Figure out how you spend your day. Take a notebook and, for 24 hours, list out what you do. Write down the time you wake up, the time you have breakfast, when you’re at work, etc. Then, add up related items to determine how much time you spend on each activity. If you really want to get a good grasp of your time, do this twice: once on a work day, and again on your day off.

Determine how you use your items. Another valuable tool is writing down a list of the things that you use on a daily basis. This could include your frying pan, car keys, your dog’s water bowl, etc. The list you created from the above bullet point will help guide you through your day and, therefore, help you understand which of your items are the most frequently used.

     Cut out the things that don’t “spark joy”. A problem that a lot of people have is doing things and keeping items without good reason. Marie Kondo is a huge advocate of taking a step back and determining if something actually makes you happy – or “sparks joy” – or if you ignore or use out of habit. Life is too short for wasting your time on things that don’t improve your mood.

Get help removing these items from your life. After all this talk about how time is precious, doesn’t it make sense to hire professionals to haul away the junk? That’s where we come in. We’re experts at clearing out your space in a fraction of the time and we also know how to dispose of junk in an environmentally friendly way.

If you’re ready to tackle your junk and make some serious changes, give us a call! We’ve cleaned up hoarder homes, helped people downsized, and are committed to showing you how to reclaim your space and “spark joy” in your life. 


Age is Just a Number...With a Little Help

Article by Deb Taylor
 CEO of Senior Community Services


The so-called Golden Years can be a rich time of life to enjoy. Here's the opportunity to truly enjoy the benefits of free time and your lifetime of accumulated experiences and skills: to pursue a new hobby, take a class, visit loved ones or volunteer to help others.

Studies show that older adults are happier, more content, and more forgiving. The later years represent a special time that we can't afford to waste.  With it, of course, comes the inevitable aches and pains, some reduced mobility, and other physical and mental diminutions of body that vary widely from person to person.

But with a little support, older adults can enjoy life more fully and safely in ways not available to previous generations - thanks to assistive technology.

Getting 'Smart' About Senior Care

Today, 'smart' home sensors, necklace pendants and cameras help caregivers and seniors better enjoy life. High-tech medication dispensers can report to a family member if a loved one forgets to take their medications. Shoes can be GPS-equipped to help locate a wandering senior with dementia. Motion sensors can detect changes in the normal household routine that may indicate a problem. These tools help older adults live and move about more safely, summoning help when there's an urgent need for support.

Senior Community Services, which helps Minnesotans Reimagine Aging, will hold a statewide Independent Living Technology Conference on October 14 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Minnetonka Community Center in Minnetonka. Caregivers, seniors, city officials, health professionals and others will gather to discover the latest advancements in assistive technology to enhance life for the state's growing population of older adults.

U.S. Senator Al Franken will welcome attendees with video comments. The keynote address, about innovations in senior housing, will be presented by John Louiselle, CEO of NextDoor Housing. NextDoor has developed a new, portable senior housing option - Drop Housing™. 

The Drop Housing™ - often called the 'Granny Pod' - is a small, handicapped-accessible unit (30' by 8', 210-240 square feet) that may be located on a family member's residential property. The units offer security, convenience and enhanced well-being for both seniors and family caregivers. A 'Granny Pod' will be available for touring at the conference. An engaging panel discussion and Q & A will focus on the benefit of these units which are being carefully studied and evaluated by communities throughout Minnesota.

Other conference events include:

The demonstration of many innovative assistive products by representatives of the Minnesota STAR Program, a federally-funded initiative to support seniors and families.

The popular CareNextion website will be explained and demonstrated. The free, easy-to-use web tool was developed by Senior Community Services to help families - especially those with members widely dispersed - better manage care and communications about their older loved ones. A caregiving family member will share the many benefits of using CareNextion for managing the care of an older adult.

Information and registration for the Independent Living Technology Conference is available at www.seniorcommunity.org, click on Events.

Assistive technology offers ways to help seniors age in place and delay the need for long-term care in a more structured - and often more costly - institutional setting.

As Minnesotans come together to Reimagine Aging, let's ensure our goal is to make technology fit the older adult lifestyle, and not the other way around.

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.


Don't Wait To Get Sick To Get Healthy
Article submitted by Angela Bohnsack
Neora Brand Partner


A healthy lifestyle is an important part of the aging process.  Eating well and staying active is vital.  So is taking care of the ONE organ that controls EVERYTHING!  When your brain is unhealthy—for whatever reason— you are more likely to be sadder, sicker, poorer, and less successful. There are many causes and behaviors that can lead to an unhealthy brain. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Brain injuries such as concussion

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • Illicit drug use – including marijuana even if it is legal in some places!

  • Obesity

  • Medical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and untreated sleep apnea

  • Mold toxicity

  • Infections such as Lyme disease

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • A chronically poor diet filled with processed foods, sugar and unhealthy fats.

If your brain is troubled, don’t despair!  EHT® Mind Enhancement Supplement can help!  It is never too late to have a better brain.   EHT® comes after 20 years research from Dr. Jeffry Stock's labs at Princeton University and Signam BiosciencesEHT® protects & stabilizes tau protein & PP2A ensuring the PP2A is in a balanced state providing neuroprotection. EHT® works by helping neurons, the "wiring" of our brain, maintain an optimal, functional state.

EHT® Age-Defying Supplement helps protect against mental decline with a groundbreaking formula that includes our exclusive, patented EHT® extract, a natural mixture of bioactive molecules isolated from coffee.  Fortified with other rejuvenating ingredients, including vitamins B6, B12, D3, folic acid, magnesium citrate, selenium, Huperzine A (which increases focus) and the antioxidant lipoic acid. 

This supplement:

  • Promotes better cognitive function and overall brain health

  • Combats oxidative stress and chronic inflammation

  • Fortifies and strengthens natural brain functions

  • Protects and supports neuronal networking

  • Enhances the body’s natural energy stores

  • Boosts the body’s immune system

  • Increases focus

Click Here for more information on EHT® and how to order. 

30 day money back guarantee. 

Angela Bohnsack
Nerium International Brand Partner

Healthy Sources:

Eating Well

Exercise and Fitness As you Age

Dr. Amen’s Brain Fit Life - Try a Free Brain Health Assessment‎


Summer Cleaning: 4 Areas to Remember
Article submitted by Shaun Riffe, Owner of


It’s officially summer so, of course, we at Junk360 have summer cleaning recommendations for you. This time, we’re tackling outdoor household cleaning projects that you probably can’t do during any other season. All you have to do is focus on these 4 areas:

Trashcans. Let’s get the hardest part out of the way first. Trashcans quickly become dirty and can lead to flies finding them a suitable home for their squirmy larvae. Not only will scrubbing out your trashcan help to prevent this, but you won’t have to hold your breath every time that you open it. In this case, a liquid toilet bowl cleaner and toilet bowl brush are your best friends.

Window Exteriors. You might clean the inside of your windows on a regular basis, but how often do you get around to the outside? If you have a hose connected to your house, the process is actually quite easy. A simple mixture of dish detergent and white vinegar will have the glass sparkling.

Driveway Stains. Your driveway deals with a lot of traffic (terrible pun intended). There are plenty of opportunities for cars, lawnmowers, and snow blowers to leak various fluids onto it. Oil, transmission fluid, and gasoline all require different cleaning methods, so identifying the stain is the first step. Once you do that, take a look at these recommendations.

Patio Furniture. Maybe you forgot to cover it over the winter. Maybe the family dog decided to claim a lawn chair as its own. Or maybe you have no idea what happened. Either way, it’s easier to enjoy your time outside if you get rid of whatever mold, mildew, or general grime is on your furniture. Bleach is your best option, but remember to move your furniture off of the grass before you get started.

Summer is in full swing, so make sure you’re ready for it! Our team at Junk360 wants you to enjoy the warm weather, so remember to take safety precautions when working outside. Staying hydrated and dressing properly are our two biggest tips (you can tell from our stylish Junk360 hats)!

Junk360 will pick up, remove, haul away, and recycle almost anything you can fit in our trucks. Just point to the items you need removed and watch us carry it out, load it in our trucks to haul away, and sweep up for you so that everything is as fresh and clean as a new space. We can help with just one item or an office/home full of unwanted junk. Junk360 also specializes in estate and home clearance. And at the end of the day, we ensure that everything that can be repurposed is donated, recycled or reused to ensure we reduce our impact on local landfills. Call 651-395-8659 or visit our website for a free estimate. 

Shaun Riffe
Owner, Junk360, LLC.


From 1 – 10 How Important Is Your Independence...10?
Article submitted by Beth Woodward of


Augustana Regent has ongoing customer service training for our staff, called S.H.A.R.E.  Serve, Honor, Anticipate, Relate and Empower.  We’re now having our class on HONOR.  The question to our staff is, “How would you be feeling if you were a brand new resident in this building?  What would be most important to you?  The answer I have heard the most: “Honoring and upholding my right to stay independent.”  So how is such a thing accomplished?…by asking PERMISSION

On a trip home to visit my mom years ago, I saw she needed some extra help.  Of course I jumped right in.  I put a new shelf on her counter so she could reach things better, I moved things in her living room to make it easier for her to get around and I set up her waste basket to have multiple bags underneath so she didn’t have to search for a bag.  What I DIDN’T do is ask permission first.  I quickly realized I stepped over the line. I stole her independence by not giving her the option to have a say in any changes.  This was HER home and she had already experienced losing some independence due to her health.  What gave her some Independence was my asking, “Mom, would you like me to put a shelf on the counter so it’s easier for you to reach?”  “Would you like me to move this table in the living room so it’s easier to walk?”  Then I waited and listened.  If she said yes, I helped and made the changes she was OK with.  If it was a no, I stopped and honored what she wanted.  By doing that one tiny thing, asking permission, she was left feeling that she still had choices, she was still independent and in control of her life.


Address: 14500 Regent Lane
Burnsville, MN 55306
Tel: 952-898-1910
Website: http://www.augustanaregent.com/


How Are You Doing In This Emotional Time?


When families come to see us at the Regent, they are looking for a safe and social community for themselves or their loved ones.  They are in the place of:

  • preparing for the distant future

  • preparing for the near future

  • a quick and dramatic life change or

  • in a panic not knowing where to turn

No matter where they are, there are a lot of emotions.  This past weekend I had a good cry over the loss of my mother four years ago. We all understand and acknowledge the emotions around losing someone, but what about the feelings of moving from your home and seeing your health and safety decline?  There are many losses in this part of life. 

Whenever I am sitting with a family and they are telling me why they have come to tour the Regent, I always stop and ask, “How are you doing?”  EVERYONE is affected emotionally from a son/daughter seeing their parents changing or a mom/dad who has lived in their home for 20 – 50 years.  No matter what it is, there are always a lot of feelings involved.

Last week a mom came in with her son.  As they were leaving I looked at the mom and acknowledged how difficult it was to be approaching this big change and leaving her home.  There was a look of gratitude and relief on her face that her emotions were understood.  

This is a very difficult time for all sons, daughters, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and friends.  Know that here at the Regent, we understand and know that you’re not alone.          

With Gratitude,

Beth Woodward
Director of Marketing
Augustana Regent at Burnsville



Local Businessman Awarded Special Reverse Mortgage Designation

Jeff Flanery
Cambria Mortgage
(952) 486-6114


Eden Prairie, MN—Jeff Flanery, a reverse mortgage specialist with Cambria Mortgage, has joined an elite cadre of mortgage professionals who have achieved the status of being a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP). National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., bestowed the certification on Flanery after he passed a rigorous exam and background check, thereby demonstrating a competency in the area of reverse mortgages and a dedication to uphold the highest ethical and professional standards.

Only 119 individuals nationwide currently have the CRMP credential, and Flanery is only the third person in Minnesota to earn CRMP status.

“Being one of 116 people nationwide to have achieved this milestone is a testament to my commitment to reverse mortgages,” says Flanery. “The process involved to receive this professional designation was long and arduous and adds to the level of expertise maintained by myself and the firm.”

To qualify for the designation, applicants must have originated reverse mortgages for a minimum of three years or personally closed at least 50 loans; earned 12 continuing education credits; completed NRMLA’s Ethics Course; passed a comprehensive exam; and a background check. The certification is valid for three years, during which time designees must earn 8 CE credits annually to be re-certified. Applicants who are not loan originators, but nonetheless work in areas vital to the business, such as training, counseling, processing, underwriting and servicing, must have three or more years of experience.

“Jeff is one of 116 individuals with the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation. As a CRMP, he has demonstrated knowledge and competency in the area of reverse mortgage lending, and is dedicated to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice in the industry." said Peter Bell, President and CEO of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62 years old and older with significant home equity. They are designed to enable older Americans to borrow against the equity in their homes to help fund retirement needs, without having to make monthly payments as is required with a traditional "forward" mortgage or home equity loan.  Under a reverse mortgage, funds are advanced to the borrower and interest accrues, but the outstanding balance is not due until the last borrower leaves the home, sells, or passes away. Borrowers may draw down funds as a lump sum at loan origination, establish a line of credit or request fixed monthly payments for as long as they continue to live in the home.  To date, more than 963,000 senior households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage. 

About Jeff Flanery, CRMP       #400261
I feel fortunate to have become involved in the reverse mortgage industry.  It has given me great satisfaction to have helped educate hundreds of people about a wonderful, safe and often misunderstood HECM Program.  I started doing reverse mortgages in 2002, became a Reverse Mortgage Branch Manager for Wells Fargo and now am a Reverse Sales Manager for Cambria Mortgage.  Obtaining the CRMP designation is a treasured achievement.

To say that ‘life has been good’ is an understatement.  I am very fortunate to have married my best friend (going on 41 years), proud to see my two grown children become great parents, and now enjoy being Grandpa to Max, Tommy, Ivy and Bettejane.

This year, I hope to squeeze in a couple of rounds of golf and maybe make it to a few more Twins games.  I think I will be advocating reverse mortgages forever.

Jeff Flanery, Reserve Mortgage Specialist NMLS #400261

Cambria Mortgage
11000 W. 78th Street Ste 300,
Eden Prairie
, MN  55344
Toll Free:  (877) 942-0110
Office:  (952) 486-6114
Cell:  (612) 240-9517
Fax:  (952) 942-0330


About the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association:

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is a membership organization comprised of over 300 companies and more than 2,000 people participating in the reverse mortgage industry. NRMLA serves as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related professionals. NRMLA was established in 1997 to enhance the professionalism of the reverse mortgage business.

For information contact:
Darryl Hicks, Vice President, Communications
202-939-1784; dhicks@dworbell.com


NEW Report Shows Care Contributors Sacrifice Personal Care to
Support People with Alzheimer’s Disease

Minneapolis (March 30, 2016) – The personal financial support required by a person with Alzheimer’s disease may ultimately deprive care contributors of basic necessities, such as food, transportation and medical care, according to the 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released today. This annual report from the Alzheimer's Association contains updates on prevalence, mortality, caregiving and costs, as well as a special focus this year on the personal family costs of Alzheimer's.

Today an estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly 16 million family members and friends are caregivers providing financial, physical and emotional support.

  • Care contributors were 28 percent more likely to eat less or go hungry while contributing care to someone with Alzheimer’s.
  • One-fifth of them sacrificed personal medical care by cutting back on doctor visits.
  • More than one-third reported having to reduce their hours at work or quit their job entirely while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, leading to an average loss of income of around $15,000 compared to the previous year.
  • On average, care contributors, many of whom don’t live with the person they’re caring for, spent more than $5,000 a year of their own money to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease; however, amounts varied with many spending tens of thousands of dollars per year.

Preparing for the Financial Impact of Alzheimer’s

Unfortunately, a significant number of care contributors don’t have a complete understanding of the financial implications of supporting someone with Alzheimer’s. According to data from the Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures report, about two out of three people incorrectly believe Medicare will help them cover nursing home costs, or they’re not sure whether costs will be covered. Currently only three percent of adults in the U.S. carry long-term care insurance that might help them cover costs.

To help financially plan for the future, the Alzheimer’s Association suggests the following:

  • Look at retirement planning as a time to think about how to prepare for the need of long-term medical care. After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, your options may be more limited.
  • Conduct an inventory of your financial resources (i.e. savings, insurance, retirement benefits, government assistance, VA benefits, etc.). A financial planner or elder care attorney can help.
  • Investigate long-term care services (home care, assisted living residences and nursing homes) in your area. Ask what types of insurance they accept and if they accept Medicaid.
  • Once you understand what you have for financial resources and what you can afford, make a plan with your family or a close friend for how to access care.

Alzheimer’s Disease By The Numbers

Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality

  • An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. This includes 5.2 million people age 65 and older, and 200,000 under age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number will rise to 13.8 million by 2050.
  • 91,000 people age 65 and older in Minnesota are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 476,000 people age 65 or older will develop Alzheimer’s in the U.S. in 2016.
  • Two-thirds (3.3 million) of Americans over age 65 with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. From 2000-2013, the number of Alzheimer’s deaths increased 71 percent, while deaths from other major diseases, such as heart disease, breast cancer and HIV, decreased.

Cost of Paid and Unpaid Care

  • Alzheimer’s is the costliest disease to society. Total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated at $236 billion (excludes unpaid caregiving), of which $160 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid alone.
  • In 2015, nearly 16 million family/other unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at $221.3 billion.
  • 249,000 Alzheimer’s caregivers in Minnesota provide 284 million hours of unpaid care, valued at $3.5 billion.
  • Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1 trillion in 2050 (in current dollars) from $236 billion in 2016.
  • The financial toll of Alzheimer's on individuals exceeds the toll on Medicaid. Total Medicaid spending for people with Alzheimer's disease is $43 billion, while out-of-pocket spending is estimated at $46 billion, or 19 percent, of total care payments for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Alzheimer’s Association 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

The 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families, government and the nation’s health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the preeminent source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues.

About the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-Dakota Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Visit  alz.org/mnnd or call the 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 for support.

PDF REPORT - Alzheimer's Statistics Minnesota Statesheet


Government Offers Tax Breaks For Long-Term Care Planners

Article by Deb Newman, CLU, ChFC, LTCP
Newman Long Term Care

In 1997, the federal government began offering tax perks to commend people for buying long-term care insurance, including tax-qualified policies. Congress created these policies to encourage both insurance companies and consumers to embrace long-term care insurance.

Under a tax-qualified policy, long-term care insurance premiums may be listed as itemized deductions on federal tax returns. Additionally, benefits from a qualified policy are received tax-free. Many providers exclusively offer these policies, as more than 80 percent of long-term care policies sold in the U.S. are tax-qualified.

Those who buy long-term care insurance now can claim it on next year’s tax returns and continue to do so every year premiums are paid. Deductions for the 2016 tax year range from $390 to $4,870. These deductions typically increase each year.

Similar to premium expenses, any long-term care costs paid out of pocket may also be tax deductible. This means that you can claim any professional home care, nursing home or other long-term care bills as a medical deduction on your income tax return. However, these expenses may not be deducted for home care provided by a family member unless that person is a licensed professional.

Many states also offer tax credits or deductions for long-term care coverage. In some states, tax breaks are applied to both tax-qualified and non-tax-qualified policies. Some states also give other benefits such as allowing Medicaid applicants with exhausted benefits to keep their home as a reward for having long-term care coverage.

Long-term care insurance offers protection that no other insurance can provide and with the tax incentives currently in place, it makes economic sense as well. A new 8 page free guide is now available that discusses the tax incentives, Health Savings Accounts, and state Partnership Programs.

Click here to request the guide or call Newman Long Term Care at 612-454-4400 and ask for the "Tax Breaks & Incentives for Long Term Care Insurance" guide.



Mary T. Making A Difference!



Senior Living Transitions & Phone Freedom

Article by Jeff Swenson

Like so many seniors, you may have faced the challenge of transitioning aging parents into assisted living housing. In addition, you may be looking into the future to determine the optimum living situation for yourself as well.

As you know, the anxiety that comes with moving can be very overwhelming. Leaving familiar surroundings, downsizing possessions and moving to a new community can be challenging. You have worked hard to maintain those important connections with your community and you deserve to keep valuable relationships.

Part of that connection to your past has included your home phone number, which may have been with you for decades. The thought of canceling home landline service has made people feel like they are being cut off from your past. However, technology has finally simplified how seniors can stay better connected and have the freedom that they deserve.

New Technology Available

Up until recently, canceling your local telephone service has meant that you would be giving up your home phone number. Fortunately, there are now options such as forwarding your home telephone number to another number, like a cell phone. Most telephone service providers offer this option at an additional cost above the usual monthly service charge. However, a new service from OurOldNumber.com now allows you to cancel your landline (saving money) while keeping your personal home phone number and having those calls forwarded to cell phones. There are no devices required and callers to your home phone number would hear a personalized greeting such as:

“Hi you’ve reached Mary and John”
“For Mary, press 1”
“For John, press 2”
“To leave us a message, press 0”

Never miss a home phone call from any groups, doctors, churches, businesses, neighbors or friends who you know have your old number. No matter where you may be living or traveling, wanted calls will find you. Even if you plan to stay in your own home for some time, this plan simply makes sense.

Additional Benefits to OurOldNumber.com

● Save Money! (cancel your landline cost and roll calls to cell phones for as little as $9.99/mo)

● Service can be set to forward calls only during certain hours (i.e. you may not want to be disturbed at night and can route calls directly to voicemail)

● Most telemarketing calls won’t get through since they must make a selection

Whether you are transitioning to a new environment, looking to save money, or wanting the flexibility of receiving home calls wherever you are, you can learn more this unique service at OurOldNumber.com.


I Should Have Been More Prepared
Article by Beth Woodward
Augustana Regent at Burnsville


Counseling Tips For Untreated Hearing Loss
Article Submitted by:
Cindy Reimann
Beltone Hearing Care Center

Hearing is a sense that many of us take for granted. Throughout our lives, we subject our ears to loud sounds–music, power tools, lawn mowers, air travel–without using ear protection. Regrettably, this can cause hearing loss. Also, the natural aging process generally results in hearing loss. Even certain illnesses and medications can adversely affect our hearing. Unfortunately, hearing loss that occurs from such causes is permanent.

The good news is, even if you already have a little hearing loss, it's never too late to preserve your hearing for the years ahead. The first thing you can do is protect your ears in noisy environments. Also, avoid using cotton swabs to clean your ears. And, make it a priority to get a baseline hearing screening to see if hearing loss has already occurred.

If hearing loss is found during your hearing evaluation, it could be due to excess ear wax or infection. This type of hearing loss is reversible. If hearing loss stems from chronic exposure to loud noise, aging, or certain illnesses and medications, hearing aids are the best way to preserve your good hearing.

The great news about today's hearing aids is how small and easy to wear they are. Modern digital hearing aids use super-tiny microprocessor technology–making them virtually invisible when worn. Hearing aids can help almost all degrees of hearing loss–from a little to a lot. And, by stimulating your brain with sound that might not otherwise reach it, hearing aids help keep your brain active, which lowers your risk for cognitive diseases, such as dementia.

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, don't ignore it. Neglecting a hearing loss can have a snowball effect–making it grow bigger, faster than necessary.

Here are 10 ways you can limit hearing damage and preserve good hearing:

  1. Understand the sound levels of the noises in your environment.

  2. Learn about proper ear protection. There are many kinds on the market today, ranging from custom ear molds to foam plugs and more.

  3. Put physical distance between you and loud noise when it is present. If possible, stand at an angle from the noise, not directly in front of it.

  4. Take breaks when you are exposed to noise.

  5. When listening to music through headphones or earbuds, keep the volume low-to-medium.

  6. Know the signs of hearing loss, and measure yourself against them.

  7. Schedule a baseline hearing evaluation. Hearing loss is on the rise among Baby Boomers and young people. It's never too early to get your hearing checked, but don't wait past age 50.

  8. Have your hearing evaluated by a professional licensed by your state.

  9. If you have hearing loss caused by a reversible condition, take steps to correct it.

  10. If any permanent hearing loss is diagnosed, choose hearing aids to slow it down, and preserve good hearing.

If you or someone you love would like a FREE hearing evaluation contact Beltone Hearing Care Center at 1-844-664-3277.  


Article by Cindy Reimann
Beltone Hearing Care Center

A hearing loss doesn’t have to slow you down or keep you from enjoying the things you like to do. Beltone’s advanced hearing instruments have helped people just like you get back into a healthy, active and fulfilling lifestyle. Don’t wait, call today for a FREE hearing test! Toll free: 1-844-664-3277. Home visits are available upon request.


Knowing When to Get Help
By Keith Dahlen


For most of us independence and privacy is an important condition for a comfortable life. We each have our habits and methods of doing things, and life has a rhythm that just “fits” our personalities. But as people age and physical changes occur, we may find ourselves or loved ones dealing with those changes ineffectively. Sooner or later the question starts ringing in our heads, “When should I look for help?”

 But then we think, “Oh, I don’t need help. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.” or “I can’t tell Mom what to do – she’d never listen to me, anyway.”  Or “Dad would never accept help, he’s too proud.” or “It’s not time yet, let’s wait”.  And so we wait and do what we can ourselves, all the while still wondering, “When should I look for help?”

 The good news is we don’t have to guess. There are some common indicators that help us tell when it’s time to get some help. We don’t have to wait for a crisis situation to throw everyone into a panic. If fact, the goal should be to avoid the crisis, for everyone’s benefit.

 Here are some indicators to consider…

  • Physical Condition:  Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with a medical condition that affects their daily living?  For example, dressing, grooming, shaving, toileting, eating. 

  • Personal Care: Are baths/showers being taken regularly? Is there any body odor? Are teeth and hair brushed and washed regularly? Are incontinence products worn if necessary and changed regularly and correctly?

  • Driving: Has driving become difficult, uncertain or scary? Have reflexes and decision making slowed? Have new dings, dents or scratches appeared on vehicles?

  • Nutrition:  Is your or your loved one’s weight stable? Are you/they eating regularly and nutritiously? Is the refrigerator properly stocked with a variety of foods? Does all the food have current expiration dates? Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator or on the counters?

  • Household Tasks: Are household chores being done regularly? For example, dusting, laundry, vacuuming.  Are bed linens changed regularly? Have household chores become frustrating, physically demanding, or time consuming? 

  • Socialization: Do you or your loved one have moods of loneliness, despair, depression, frustration, irritability, or anxiety? Is there fear or insecurity about going out of the house?

  • Mental Health:  Are there memory lapses?  Is there difficulty finding the right words? Is there inconsistency between words and action? Is anxiety or moodiness evident?

  • Medication: Are medications being taken regularly and on time? Are medications being refilled on schedule? Does the senior understand what the medications are being taken for?

  • Finances, Mail, Paperwork:  Is the senior having difficulty managing their checkbook, finances, bills and personal affairs? Are there past due notices arriving? Is mail piling up? Is there a reasonable amount of cash on hand? Are important documents or similar items like purses, wallets and keys being misplaced frequently or for long periods of time? Are they appearing in unusual places?

  • Safety, Security and Sanitation:  Are appliances being left on such as the stove or coffee pot? Does the senior fall asleep with cigarettes burning? Is the house allowed to get too hot or too cold? Is the house always unlocked? Has the senior fallen in the past 6 months? Have there been multiple falls? Is there clutter on the floor? Is trash piling up in or around the house? Are toilets functioning properly? Is pet debris evident?

Family members often see the changes in the way a senior moves, acts, thinks, and responds to situations around them but dismiss them until one of two things happen. Either the family begins to spend so much time helping the senior themselves that they have little time for their own responsibilities or the senior experiences a physical or medical crisis. Both of these result in undue stress for the family and the senior. If you have a concern with even one set of indicators, it’s time to acknowledge it, learn more about what is causing it and what options are available to overcome it. Speak openly, calmly, and honestly about the issue and the type of assistance needed to overcome it. Frequently, simple changes can make a big improvement. We encourage you to be proactive and avoid a crisis situation that throws everyone into an emotional reaction. Calm, rational transitions are easier on everyone than stressful ones.

Finally, keep your efforts as informal as possible. Rather than going through the house like an inspector with a checklist, make your observations through normal, casual interaction. Make a mental note when you see things that are of concern. Keep conversation non-threatening and cooperative. Make every effort to respect the senior’s wishes while assisting with their needs.  


Article by Keith Dahlen of Great Oak Senior Care
651-212-4101 - www.GreatOakSeniorCare.com

Great Oak Senior Care is the perfect solution for seniors and others in need who aren’t ready to leave their home for an institutional setting, but because of illness or chronic conditions need support to remain at home. We improve your life by providing compassionate, one-on-one care in the comfort of your own home. Our personalized and affordable services are available 7 days a week and can range from a few hours a day to 24/7 live-in care.


Transitional Care - From Hospital to Home
By Sharon A. Johnson, MA, LNHA

Before Sylvia had knee replacement surgery, she selected Interlude Restorative Suites in Fridley for transitional care. "The whole environment felt good. The staff was friendly and supportive, which helped me focus on my important rehabilitation goals. It felt more home-like rather than something institutional."

A Transitional Care Unit is a skilled care facility where patients come for recovery and rehabilitation after surgery or an illness. The patient is admitted to the TCU (stays vary from days to weeks) to recuperate, heal, and gain strength so they're ready to resume their normal lifestyle once home. Patients who go directly home from the hospital may suffer a setback, which can result in costly rehospitalization.

 The state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility helps guests enhance:

  • Strength and stamina

  • Flexibility and coordination

  • Balance and movement

  • Thinking, speaking and swallowing

  • Personal care and hygiene

At Interlude Restorative Suites, the skilled staff helped Sylvia heal and grow stronger. The focus is on efficient, effective rehabilitation so the guest can return home as quickly as possible. But quality food and restorative rest aid in healing so these are priorities as well. Interlude is a quiet place and offers a more relaxed environment for recovery. Staff communicate via radio and earpieces so there are no noisy overhead pages. And there are fewer intrusions while the guests are resting.

The TCU Evolution

Typically, transitional care facilities are located in skilled care nursing homes. Now, TCUs are being built adjacent to hospitals and as free-standing facilities, with the majority of guests able to return home.

The Therapy Gym is a featured part of the TCU for strengthening and conditioning. Therapy is offered  seven days a week, helping to reduce the overall length of the TCU stay. Here's a sampling of what you'll find in the Therapy Gym:·     

  • The AlterG, a gravity-defying treadmill that removes up to 80 percent of the guest's body weight burden to ease stress on joints, enhance strengthening, and reduce recovery time;

  • Game Ready. Ice is a powerful tool for managing pain. The Game Ready system combines cold with compression to reduce swelling, minimize pain and speed and enhance the body’s natural healing abilities;

  • 92 degree Aquatic Therapy Pool includes an underwater treadmill with a camera system for gait analysis and training. Exercising in the water allows movement of joints without the complications of gravity;

  • NeuroCom Balance Master – assessment and retraining of the sensory and voluntary motor control of balance;

  • Bariatric Therapy equipment includes treatment tables, NuSteps, and parallel bars, sized for guests up to 600 pounds. A ceiling lift system helps ensure the safe movement of patients and the protection of staff;

TCU's address the three major goals of national healthcare policy: to reduce costs while enhancing medical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Significantly, the TCU helps reduce the number of rehospitalizations, which account for one in six Medicare hospitalization dollars spent. Healthcare payers, including Medicare, often cover a transitional care stay, and costs may vary significantly based upon patient condition and the treatment needed. Check with your insurance company about coverage for your particular needs.

The need for transitional care is growing. As the large baby boom generation ages, perhaps 40 percent of these consumers will require joint replacement surgery. Innovative, transitional care will allow these patients to enjoy a faster, and more certain, return to an active lifestyle.

Sharon A. Johnson is CEO of Interlude Restorative Suites in Fridley, Minnesota. Interlude is a bold collaboration of Allina Health, Benedictine Health System and Presbyterian Homes & Services.



I'll Move When I Sell My House
Article by Beth Woodward
Augustana Regent



In about 40% of my tours I hear, I’ll move when I sell my house” or ”I have 50 years of stuff to go through before I can move.”  For most of you, leaving your house will never happen until something happens to you or your loved one first. 

So many times I’ve heard:

  • Dad had a heart attack and can no longer live by himself; we didn’t know there were waiting lists. 

  • Mom is getting so depressed living alone; I wish she would go to a nice community and make some friends.

  • Dad said he would move to a safe place. That was 2 years ago, he lives alone and his health has really gone down.

  •  I can’t take care of my wife anymore, my health has gotten worse but she won’t move.  Who will take care of her when I’m gone?

The house becomes the excuse because it means so much to you.  It’s a big part of your life and moving to a new place is uncomfortable and just plain scary.  I cannot take those feelings away, nor would I try, but I can suggest things to keep in YOUR control!

  • Moving in a crisis situation lessens your choices because of waiting lists.   

  • Make the decision before an incident makes it for you. 

  • Moving when you feel better allows for a much easier transition.

  • If you can afford it, moving to a senior community before you sell the house

  • eliminates tremendous STRESS, keeping you healthier and stronger!  

Still not sure?  You are welcome to try us out.  It’s a 30-day notice with no long lease.  Stay with us for a month or for the winter and give yourself time to see how you like it.  Take the worry away from your loved ones if only for a short time.  



 Good News For
Free & Clean Home Owners

Article by Homestead Road                                          Minneapolis, MN July 1, 2015

Homestead Road has good news for free and clear home owners.

You can get a low risk/high rate of return on the value of your home – from 5-10%. You don’t have to let your home equity sit idle at a zero rate of return. Or if you are planning to sell your house and invest the proceeds, here is a way you can get a 5-10% return – more than a savings account or CD, with less risk than other investments.

Many people are surprised to learn that one in three homes in the U.S. is free and clear. Such a house offers a number of opportunities to earn a rate of return on the proceeds from the sale. Risks and rates of return for various investments go hand in hand from a low risk/low return bank account to high risk/high return speculative stocks, and everything in between.

This article discusses the option of selling the home on a contract for deed (CD), and thereby creating an income stream while earning anywhere from 5% to 10% on the money. If done carefully, it can yield higher rates of return at a lower risk than many other investments.

How it Works
The owner starts by engaging an attorney to draw up the contract for deed. To the person who buys the house, it feels like a mortgage in that there is a down payment and regular monthly payments for a specified period of time, usually 2-3 years. At the end there is a balloon payment that the occupant typically covers through more conventional financing. The 2-3 year period allows the buyer to establish or rebuild their credit to qualify for bank financing. The major difference between a mortgage and a CD is that with a CD, the owner retains the deed until the contract is fulfilled.

Homestead Road, a leading house buying company headquartered in Minnesota has helped hundreds of owners sell their free and clear houses on contracts for deed. In many cases the company will make it even easier by actually buying the house from the Owner.

Plus Factors
A big advantage is that the owner will have no trouble finding a buyer and getting the asking price for the property. Prospective CD buyers are people who cannot get conventional bank financing and are grateful for this pathway to home ownership. They do not want to derail the deal with aggressive negotiations, so they are more agreeable to the asking price and the terms than conventional home buyers.

That doesn’t mean they are bad credit risks. In fact a large percentage of them are actually good credit risks. For example, there are 25 million self-employed people, many of whom have more than enough income to maintain a monthly payment schedule, but they have a hard time proving it through the maze of today’s banking regulations. Millions of others are strong on their feet after a negative event, but not long enough to satisfy the underwriters. Again, the CD gives people time to establish or rebuild their credit through a record of on time monthly payments. A surplus can be built into the monthly payments that accumulate toward the mortgage down payment.

In addition to having the pick of numerous credit worthy prospects, the owner has the further protection in retaining the deed. If the occupant is unable to maintain the payments, the deed holder can evict the occupant much easier than a landlord or mortgage holder. The contract should be written to specify that when the occupant is in breach of contract, they must vacate the premises.

Another important advantage is the occupant’s mind set. Seeing themselves on a pathway to eventually own the home, they are more likely to take good care of the property than, for example, renters who often trash the premises.

Selling a house that is free and clear offers a number of opportunities to earn a higher rate of return at lower risk than many other investment options. A contract for deed makes it easier to get the asking price and to structure the contract in terms most favorable to the owner/seller. Millions of people seeking this pathway to home ownership have the income to maintain the monthly payments and are good credit risks. The owner is further protected by holding onto the deed, and having a hard asset - the property - backing the paper.

Contact us for more information and opportunities.

Homestead Road
Tel: 612-808-6767
Email: info@homesteadroad.com
Website: http://www.homesteadroad.com


 Protecting Seniors from Schemes and Scams

Article from Deb Taylor of Senior Community Services
A public awareness initiative of Senior Community Services

Dwight, 74, is more cautious now after being stung by a classified advertisement he saw in an online magazine. The ad promised $100 in legal currency for $50. Dwight (naively) felt it was a good deal so he dashed off a check for $50 and mailed it to a post office box in Colorado. Soon, an official looking envelope arrived and Dwight tore it open to find several bills. He was ecstatic, until he took a closer look. He'd received Portuguese escudo notes. Unsure what to do with this foreign currency, Dwight took the cash to the foreign currency section at a downtown bank. A teller told Dwight that, yes, this is $100 in legal Portuguese currency, but based upon the exchange rate his $50 had purchased 62 cents worth of foreign currency. Dwight's dream deal had turned into a nightmare.

Many too-good-to-be true schemes arrive via the internet and telephone, and trusting seniors are often easy targets. They grew up in an era when people were more trusting and could take someone at their word.

But criminals are creative and know how to manipulate older adults.  They may call pretending to be a government representative, accusing the senior of failing to show up for jury duty, or reporting there's a warrant out for their arrest. Out of fear, the senior may relinquish their social security number and other private information. Then, the scammer has information to create a false identity for profit.

Consumers in all fifty states have received phone calls from criminals purporting to be IRS agents. They charge the senior has unpaid back taxes which, if not paid, will result in arrest, a lawsuit, or suspension of their driver's license.

That's why it’s important for seniors to file a tax return annually, even if their earnings are under the income limit for filing. In 2013, the IRS sent out almost three million fraudulent refunds to con artists who had filed returns in the names of unwitting consumers. If you file a return, it's easier for the IRS to discover fraudulent returns filed under the same name.  It's important to protect confidential information.

Trusting seniors may have private information readily available and ripe for the picking by unsavory service workers.  The theft of sensitive information can be the start of a troubling and frustrating case of identity theft.

With so much shopping being done online, it's vital for family and caregivers to help track purchases and payments made by seniors. If some credit card payments are suspect, call the credit card company to report the fraudulent charge and have it removed from the bill. Be sure to ask for a replacement credit card with a new number.

The obituary scam is especially shameful. Con artists scour newspapers online and call family members demanding money for a supposed debt that the deceased left behind. Another version targets widows who answer the doorbell to find a fake delivery person holding a box supposedly ordered by the deceased. The widow pays and receives the package, and upon opening discovers a brick or equally useless old magazines and newspapers.

Be watchful and ready to help if seniors you know are targeted. Talk with them about how they may become easy prey. It's a good way to Reimagine Aging and save the billions of dollars lost annually to fraud.

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.


Seventy-five percent of aging Americans affected by vision problems; The Minnesota Optometric Association offers tips to protect eyesight throughout life

Fluctuations in vision are often one of the first health changes adults notice as they get older. Although these changes can be bothersome, even more troubling problems could be lurking beneath the surface and cause vision loss. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q® survey, the inability to live independently would concern older consumers the most if they developed serious vision problems.

Here are several tips to help older adults safeguard their vision.

Schedule a yearly eye exam

A comprehensive eye exams is one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision, and a thorough eye exam is only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease, and determine the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Common eye conditions in older adults that can be detected through a comprehensive eye examination include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and dry eye.

“Many eye conditions develop without any warning signs or symptoms, so it’s important to visit a doctor of optometry every year to ensure your eyes are healthy,” said Dr. Nicholas Colatrella, President of the Minnesota Optometric Association.  “Early diagnosis and treatment of serious eye diseases and disorders is critical and can often prevent loss of vision.”

Focus on healthy lifestyle choices

Following basic healthy habits can help ward off eye diseases and maintain existing eyesight. One of the essential building blocks of a person’s overall health is diet. Enjoying a diet rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin can improve eye health—these can be found in spinach and other green, leafy vegetables, as well as eggs. Other “power foods” for the eyes include fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C and fish containing Omega 3 essential fatty acids, such as salmon. Also, your eye doctor can discuss vitamin therapy options for patients experiencing vision problems and for preventive treatment.

Not smoking, monitoring blood pressure levels, exercising regularly and wearing proper sunglasses to protect eyes from UV rays can all play a role in preserving eyesight and eye health.

Adapt your surroundings and seek help from a doctor of optometry

According to the 2015 American Eye-Q® survey, 75 percent of Americans age 55 and older have experienced vision problems.

Older adults can ease the stress on their eyes by making some simple changes:

·     Stay safe while driving: Wear quality sunglasses for daytime driving and use anti-reflective lenses to reduce headlight glare. Limit driving at dusk, dawn or at night if seeing under low light is difficult. Use extra caution at intersections and reduce speed.

·     Use contrasting colors: Define essential objects in your home, such as light switches and telephones, with different colors so they can be spotted quickly and easily.

·     Give the eyes a boost: Install clocks, thermometers and timers with large block letters. Magnifying glasses can also be used for reading when larger print is not available. Text size on the screen of smartphones and tablets can also be increased.

People dealing with eye disease and vision loss can also seek rehabilitative services from a doctor of optometry. Patients are taught variety of techniques to perform daily activities with their remaining vision and help them regain their independence.

About eye disorders associated with aging:

Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of blindness in America. It results from changes in the macula, a portion of the retina that is responsible for clear, sharp vision and is located at the back of the eye. The two forms are the less common wet form, and dry ARMD. Symptoms include a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision and a dark, empty area appearing in the eye’s center.

Diabetic retinopathy: The incidence of Type 2 Diabetes increases with age. Both Type 1 and 2 Diabetes can result in vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, and eventually blindness, if it is not treated.

Cataract:  A cataract is a clouding if all or part of the normally clear lens within your eye, which results in blurred or distorted vision. While there is no proven prevention method, when cataracts affect daily activities, surgery may be recommended, with follow up care by your optometrist.

Dry Eye: The majority of people over the age of 65 experience some symptoms of dry eyes. Dry eyes can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage. Women are more likely to develop dry eyes. Certain medical and environmental conditions and medications can also reduce the amount of tears produced. Symptoms may include irritated, gritty or scratch eyes, and can advance to cause damage to the eye’s front surface.  Treatments aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye.

Glaucoma: The most common form of Glaucoma has no symptoms, develops gradually, and is more common in people over age 40. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.  Although glaucoma can’t be prevented, it can be controlled if treated early, so an annual comprehensive eye exam is essential. 


A Senior Friendly Work-Place Makes Sense

Article from Deb Taylor of Senior Community Services
A public awareness initiative of Senior Community Services

At a Labor Day gathering, I was talking to a business professional who related his experience in hiring older adults. He was very direct: "They show up on time, they have a solid work ethic, and they bring customer service skills with them so they need minimal training."  That's a strong testimonial, and one worthy of a generation of older adults who understand the importance of hard work. Many seniors grew up during the Depression or World War II and experienced deprivation and struggle. They quickly learned that the secret to keeping a job is showing up and giving your best.

Seniors bring a lifetime of skills and experience to the workplace, and they're self-motivated with little need for constant supervision. As our society increasingly grows older, due to the massive baby boom generation, organizations will increasingly see more seniors seeking employment

As employers, we can certainly benefit from their maturity and experience, even if a little accommodation is necessary. We need to be flexible and respect their desire to limit hours of employment. We should accommodate their medical visits and requests for time off to attend a grandchild's school event or recital. Doing so can boost employee loyalty and retention among older adults.

 We recognize some seniors may have physical limitations and less stamina, so a reexamination of working conditions may be helpful. If an older adult must stand for long periods of time, a rubber floor mat or placement of a chair or stool at their work location can help them to stay energized for their shift. For computer staff, consider adaptive technology if needed. Screen magnifiers or larger mouse cursors can be very helpful for seniors with aging eyes.

 Seniors can become great examples and mentors for younger workers. And be sure to include older adult workers in employee-recognition programs; everyone loves to be showcased and applauded for their job performance.

 Sadly, many seniors think they are unwanted by employers, and feel marginalized by the workplace. We employers need to include language in advertising messages indicating a willingness and desire to hire workers of all ages. Facilitate an atmosphere of respect by enforcing and communicating a policy requiring all employees to treat their fellow workers with courtesy and respect. This can have a strong impact on increasing productivity and job satisfaction, while reducing turnover.

 We should make work assignments based on skills, abilities and the needs of the organization, without regard to the age of employees. Carefully measure job performance of workers so you can identify areas where more training could boost productivity.

Finally, it makes sense to listen to older adult employees. They may have a larger 'big picture' on life that could bring insight and fresh ideas to your business goals. Many studies show that creativity increases as we age.

 Imagine the value of tapping into this brain-trust of older adults to benefit our entire community. It's a great way to fight ageism and Reimagine Aging, so we can proudly proclaim our organizations to be senior-friendly workplaces. 


Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.



What an Eye Opener - I Dare You!
Article by Beth Woodward
Augustana Regent


Last month I had a son of a senior mom come in for a tour.  When he returned for a 2nd tour,  I told him how sorry I was that his mom’s health had turned so quickly.  He said, “I wouldn’t have known how much help she really needed if she hadn’t stayed with us for a week.  What an eye opener! ”   This happened to me too. 

I took mom on a road trip to see family…What an eye opener!  Do you know what else happened?  I had my head in the sand about mom’s age and health.  I kept her at 60 when she was actually 80.  Not on purpose, it’s just something that happens.  Fortunately she had a friend that helped wake me up. 

Some adult children of aging parents may be very in-tune with your mom and/or dad’s needs.  You might see:

·        the yard work is getting to be too much,

·         the one who is doing most of the care giving is getting tired, (loved one)

·        the mail is piling up,

·        cooking, gardening or socializing is less or

·        the bills haven’t been paid or have been double paid. 

But, for some of us, we need to be with them for a longer period of time to really GET IT. 

When I began looking for a nice place for mom to be, a safe, welcoming place inclusive of all levels of living, I was told that I was doing the right thing by looking now – BEFORE something happened.  You see, when something does happen to cause a more urgent need, your choices of a community and/or location go down, because they may be filled and have waiting lists. 

Have mom/dad come stay with you for a week, or you stay with them – start preparing! 

Check out our Senior Housing Directory
offering all different types of Senior Housing


Worn Out: Seniors Caring for Seniors

Article from Deb Taylor of Senior Community Services
A public awareness initiative of Senior Community Services

Retirement is supposed to be a time of leisure, after decades spent in the working world and raising children. But millions of seniors, because of our increasingly aging population, are finding themselves as caregivers - pursuing a new labor of love, the care of a spouse or another loved one.

Gail, 78, works seven days a week, mornings through evenings, caring for her 85-year-old husband David who suffers from dementia. Because he awakens frequently, Gail finally had to hire an aide for overnights. "I'm no spring chicken myself, I need my rest," she said.

As many older caregivers struggle to keep their loved one out of a nursing home, the constant attention and care can take a toll on their own health. Numerous studies show that many caregivers die before the loved one for whom they care.

Older adults tough it out, feeling a loving sense of obligation. Alvin, 75, cares for his wife Ronda who's battling diabetes and debilitating arthritis. He helps her with bathing, dressing and moving about the house. Constant vigilance is required because if she falls, it could quickly become a very serious complication. "When this started, I told her that she'd cared for me for 50 years, I guess it's my turn."

The National Alliance for Caregiving found that caregivers older than 75 spend on average 34 hours a week on caregiving tasks. This time together, while aging in place, doesn't have to be a stressful season of life, especially at an age where endurance and physical strength begin to wane.

At Senior Community Services, we know that most Minnesota seniors prefer to live in their own home. And, across the state, family and friends provide more than 90 percent of care for seniors still living at home. However, most of these caregivers have no formal training in geriatric care.

Our goal is to support their independence as long as possible with services that provide a respite and make life more manageable. Our staff and volunteers assist them with household duties they can no longer manage alone. We help ease their isolation and loneliness at our many senior centers, help them navigate the seemingly endless depths of complex healthcare options ( and saving them money) and provide care coordination for caregivers who dutifully and lovingly do all they can day in and day out.

Thankfully, Senior Community Services is able to help them Reimagine Aging in a healthier way that better meets their needs. And tools, like our innovative website CareNextion.org, enable them to better manage the care and responsibilities.

The challenges are here to stay. The needs are growing. Soon, there will be more seniors than school children in Minnesota.  And in the next decade, one in four Minnesotans will be 65 or older.

Thankfully, there are a lot of people willing to help, and that's good, because we're all part of the solution. Help is a phone call or mouse click away.

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.


Check out our Aging In Place Directory
For Reputable companies to help you stay independent!


Why Don’t My Adult Children Listen To Me?
Article by Beth Woodward
Augustana Regent

“I’m not used to fancy.  My husband and I were used to a very simple, good life.  I’ve never felt quite comfortable in something that is too big, too nice and too pretty.  I’m just a plain everyday person that loves life. When it came time for me to move to a senior living community, I found that my children wanted more for me than what I wanted. I understood. What child wouldn’t want their parent to have the very best, but sometimes the very best is not comfortable for all people.  So I stood my ground and as disappointed as my kids were that I chose a smaller apartment, they see how happy I am and they are now happy.

The view is the BEST, I love my view, my ducks, my sunset, lightening strikes out the window, and the most basic things. I feel God put me here to make people smile.   I might like to have more room but what would I do with it?  I’m at the time in my life where I want to get rid of things.  I want a simple life where having a kitchen for my baking and bringing a smile to others fills me up.  I’ve become known as the woman with the big red glasses. I love it here, this is my family now.”   

The above story is from our new resident Jeannine. I toured Jeannine and her 2 daughters.  THEY found the ‘perfect’ apartment. It was beautiful, facing the lake, a large open kitchen, fireplace, side-by-side washer/dryer and a huge bedroom with 2 closets.  After seeing several apartments, the choice was made. How exciting it was for the daughters to have found such a nice apartment for their mom.

The next day there was a call, a visit and a stand was taken.  Mom and daughters looked at 2 apartments again.   Mom was not comfortable with the chosen apartment that her daughters wanted for her. It was too large and too nice.  She wanted to live in a simpler, smaller space that she felt she could maintain.  You see, even though housekeeping is provided, there is a perception from a person who doesn’t get around like they used to.  The perception is ‘it’s too much to keep up.’ This perception brings discomfort and anxiety.  The smaller space provides a HUG and the feeling of achievement to keep up their new living area.  It also aligns with their values of how THEY were brought up in a simpler time.  

Our parents don’t always want what we, the adult children, want for them.  It comes down to one small, but not always, simple thing – Listening!  We think that mom or dad deserves more, deserves the bigger and the best because they’ve earned it.  To all of us adult children, I’m including myself, let’s stop thinking and start LISTENING!  Not every parent wants the biggest and the nicest, they want what is comfortable to them.

A comment from one of the daughters of Jeannine. 
"I can’t believe how happy mom is.  She loves her apartment, she loves the Regent and she loves her new friends.  That makes me happy."     

Augustana Regent at Burnsville
14500 Regent Lane
Burnsville, MN 

Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care


Beat the Heat: Summer Safety Tips

AlertID Provides Tips to Protect Your Family and Pets from Heat Exhaustion

Heat and humidity can be silent killers for those who don’t take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. Serious health concerns caused by extreme temperatures are heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even death.

“Children, the elderly, and pets are at the highest risk of overexposure to the heat,” said AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson. “Taking steps to prevent overheating and recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion are easy steps everyone can take this summer to beat the heat.”

As record high temperatures spread across the country this summer, AlertID reminds us that heat related injuries are preventable, especially when following their “Beat the Heat Tips”.

Tips to Beat the Heat

1.   Stay Hydrated: The rate at which the human body can absorb fluids is less than the rate it loses during extreme temperatures. Drinking beverages that contain sugar, caffeine or alcohol will only further dehydrate the human body.  Drink water regularly, even before you are thirsty, as thirst indicates dehydration.

2.   Keep cool: If you don’t have AC at home, keep rooms as ventilated as possible. Consider going to a public pool, shopping mall or other air conditioned building. Even a few hours in air conditioning can help you stay cool before you go back in the heat. Wear cool, loose, light- weight clothing to stay as cool as possible.

3.   Limit Outdoor Activities: Try to limit outdoor activity to early morning or evening hours and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest hours of the day.

4.   Avoid Harmful UV’s: If it’s not possible to stay out of the sun, avoid harmful rays by wearing wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.

5.   Never Leave Someone or a Pet in a Closed Vehicle: The temperature inside a closed vehicle can exceed 140 degrees within 30 minutes. Despite this clear and present danger, injuries and deaths among children, seniors, and pets occur every year.

6.   Check on elderly loved ones and those with special needs: Extreme heat without AC can be especially dangerous for elderly and those with health issues, who are more affected by the heat.

7.   Pets: If pets need to stay outside, give them plenty of shade and water. Consider a small pool for the animal to stay cool.

About AlertID

AlertID, the neighborhood safety network, is free to use and helps protect families and neighborhoods. AlertID's mission is to help people live safely by providing a secure way to receive trusted public safety alerts and share information with family members and neighbors. AlertID uses technology to help citizens and federal, state and local authorities share information about crime, sex offenders, natural disasters, missing children and severe weather that can threaten public safety. AlertID is accessible to members online as well as by email and mobile app. For more information visit www.AlertID.com.


Soothing Senior Grief

Article from Deb Taylor of Senior Community Services

A public awareness initiative of Senior Community Services

Life brings different rhythms - different timetables - for each of us. We lose dear loved ones, we grieve, we face changes - diminished mobility, an end to driving the car, maybe a different place to live after decades in the long-time family home.

Often, stressors push down on us as we give up the familiar, the comfortable, the sense of control. We may start feeling diminished and depressed. Isolation sets in and home may suddenly feel like a prison rather than a sanctuary. The morning glance in the mirror may reveal new lines or drooping in places that didn't droop before. Self-pity is a very human  first reaction, but consider turning the issue on its head instead. 

Why not celebrate your years and experience. An acquaintance once talked about putting on her 'reverse glasses' to look at life from a new perspective, through new lens so to speak. Suddenly, you're running into time. Things are going right. It's not your fault. You can't lose. You've got plenty of energy. Everything is so easy. What new opportunities will today bring?

In other words, embrace aging. Learn to appreciate yourself and what you have to offer. We can all befriend another and be a blessing. Acknowledge your imperfections because no one is perfect. Accept your limitations; if you can't run the mile in under six minutes, then embrace the beauty of a slow stroll on a beautiful morning. Enjoy the quiet times. Celebrate impermanence; if everything was permanent, nothing would change. It's never too late so create a list of things you'd like to still accomplish and set out to do them. Finally, rather than dwelling on regret and the things you can no longer do, focus on what you can do. Live vitally, and be sure to laugh often and maintain a sense of humor. It helps you maintain perspective. And soon the doom and gloom will bloom into something healthier.

If you are a caregiver, your selfless service to help another may sometimes feel like a sacrifice. One caregiver said it helps her to think of caregiving as adjusting rather than sacrificing. Adjusting seems more like a sideways shift rather than a loss of something, she explained.

You're Never Alone

No matter the challenge or struggle, support is always available. Every day, Senior Community Services helps seniors and caregivers find the right supportive services to improve daily living. We help them connect with local senior centers where joy, fun, and fellowship are everyday experiences rather than loneliness and isolation. We help with household chores that may be impossible for them to manage, find affordable healthcare insurance, help them manage care, and reduce burdensome medical debt that taxes limited and fixed incomes.

The challenges are here to stay awhile. Roughly 11,000 people - on average - are expected to turn 65 every day for the next 15 years, according to the federal government. So needs will only grow.

A little focused expertise - applied properly - can make a world of difference. It's quite a prescription for living in the later years. And when we take steps to enhance daily living, we Reimagine Aging, not only for a growing number of older relatives, friends, and neighbors, but for all of us. 

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.


Benedictine Health System's Bold, New Partnership
Brings Innovation to Address National Healthcare Goals
By Sharon A. Johnson, MA, LNHA

Fridley, Minn. -  Three Minnesota healthcare providers have partnered to create a bold, new transitional care medical model that directly addresses the Triple Aim of national healthcare policy - reduce healthcare costs, enhance medical outcomes. and boost patient satisfaction.

Located at 520 Osborne Road NE in Fridley, behind Unity Hospital, Interlude Restorative Suites offers 46 private and semi-private suites with high hospitality and comfortable, state-of-the-art amenities. The facility, one of two in the metro area, is operated by the Benedictine Health System partnership with Allina and Presbyterian Homes & Services.

Challenges and Solutions

Healthcare costs are staggering. Nationally, Medicare pays more than $140 million (2013 figure) a year for beneficiary hospitalizations.

But 20 percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries are rehospitalized in the month following discharge. Why so many rehospitalizations?  Falls, medical complications such as infections, medication errors or patient failure to follow doctor's orders. The cost to Medicare, according to one study, is $26 billion annually, nearly 17 percent of total Medicare hospital expenditures.

A transitional care stay - an effective bridge from hospital to home after surgery or an illness - may last as long as six weeks. And while less costly than a hospital stay, remains a substantial cost. 

Wellness Approach

The Interlude model is focused on highly individualized care, provided as efficiently and as effectively as possible. A patient (or guest) comes to Interlude sooner. And the typical stay is no longer than 21 days. And with seven-day-a-week physical and occupational therapy available, some stays have been reduced to fewer than 10 days, at a tremendous cost savings of thousands of dollars per guest.

"Under the Interlude model, we are positioned to work with payers for outcomes rather than the number of days spent in the facility. It's a big win-win for payers and patients," says Sharon Johnson, CEO of Interlude's Fridley campus. "The guest returns home sooner, is stronger, more confident and better able to self-manage again. Some payers are making the transition now; we expect outcome-based payments will be commonplace in the future."

Built into the Interlude model is a wellness component that pampers the patient while they heal.

"People heal better when they enjoy quality care, good restorative sleep, and are well nourished," explained Director of Hospitality and Wellness Becky Willett. "Guests are in a sanctuary, being refreshed and renewed as they heal. They enjoy a calming environment, a gentle touch, a quiet room. We bring a unique level of care and comfort so Interlude is the place for a faster recovery."

  • Guests quickly discover this is a quiet place, no beeping equipment and no overhead pages. Staff communication is via earpieces. 

  • Innovative design keeps guest intrusions to a minimum to ensure quality rest; the staff restock towels and other supplies from hidden hallways outside the guest's room.

  • Guests enjoy customized, quality meals prepared by our talented culinary chefs and served on real china. Meals may be eaten in the guest's room or in one of the lovely dining rooms. The guest determines their meal times, and the chefs will accommodate personal dietary preferences

  • Guests have access to rehabilitation equipment once only found in the training rooms of professional sports teams. The AlterG treadmill utilizes groundbreaking NASA anti-gravity technology to reduce recovery time after an injury or surgery. AlterG removes up to 80 percent of the guest's body weight burden so a 200 pound person may feel like they weight 40 pounds during therapy.

  • The pampering continues with aromatherapy, massage, heated wellness pool, fluffy robes and blanket warmers, smart TVs, iPads and WIFI, meditation rooms and therapy garden. The Laurel Bay Salon is onsite for guests and the public to enjoy a salon experience at excellent prices.

Growing TCU Demand

The demand for transitional care is growing as the baby boom generation ages.  With life expectancy increasing, it is estimated that four out of 10 U.S. baby boomers will eventually require an orthopedic implant such as a knee or hip. Transitional care is a key component of recovery back to a satisfying lifestyle.

Interlude Restorative Suites is a bold, new idea in transitional care, built on the foundation of three of the most trusted healthcare organizations in the region: Allina Health, Benedictine Health System and Presbyterian Homes & Services.

520 Osborne Road NE        Fridley, MN 55432        763-230-3136



Contact: Joan Cronson, National Director of Public Relations
The Goodman Group
952-361-8037 or


CHASKA, Minn. (June 3, 2015) – The Goodman Group, a national leader in developing and managing senior living and health care communities, today announced the appointment of Brad Marburger as National Director for Platinum Career Solutions, a national recruitment and placement company developed by the company, effective immediately. The appointment announcement was made by Craig Edinger, vice president of senior living & health care, and Annette Rivard, director of human resources, The Goodman Group.

Marburger is responsible to help develop, market and manage the recruitment and placement company, and will focus on sourcing and placing health care and hospitality employees in the company’s managed senior living and health care communities. He is based at the company’s headquarters.

“Brad brings more than 17 years of experience in the recruitment and staffing industry that includes leadership roles and business development for healthcare related staffing companies,” said Edinger. “He has extensive expertise in building a staffing operation, developing strategic relationships, recruiting and placing employees and generating revenue.”

Most recently, Marburger was vice president of Staffing Solutions for Interim HealthCare Staffing Solutions in Bloomington, Minn.; the nation’s first and foremost home care and medical staffing company.  Prior to this, he was a staffing consultant for The Hartford, one of the oldest and largest insurance companies based in the United States. Before that, he was a branch manager for Medical Staffing Network in Bloomington, Minn., the largest per diem medical staffing brand in the United States. Marburger transitioned his career into recruitment in 1997 as a Recruitment Specialist for Clinical One Healthcare in Wakefield, Mass., now operating as a Randstad company.

He has a Bachelor of Science in English Education from Mankato State University. For three years, he served as a board member on the College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University-Mankato and was a teacher at Mankato East High School.

For more information, contact The Goodman Group at 952-361-8000 or visit www.platinumcareersolutions.com.


About The Goodman Group: The Goodman Group is an international company headquartered in Chaska, Minn. and was established in 1965 with its beginnings in residential and commercial property ownership and management. In 1967, the company developed its first health care center and has become a multi-state operator recognized as a national leader in developing and providing management support for senior living communities, health care centers, residential communities and commercial properties. The Goodman Group is a privately held company with responsibility for overseeing communities with tens of thousands of residents and over 4,000 community employees. The Goodman Group manages properties in ten states in the United States – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington – and in the United Kingdom.



Interlude Restorative Suites
Better Care, Lower Costs, Happy Guests
Sharon A. Johnson, Administrator/CEO, Interlude Restorative Suites

Interlude Restorative Suites, a new hospitality-focused transitional care facility, opened on the Unity Hospital campus in March 2015. Interlude, with its high-tech, high-touch care, provides rehabilitation and restorative nursing to guests who have recently been discharged from the hospital or outpatient surgery.  Interlude looks more like a five-star hotel than a traditional skilled nursing facility, but it is how Interlude is poised to meet the goals of health care reform that is equally cutting edge.

The 'Triple Aim' of healthcare reform is to provide better care, at a lower cost, to more satisfied patients. Many people understand that a major part of health care reform is to provide affordable medical insurance to those who need it, but driving down healthcare costs by how we provide healthcare is an important part of reform, too.

At Interlude Restorative Suites, guests have chef-prepared meals to meet their nutritional needs. Most suites are private rooms with an attached shower and bathroom, and come with a mini-fridge, microwave and Smart TV.  While hospitals can be noisy places with overhead paging and beeping equipment, Interlude’s direct care staff carry walkie-talkies with earpieces, and can respond quickly to a nurse call button or communicate with each other privately.  The halls are quiet, so that guests can get restorative rest.

Rehabilitation is scheduled seven-days-a-week, unlike many skilled nursing facilities, which helps guests recovery more quickly. The rehabilitation department includes state-of-the-art equipment, and a warm pool for aquatic therapy.

Interlude has set a high bar for performance; we expect that guests will spend fewer days here, because we are meeting their needs for nutrition, sleep, recovery and restoration. The result is that the total cost of care is less (fewer days are billed); the focus is on clinical outcomes;  and guests feel refreshed - not depleted - by the time they are ready to go home.

We like to see our happy guests return, to simply enjoy a meal at the Sage Bistro, which is open to the public, to receive outpatient therapy, or to greet their favorite staff members. Interlude is the next generation in transitional care, available now for metro area residents.

Interlude Restorative Suites
520 Osborne Rd., Fridley, MN  55432


2015 Minnesota Business Ethics Awards
Honors Mary T. Inc.

Minneapolis, MN – Business leaders gathered at the Nicollet Island Pavilion on May 13, 2015, Business Ethics Awareness Day in Minnesota, to honor three companies with the 16th annual Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA).  Coon Rapids based Mary T. Inc. was selected as the recipient for the large company category (500+ employees). Other finalists in the large company category were Health Partners and Medtronic. 

Mary T. Inc. is family owned and founded on a tradition of care. They have been providing service to senior communities and persons with disabilities since 1976, and continue to offer this personal care through Home Health & Hospice Care, Rental and Senior Housing, Supported and Independent Living Services, Supported Apartments and Personal & Home Services.

Dr. Mary Tjosvold, CEO and Founder of Mary T. Inc., accepted the award on behalf of Mary T. Inc., “Ethics is really about how you treat people. When you look at the Mary T. Inc. organization, it is how we treat people every single day. It’s about the values, about the mission, about the culture that we have. I believe it is important that all of us set a culture of collaboration and cooperation enabling our employees to act in an ethical way. For me personally, it’s what my 96 year old mother might say about it.”

MBEA winners in the small and mid-size categories were Victory Auto Service & Glass and North Star Resources group. Each MBEA recipient received a crystal award along with a congratulatory letter from Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton declared Wednesday, May 13, 2015 Business Ethics Awareness Day in the state of Minnesota.  

“Earning the Minnesota Business Ethics Award can be aspirational for many organizations, but those who receive the award find it an affirmation of their true business culture,” said David Rodbourne, MBEA co-chair. “Ethics is an obligation of business that begins with the true structure of the organization.”

The award luncheon keynote was America’s Crisis Guru® James (Jim) Lukaszewski, president, The Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Marketing, New Brighton, MN.

The MBEA was founded by the Society of Financial Service Professionals – Twin Cities Chapter and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business. Joining these two organizations as a sponsor is the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) – Minnesota. The MBEA recognizes Minnesota businesses that exemplify and promote ethical conduct in the workplace, the marketplace and the community. More information about the MBEA can be found at www.mnethicsaward.org.




Mary T. Inc. Media Contact:

Jessica Andrist





May is Older Americans Month!
Article from Deb Taylor of Senior Community Services

A public awareness initiative of Senior Community Services

May is Older Americans Month, Reimagine Aging

In the closing months of his Presidency, John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month, later to be renamed Older Americans Month. In 1963, only 17 million Americans were 65 or older. 

Today, more than 45 million seniors live and work among us, and that number will only grow as the 78-million members of the baby boom generation continue to age. The boomers started turning 65 in 2011 and ever since the demand for senior services has increased. 

Ahead, there are challenges as we enable older adults and caregivers to take charge of their lives, to take steps to ensure independence, and to enjoy a full life of meaning for as long as possible. It's what we all want, right?

At Senior Community Services, we place a priority on remaining engaged.  Loneliness and isolation are caustic to the spirit and in time can lead to depression and physical health problems. That's why the seniors centers we operate, thanks to the help of many volunteers, are so important. They provide socialization opportunities for seniors to come together for fellowship, enjoy a meal, take in a ball game, play cards, visit a museum or take a drive through the countryside. As one senior told me, "Looking back, I was so lonely and sad. Coming to my local senior center changed my life, and extended the quality years I still have." Comments like this motivate us to do even more for the older adults among us. 

That's one way we help Minnesotan's Reimagine Aging, bringing the proper mix of resources around the senior (and their caregiver) to help them enjoy a higher quality of life. 

Our Household and Outdoor Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program is another example. HOME provides low cost services to help seniors live independently in their own homes. The program mobilizes big-hearted people - volunteers and trusted professionals - to provide affordable home maintenance and chore services.

This network of reliable workers and volunteers provide indoor and outdoor chore services to residents ages 60 and older in many of the suburban communities of Hennepin County. Similar programs exist across the state.

And by visiting www.seniorcommunity.org, you can order chore services for a loved one. As spring unfolds, the need for help with yard cleanup, window-washing, lawn mowing, and painting is growing.

Eleanor, 80, loves her cozy suburban home, but she once worried her days of independence might be ending. Eleanor struggled to keep up with household tasks like window-washing, minor repairs, raking leaves and snow shoveling. Daughter LeeAnn did some research and discovered the HOME program. 

Soon, a group of enthusiastic young volunteers from a local church arrived to help with spring cleaning and yard work. And an affordable handyman fixed a loose downspout on her roof.

Eleanor is content again, free of worry. "Thanks to Senior Community Services, I can continue to live in my own home. I'm so grateful for all they do."

And daughter LeeAnn is grateful for the respite. Working full-time, she struggled to manage caregiving duties and household chores at her mother's home.  "After awhile, you can run out of steam," she says. "Senior Community Services' volunteers and staff are partners with us and the result is so much better than what I could do on my own."

That's what feels good when we Reimagine Aging - life's made better.

Deb Taylor is CEO of Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.



5 Benefits of Social Media for Seniors
Let’s Help Them Get Online!
by Article from Senior Care Corner

Too old for social media? Don’t let anyone tell you – or your senior loved one – that, because it’s not possible!

More and more older adults are proving that every day.

Survey after survey reflects that more and more senior Americans, including those in the most elderly groups, are participating in social media — though their numbers still lag behind other age groups.  They are jumping on board Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more (can Google+ be far behind?) as they realize it is fun and provides real benefits.

Are your senior loved ones participating?  We can think of several reasons for them to do so, especially for those living on their own (or aging-in-place), but there are benefits for those in senior care or living facilities as well. 

  • Social Media Can Keep Families Close

  • Social Photo and Video Sharing

  • Coupons & Other Discounts!

  • Peace of Mind

  • Community Belonging


Water Damage & Spring Checklist
by Plumb Right

Did you know that 5 out of 10 insurance claims are water disasters? Billions of dollars of extensive water damage occurs from internal flooding each year. A sump pump is your first line of defense against water seepage. How old is your unit? Are you willing to trust that it will work properly when it needs to? If it fails, do you have a battery backup system in place?

Prevent water issues, use our Spring Checklist

  • Check to be sure your sump pump motor is still working. To prevent backups, make sure any discharge lines are clear and open.

  • Clear leaves out of gutters and downspouts.

  • Check around your home’s foundation for low spots that would allow water to collect and run into your basement. Add soil to those areas so water can slope away.

  • Temporarily turn on the water to your outside faucets and check for any leaks.

  • Make sure that your basement shut off valves are not leaking.

  • Check the condition of your washing machine hoses. Flex and bend the hose, if it feels extremely stiff or you see any cracks then it’s time to replace them. We recommend the more reliable stainless steel hoses.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level.

Commonly found in the basement of homes, a sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin.

Water in basements is a common problem

5 out of 10 insurance claims are water disasters. Billions of dollars of extensive water damage occurs from internal flooding each year. A sump pump is your first line of defense against water seepage so you want to make sure to be proactive with replacing an old one or fixing one that has failed.

Why would I need a sump pump?

Homes that need sump pumps have basements that flood regularly. They are installed to correct the flooding issue and to solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home. They are designed to send water away from a house to an area where it is no longer problematic such as a dry well or municipal storm drain.

Many pumps that were installed years ago still discharge to the sanitary sewer system (for instance through the drain in the laundry sink). Whereas this was once acceptable, this practice now violates plumbing code or municipal bylaws because this discharge can overwhelm municipal sewage treatment systems.

Battery backup is a good idea

Since a sump basin may overflow if not constantly pumped, a backup system is important because during a severe storm where flooding is an issue, many times the home’s electrical power can be out for a prolonged period of time.

The submersible style is mounted completely inside the sump and is specially sealed to prevent electrical short circuits. These pumps are generally more expensive to purchase, have a shorter lifespan (5-15 years) and are much less visible to the homeowner.

What other variables go into the decision to purchase the right sump pump for my home?

When it comes to sump pumps, Plumb Right wrote the book!

Over and above the two basic types of sump pumps, there are many variables to consider when purchasing/having a sump pump installed which is why you should call the professionals at Plumb Right.

  • Automatic vs. manual operation

  • Level of horsepower needed

  • Head pressure/maximum height that the pump will move water

  • Power cord length

  • Water level sensing switch type

  • Backup system and alarm

Don’t wait until your current system fails or the spring rains flood your basement. Call Plumb Right for the best advice, installation and service of new or existing sump pumps.

Plumb Right provides dependable, hardworking sump pumps and battery backup systems that you can count on. Call us today at 763-561-3306 or 952-474-0302 for a consultation.

And if you ever get to the point where your system has failed, call our emergency sump pump line at 763-561-3306 for immediate help.


763-561-3306 or 952-474-0302


by Marilyn Bohn

Downsizing can be a tough process for anyone, but especially for seniors who find themselves with large homes and no longer have children at home to fill up the rooms. More and more are tackling the huge job of downsizing their living spaces. In fact, about six percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 move each year, according to the Over-50 Council of the National Association of Home Builders.

There are several reasons seniors want or need to downsize. They could be planning a move to assisted living, moving into a smaller, more manageable home or living out of a motor home so they can travel more.

I offer the following tips for seniors taking the plunge into a more simplified lifestyle.

� Get Rid of the guilt factor---Many feel they are the "keepers" of their family heirlooms and have a hard time getting rid of items which they no longer have room. This is the number one reason seniors have a hard time downsizing. Look for other family members who would like to have some of these items now. Especially if they are just being stored and not used. This way the person they really want to have them will for sure be the one to inherit the item. And the joy that brings to the recipient can be enjoyed by the giver.

� Paring down items before the move makes the process easier at moving time. It not only saves space but it saves time and money.  If family members do not want the items because of their own space limitations or for other reasons consider donating the items to a charity. Or there are consignment shops in most large cities where items can be sold with a percentage of the cost going to the shop. Or items can be sold through eBay, Craig's list and other places on the internet.

� Find movers specializing in senior needs---Moving is stressful for everyone, but some moving companies specialize in making the transition easier for seniors so it is worth the time to fine a 'mover match'. There are moving companies with senior-friendly services, such as hanging items on the walls for clients unable to do so themselves, handling the change of address and utilities, setting up electronics at a new home, and much more.

� Reassess every five to ten years---As seniors get older, modern appliances or high shelving can become more difficult to use or simply unnecessary considering their lifestyle. By evaluating and reassessing needs every five to ten years helps in two ways. It helps to avoid collecting clutter and keeping things no longer needed. It also assures that the home or space is still working for their lifestyle.

� Everyday activities and household chores can be made easier---This can be a simple process by adjusting the setup in their homes. Keep two to three sets of dinnerware where it is easy to reach instead of keeping everything in out-of-reach cabinetry. Everyday activities and household chores can be made easier just by adjusting the setup in their homes.

Taken from:  articlecity.com

Click the links here for Organizing/Downsizing and Moving Transitions companies to help you with all your needs. 

Face The Clutter    Personal & Home Services by Mary T.     Junk Happens

Berger Transfer & Storage    Pak Mail Metro    Quality Moving & Storage  



Healthy Feet by Mary T.
and Why You Should Pamper Your Feet for Good Health

There are a number of reasons to practice good foot care – especially for seniors. Feet are often ignored and have taken years of abuse. They need tender loving care! In addition to providing improved circulation and relaxation, good foot care can provide valuable information about your general health.

1.  What are the best reasons for good foot care?

  • Helps Maintain Good Circulation: Whether you lead a sedentary life or are on your feet all day, a foot massage can stimulate muscles and improve circulation to the lower extremities. This can be especially helpful for diabetics.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure: In the highly stressful environment of today, a relaxing foot massage can be an effective tool to lower blood pressure, lessen muscle tension, reduce anxiety and help improve your mood.
  • Provides a Visual Checkup: It’s an opportunity to check for injury, color, circulation, nail bed problems or poorly fitting shoes that may be damaging your feet. If problems are noted, a recommendation to see your doctor might be made.
  • Helps With Balance: By reducing pain, swelling and reducing muscle stress, feet and ankles are better able to provide needed balance and support of the entire body.
  • Helps With Healthy Maintenance: Regular foot care provides a time to get rid of calluses and dead skin, trim your nails, stretch, moisturize, cleanse, relieve pain and rejuvenate your feet. Diabetics especially benefit from a periodic foot massage for improved circulation and reduced risk of neuropathy.

 2.  Things you can do to maintain good foot health 

  • Wash your feet regularly with warm water and soap, especially between your toes
  • Clean and trim your toe nails regularly
  • Moisturize your feet every day
  • Avoid shoes that don’t fit
  • Keep your feet dry in your shoes, using foot powder if necessary
  • Get a good foot care session if you have trouble accessing your feet

3.  What a good Healthy Feet by Mary T. foot care session includes

  • A 5-minute foot soak in warm soapy water
  • A regular foot check-up including examination of the shins, ankles and feet
  • Trimming of nails & cuticles
  • A relaxing massage
  • Moisturizing with lotion on your legs and feet
  • Great conversation

Click Here for a list of Foot Care Clinics by Mary T., Inc.


General Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care



Guide For Overcoming Holiday Depression
For The Elderly And Their Caretakers

For most of us, the holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, celebrate, reflect on the past and plan for the future. However, for some, especially older individuals, the holidays can be a difficult time. During the holidays, older adults may feel more acutely the passing of time, the absence of parents, siblings and friends who have died, and the distance of loved ones who have moved away. Traditional reunions and rituals that were observed in the past may not be possible and in their absence, the holidays may seem devoid of meaning.

Approximately 6 million people over 65 are depressed. But unfortunately, few seek treatment. Chronic health issues, feelings of loneliness, and loss of loved ones can exacerbate feelings of depression and make the holidays a very difficult time for some seniors.

Look for signs of depression. The holidays can be a difficult time for older adults who may be dealing with the loss of loved ones and past traditions. While feeling blue can be normal, depression isn’t. It is important for caretakers to be on the look out for signs of depression, such as persistent sadness, frequent tearfulness, weight changes, changes in sleep patterns, etc.

Click Here for a resource guide for the elderly, their caregivers and their family members with tips and advice on how to beat holiday depression.

Other Resources:

 - WebMD:  Depression In The Elderly
 - AgingCare.com:  How To Spot The Warning Signs of Depression
 - National Institute on Aging:  Depression
 - National Institute on Mental Health:  Older Adults and Depression
 - Health.com - Depression in the Eldery - 7 Ways to Help


Who Would Speak For You
If You Couldn't Speak For Yourself?

As you gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to have the conversation.

To help you get started, go to www.HonoringChoices.org for video stories by real people, documentaries and resources. The documentary “Honoring Choices: Giving Thanks” and six other documentaries will run continuously on tpt MN for most of Thanksgiving Day.

Click here for resources for obtaining assistance with completing your health care directive.

Contact Honoring Choices Minnesota at 612-623-2899 for presentations on Advance Care Planning and health care directives at your senior housing, congregation, club or other group.

Cindy Dubansky, MSW, LICSW
Care Management Solutions, LLC
Expert. Advocate. Helping Hand.
PH: 612-308-0166


Extra Help For Medicare Part D Costs

Did you know that "Extra Help" (Low-income subsidy) is available from the Social Security Administration to help low-income individuals pay for their Medicare Part D benefit?

If you qualify:

  • Low-Income Subsidy includes help for Medicare Part D premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

  • This "help" has more generous guidelines than most Federal/State programs

  • This "help" is not subject to lien recovery unlike most Federal/State programs.

Forms and application assistance is available through your local Senior LinkAge Line® in all 87 Counties of Minnesota. 

Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance near you!