ST. LOUIS TIMES MAGAZINE


           APRIL 15, 2017

Cheering Us and Charming Us

 

     Television has been a fixture in American life since the 1950’s, and there is one charming lady who has been around all this time — for more than five decades — entertaining us, making us laugh, and winning six Emmy Awards for her delightful characterizations. Her name is well known to individuals of every generation alive today: Betty White!

     Betty has been in television for 57 years, going back to the late 1940’s, and she has seen a great many changes over the course of those years. “I started when television started. [In those days,] if you held still in front of a camera, you were on television. They didn’t know what they were doing. Now, it’s the audience that’s changed — they’ve seen everything, and they’ve gotten jaded. It’s hard to surprise them,” she asserted in an interview with the St. Louis Times. “Television is such a veracious monster. It keeps eating material, and they keep shelling it out, so everybody says: ‘Oh, television is so bad now.’ Well, it’s hard to keep up that standard if you can’t feed the baby.”

     When asked why she has been so successful in a medium that has seen many thousands of celebrities come and go, she replied in her typical comic manner: “Sheer, blind luck! They haven’t caught on to me yet. They will any minute, but I am the luckiest old lady on two feet. I love it. I’m having such fun right now with a recurring role on Boston Legal; I’m just having a wonderful time. I’ve been so lucky with the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls. But it’s the writing. We get credit because our faces show on camera, but if it wasn’t on that page, we couldn’t do it. Particularly with comedy — it’s true with drama, too, but more so with comedy — it’s a rhythm. And if you put an extra syllable in there, you can kill the laugh.”

     Betty White has been working in a field of endeavor that she adores for more than a half century. And, when pressed, she did offer some other reasons (besides “sheer, blind luck”) for her success: “First of all, you have to love what you do. You can’t just sort of walk through it. Each time I get a job — and it’s been a lot of years — that particular job is the most important thing to me, in my work situation, of anything I’ve ever done. I concentrate on it and get twice the joy out of doing it, but I think you do better work that way. It’s a passion.”

     There are, however, some aspects of present-day television that disturb this TV pioneer. Consider so-called “reality television,” for one. “Oh, give me a break!” she declares. Betty sees “reality TV” as just another fad like the nighttime soap operas which dominated television in the 1980’s. She feels strongly that “reality” programming will eventually pass away, but “unfortunately, it’s cheaper to do it, which makes it pass away a little more slowly. The bottom line kind of kicks in, but I think the audience is really rebelling against it. There’s just no entertainment there.”

     This marvelous comedic actress of the airwaves didn’t start out to be a performer, she contends. “The funny part was I wanted to be a writer.” And, to that end, she has succeeded, albeit in recent years when she has produced four books about her experiences in television and also about her love of animals. Being a writer was “always my ambition,” she asserts, but in school, something turned her head away from the craft. “I wrote the graduation play for grammar school, and, as any red-blooded American girl would do, I wrote myself into the lead. And when I got on stage, I thought: ‘I like this.’ So from the eighth grade on, I stayed [focused] on the on-stage thing rather than writing.” But she adds that, for her, “writing is [still] a passion. I’ve done four books, and I’m in the middle of my fifth one now. I’m not saying I write well, but I sure love to do it.”

     In one of her books, 1995’s Here We Go Again, a reflection on her years in television, Betty discusses what it was like for her even before TV’s so-called Golden Age: “Television was a fledgling, barely out of the nest, when I began taking my first stumbling professional steps. Since we were both beginners, we started hanging out together, and we have, more or less, stuck with each other ever since. The fledging, of course, grew into a far bigger bird than anyone possibly could have foreseen and continues to burgeon. Somehow, it still manages to be kind to an old friend.”

“Fifty years ago, when television made its entrance, no one possibly could have foreseen what impact it would have. For broadcasters at that moment, the preoccupying gamble was whether or not to commit big bucks for innovative equipment on the chance that the public would latch on. Would there be enough homes with television receivers to make producing shows worthwhile? Conversely, those at home had to decide if they could justify investing in an expensive major appliance to receive what few telecasts were currently available.”

     Betty White was in St. Louis in 2005 to be honored for that other important aspect of her life away from the entertainment business. She will attend a program at the Wild Canid Center (popularly known as the Wolf Sanctuary) at which she will receive the Perkins Partner in Conservation Medal. “I’ve sort of worked with and for the Wild Canid Center since its inception, and it will be lovely to go back there and see all my friends.”

     A major advocate for the humane treatment of animals, Betty believes that “every creature on this earth is a little miracle in itself. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t look at it that way.” Besides being a supporter of the Wild Canid Center, Betty has worked for 38 years with the Morris Animal Foundation, “a health organization that funds humane studies of specific health problems of dogs, cats, horses, and zoo and wildlife. We helped develop the feline leukemia vaccine and [other] vaccines for dogs...and horses. We fund $4.5 million a year in health studies, and every penny that comes in for health studies goes to the health studies. We run the organization on endowment so that...the whole circle of the pie goes to animal [research].”

     “And I’m a commissioner at the Los Angeles Zoo. I’ve been with them 37 years on the board. We finally got our own Zoo Commission. We used to be under Parks and Recreation; there were highways and golf courses, and the zoo was way down at the bottom of the list.”

     Betty also has kind remarks about our hometown zoo. “The St. Louis Zoo is a marvelous zoo; it really is.... Marlin Perkins [the late director of the St. Louis Zoo] was a great and dear friend. When I first married my husband Allen Ludden, I was doing The King and I at the Muny. My husband and I had been married about two weeks, and he said: ‘What would you like to do on Sunday (— or maybe it was Monday)?’ And I said: ‘Go to the zoo.’ He thought I was out of my mind, but he called the zoo and Carol Perkins [Marlin’s wife] picked us up in a jeep. That was about 35 years ago, and the way Allen told it was: ‘My wife got in the front of this jeep with Carol Perkins, and I didn’t get a word in edgewise for the next three hours.’ He said: ‘They talked a whole different language!’ We were two animal nuts talking to each other.”

     She feels that there is much that individuals can do to make the world a better place for all living creatures. “I preach take personal responsibility for your own animals. If everybody took responsibility for their animals, we wouldn’t have a problem. Don’t have litters of puppies without thinking ahead. Don’t add to the problem. Solve the problems. We get so much back from our animals. We do a lot for them, but they do so much for us.”

     It has now been two decades since her popular program, Golden Girls, hit the airwaves, and Betty White is still going strong, even more “golden” than ever. “I think it’s a matter of attitude. I was the happiest only child in the world. I had the two best parents that anybody ever had, and they always taught me without being a sickening little Pollyanna to look at the positive side. Some people start with the negative, but if you keep the attitude that so far everything is fine, then pretty soon they are fine — and it sure beats the alternative.”

     On the other side of the coin, she says that her mother “had a wonderful philosophy about death. She said...that it’s the one secret that we all have different attitudes and philosophies about, but nobody knows that secret until it happens. So even when my beloved husband died [24 years ago], she put her arms around me and said: ‘Now he knows the secret.’ It’s such an amazing and positive outlook, and I’m deeply grateful.”

     Betty is such a complete optimist, and she shares her cheerful outlook with everyone she meets. “We knew people [just out of] high school who said: ‘I’m 20. Pretty soon I’ll be 30. Oh, isn’t that terrible?’ They throw away a whole decade, and it goes on every decade they live. I didn’t turn 80 and say, ‘Oh, oh, it’s over; now I’m in my 80’s.’ I’m maybe having more fun at 83 than I have in a lot of other years. Gravity is taking over, but I’m still able to enjoy things…. I think criticism and negative thoughts are a contagion, but I think you can be just as contagious with a positive.”

     And Betty White continues to spread her positive message to anyone who will listen. Too bad there aren’t more like her in the world!
       

Reprinted from St. Louis Times


                     


     EMPLOYMENT

HEALTH SERVICES POSITIONS

Pyramid Home Health Service
Do you have a friend or family member needing assistance with household chores or personal care? Would you like a new career helping people age at home? Pyramid Home Health Services has the job for you. We will beat other provider’s hourly pay rates and you will receive up to 80- hours of bonus paid time off (PTO). Additionally, both full and part time employees earn PTO at Pyramid- up to 80-hours annually. You can take this paid time off or choose to take it as additional pay. Full-time employees of Pyramid also receive 6-paid holidays annually and medical insurance for $30 per month. Start your career today and call 1-800-699-1746 or visit our website
www.pyramidhhs.com and apply online. Pyramid Home Health Services is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/AA.

Michael Malone, mtripp@pyramidhhs.com, Pyramid Home Health Services, 800-699-1746, www.pyramidhhs.com


     HEALTH & WELLNESS

CONQUER YOUR KNEE PAIN SEMINAR

April 18 and May 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Des Peres Hospital
If knee pain and chronic stiffness is keeping you from doing the things you enjoy, you owe it to yourself to learn more about non-surgical and surgical options for treatment. Join us for an upcoming seminars on April 18 at 6:00 p.m. with Corey Solman, MD and May 3 at 6:00 p.m. with Scott Zehnder, MD.  Please RSVP to 877-228-3638.

Simone Valle, simone.valle@tenethealth.com, Des Peres Hospital (Tenet Healthcare), 314-966-9695,

www.despereshospital.com

 

ST. LOUIS HELP MEDICAL EQUIPMENT DONATION DRIVE

May 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Area Walgreens
St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive on May 6, 2017. St. Louis HELP is hosting another medical equipment donation drive at 14 area-wide Walgreens. The event is on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. St. Louis HELP, a non-profit organization, loans the donated home medical items to anyone in need, at no cost or fee. We accept tax-deductible donations of manual and power wheelchairs, electric hospital beds, shower chairs, canes/crutches/walkers, grab bars, elevated toilet seats, portable commodes, lift chairs, seating cushions, back supports, folding ramps. See 
www.stlhelp.org for Walgreens locations. 314-567-4700. 

Elizabeth Cannon, cannonlz@yahoo.com, St. Louis HELP, 314-567-4700, www.stlhelp.org

 

SWING INTO SPRING EVENT

May 18 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Hall of Fame Club and Museum at Cardinals Nation Restaurant

Memory Care Home Solutions is preparing for its 6th annual “Swing into Spring” event Thursday, May 18th. This year MCHS is excited to see how their venue change is received. The MCHS advancement team has decided to shake things up by hosting this year’s event at the Hall of Fame Club and Museum at Cardinals Nation Restaurant. Even though MCHS is staying faithful to the Cardinals this will be a big scenery change for the non-profit. “After five years the event has grown a great deal. I think this subtle change will continue the growth of this event,” said Erin Kelly MCHS Director of Advancement. The event will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Adult tickets are $35 until April 21, and $45 after April 22. Tickets for guests under 21 are $25. Tickets can be purchased via phone at 314-645-6247, via web at www.memorycarehs.org under the “News and Events” tab, or at the door. All proceeds go to program operations. 

Nick Clark, nclark@memorycarehs.org, Memory Care Home Solutions, 314-645-6247, http://memorycarehs.org/news-events/2016-events/

NATIONAL SENIOR HEALTH AND FITNESS DAY

May 24 – 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Riverchase of Fenton
Come celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day at RiverChase. The common goal for this day is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. This fair will connect you with non-profit organizations, agencies and businesses with the info, services, opportunities and products that seniors want/need. This event is free and open to the public. Seniors 50+ Highlights: Complimentary breakfast items while supplies last. Basket raffle and free giveaways.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/1738968606394174/

ST LOUIS SENIOR OLYMPICS

May 25 to 30
Calling all athletes and volunteers. Senior Olympics is signing up sportsmen and women, at least 50 or more. The St. Louis Senior Olympics, the regional competition for athletes aged 50 and older, is actively seeking applications for athletes to participate in more than 90 individual and team events over Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 to 30, 2017. From basketball to bocce; soccer, softball and shuffleboard; to tap dancing, tennis and track, the Senior Olympics engage more than 1,100 athletes and hundreds of volunteers at more than a dozen different venues across the St. Louis area. The events are open to everyone. Athletes must be at least 50 years old, but there is no maximum age. We have volunteer opportunities for all ages. We have recognition, camaraderie and enduring friendships, all built around the spirit of this great event. Registration packets will be available March 15th and the registration deadline is May 8th. You can take advantage of the “Early Bird Special” if you register by April 17th. The packets include registration for athletes and volunteers. If you have any questions please contact Justin Bange at 
jbange@jccstl.org or 314-442-3216. We look forward to seeing you at the St. Louis Senior Olympics.

Justin Bange, jbange@jccstl.org, Jewish Center of St. Louis, 314-442-3216, www.stlouisseniorolympics.org

 

TOUR DE WELLNESS RECREATION CYCLING EVENT

June 11

Chesterfield Amphitheater
The Tour de Wellness is a recreational cycling event that takes place in west St. Louis County to celebrate healthy living and raise awareness on the increased risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Riders of all levels are welcome to enjoy beginner, intermediate and advanced routes. Proceeds from the event support wellness screenings and educational health programs that touch the lives of more than 40,000 St. Louis community members a year. Event participants enjoy lunch, music and admission to the wellness expo which includes screening and health information from St. Luke’s Hospital healthcare professionals. All Cyclists are welcome. St. Luke's Tour de Wellness is an event for all ages and levels of cyclists, from the novice rider to the advanced tri-athlete. The ride is intended to unite cyclists by collectively spending a Sunday morning exercising and raising money for health and wellness initiatives. Tour de Worth It, ride benefits:  rest-stops along the course are stocked with drinks and snacks, post-ride celebration food, music, and interactive booths, complimentary health and wellness screenings, support and gear assistance throughout the course, official Tour de Wellness T-shirt and event bag, complimentary lunch and post-ride massage.  Join us on Sunday, June 11 at Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Lisa Eckert, lisa.eckert@stlukes-stl.com, St. Luke's Hospital, 314-576-2377, http://www.stlukestourdewellness.com/

 

TRAIL MIX CHALLENGE

August 19 – 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Fabick Nature Preserve
Fenton Trail Mix Challenge: Saturday, August 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Come tackle this 2 mile course at Fabick Nature Preserve, sponsored by Commerce Bank. This course may sound easy at first, but with the steep hilly terrain, wooded trails, and of course the obstacles set up along the way, this run will "Challenge" even the best of runners. Top 3 male and female finishers will be announced. Ages 12 and older will be allowed to participate.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/797138193775144/

 

BETTER HEARING AND SPEECH MONTH

Throughout the month of April

Sound Health Services
In honor of May being Better Hearing & Speech month, we will be visiting local businesses and conducting complimentary hearing screenings thru out the month of April. Please call 314-722-4532 for different area locations and times.

Susan Schaffer, sschaffer@soundhealthservices.com, Sound Health Services, 314-722-4532, www.soundhealthservices.com

FREE WELLNESS SCREENINGS

Mondays - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hylton Point
You are invited to participate in a weekly free wellness screening. Screenings for individuals over 55 include: blood pressure readings, weight check, blood sugar readings, as well as prayer and spiritual support by a Lutheran Senior Services Parish Nurse. Every reading is taken by a Wellness Kiosk with print outs available to take to your doctor. Don't miss this free resource today. Hylton Point Apartments, 933 Belt Ave, St. Louis, Mo 63112. Mondays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call Savanna to make an appointment 314-367-7697.

Savanna Little, savanna.litali@lssliving.org, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-367-7697, www.lssliving.org

FREE WELLNESS SCREENINGS

Tuesdays - 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

LSS Rose Hill House
Take control of your health and take control of your life. Wellness Kiosks are specialized computers operated by our Parish Nurses. The kiosks measure blood pressure, weight and blood glucose levels. With our LSS Registered Parish Nurse on hand in the kiosk, you can stay on track with your health. This free service is now being offered at LSS Rose Hill House, Affordable Housing for seniors, every Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. located at 225 West Rose Hill Avenue in the beautiful heart of Kirkwood, MO. Call 314-822-4928 for your appointment today.

Vanessa Fakes, vanessa.fakes@lssliving.org, LSS Rose Hill House I & II, 314-822-4928, www.lssliving.org

 

FREE HEALTH SCREENING

Wednesdays - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Village at Mackenzie Place
Free Health Screening with a Parish Nurse. Insurance information not needed. Measure your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar levels, and pulse. This free service is offered at Lutheran Senior Services at The Village at Mackenzie Place, 8520 Mackenzie Road, Affton, MO 63123. Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call 314-884-7909.

Melita Hodzic, melita.hodzic@lssliving.org, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-884-7909

 

FREE WELLNESS SCREENINGS

Thursdays - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hilltop Manor
Hilltop Manor, a Lutheran Senior Services senior community is offering free wellness screenings with a Parish Nurse. Screenings include blood pressure readings, blood sugar screenings, and pulse and weight checks for all seniors 55+. A Parish Nurse is also available for prayer, spiritual support and resources. Many who are already taking advantage of this program are aware of the positive benefits it brings to their health. Please pass this on to any family or church members, friends or home health aides that may be interested. Call Michelle Herrick, Service Coordinator, for your appointment. Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 636-938-6442, 11 Hilltop Village Center Drive Eureka, MO 63025.

Michelle Herrick, michelle.herrick@lssliving.org, Lutheran Senior Services, 636-938-6442, www.lssliving.org

 

GERIATRIC ASSESSMENT CLINIC

First Thursday of the Month

Health Resource Center
Saint Louis University’s Health Resource Center and the Geriatric Education Center (GEC) are offering a free comprehensive geriatric assessment clinic for people 65 years of age or older, on the first Thursday of every month at the Health Resource Center located at 1408 N. Kingshighway Blvd #213, St. Louis, MO, 63113. A comprehensive assessment is more extensive than a screening appointment. The appointment is approximately two hours in length and includes assessments by medical, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and nutrition and social work professionals. To schedule an appointment please contact the SLU Geriatrics Division Office at 314-977-8462. 

Kathy Leonard, leona12@slu.edu, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, 314-977-8848, www.aging.slu.edu

 

HOARDING PRESENTATION

CenterPointe Hospital
On Friday, March 24, 2017, Debbie Kricenski from the St. Louis County Problem Properties Unit, Department of Public Works, spoke to an audience of 200 at CenterPointe Hospital on the topic, “Addressing Hoarding Issues.” Ms. Kricenski’s presentation addressed some of the underlying psychological issues in hoarding behavior such as obsessive depression disorder, depression, grief, loss and trauma, as well as and emphasized the need for a sensitive, empathetic approach when working with individuals with hoarding tendencies. CenterPointe Hospital is a private, psychiatric hospital serving the mental health and addiction needs of adults, senior adults and adolescents in the metropolitan St. Louis area and throughout the country. Inpatient and outpatient treatment services are available at the St. Charles facility, and outpatient services are provided at several locations throughout the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area and Central Missouri. CenterPointe provides the area’s only private residential center for addiction treatment, The Changing Pointe. For more information or to make a referral call: 800-345-5407 Toll Free or 636-477-2136.

Sheila Hunt, sahunt@cphmo.net, CenterPointe Hospital, 636-345-6150


IN-HOME AND CDS SERVICES

Healthline In-Home and CDS
Do you are someone you know have Medicaid that would like to remain in the comfort of their home but need help with daily living activities? If you answered yes, then contact us now for a free consultation Healthline In-Home and CDS, 636-386-8323. This is an alternative to going to a nursing home and allows for you to stay in your home where your heart and love is.

Lacey Moore, l.moore@myhlhc.com, Healthline In-home and CDS, 636-386-8323


      LECTURES & CONT. EDUCATION

VETERANS BENEFITS WORKSHOP

April 18 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Fountains of West County
You're invited to learn about veteran's benefits for veterans and their spouses.  This free workshop will take place at The Fountains of West County, 15826 Clayton Road, Ellisville, MO 63011 on Tuesday April 18th from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To reserve you spot please call 636-395-0877 Hosted by: ElderCareAdvisors and Quinn Estate & Elder Law, phone-636-779-2000.

Deirdre Cechin, deirdre@eldercareadvisors.org, ElderCareAdvisors, 636-395-0877, www.quinnestatelaw.com

 

ADDICTION TREATMENT

May 4 – 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Old Hickory Golf Club
CenterPointe Hospital presents it’s Spring Conference 2017.  This year’s topic is Addiction Treatment.  Join us on May 4th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)  at the Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, MO. Five continuing education credits will be offered. To register go to
www.CenterPointeHospital.com/registration or email sahunt@cphmo.net.

Sheila  Hunt, sahunt@cphmo.net, CenterPointe Hospital, 636-345-6150, www.CenterPointeHospital.com

 

TEAMWORK - CARING FOR THE PERSON, FAMILY AND PROFESSIONAL

June 5 and 6

St. Louis University School of Medicine
The Division of Geriatric Medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and the Gateway Geriatric Education Center are pleased to present the 28th Annual Saint Louis University Summer Geriatric Institute: Teamwork-Caring for the Person, Family, and Professional on June 5-6, 2017. This year’s event will focus on the team approach to caring for the person including their family, caregivers, and the professionals who provide the care. Details & Registration available at 
https://slu.cloud-cme.com/Ap2.aspx. 

Kathy Leonard, kleona12@slu.edu, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, 314-977-8848, www.aging.slu.edu 

 

CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF LONG TERM CARE CONFERENCE

June 8 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel
Trying to navigate long-term care for you or your loved one? VOYCE will host the 6th annual Changing Landscape of Long Term Care Conference on June 8.  This educational conference brings together professional long-term caregivers and individuals from the community to learn dynamic strategies, innovative tools and available options. Join us on June 8, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, 9801 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO 63134. Post-conference intensive is on June 9, 2017 at Friendship Village Sunset Hills, 12563 Village Circle Drive, St. Louis, MO 63127. Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch both days. Cost for general public is $25, Long Term Care Professionals $65 to $125 for day one and $115 for day two. Administrators and social workers have an opportunity to earn 7.25 CEUs in one day or 14.75 over two days. Visit: 
www.voycestl.org/events/long-term-care-conference. Becky White, Bwhite@voycestl.org, VOYCE, 314-919-2406, www.voycestl.org. 

Becky White, Bwhite@voycestl.org, VOYCE, 314-919-2406, www.voycestl.org

 

STROKE SUPPORT GROUP

First Saturday of the Month at 10:30 a.m. and 3rd Monday of the month at 3:00 p.m.
Miracles in Progress Stroke Support Group meets the 1st Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. and the 3rd Monday every month at 3 p.m. Join us at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, 14561 North Outer 40, Chesterfield, Missouri. We also meet at Mercy Hospital Washington please call 636/394-0968 for days and times.

Cam Compton, jaacaa@aol.com, Miracles In Progress Stroke Support, 636-394-0968


      ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

WARM SPRINGS RANCH TOUR, LUNCH AND WINE TASTING

April 18 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Warm Springs Ranch

Join us for a great day in Boonville! We will tour the Warm Springs Ranch, home to approximately 70 of Anheuser Busch’s Clydesdales. During the tour, we will meet the handlers, as well as see foals, mares and stallions up close. The tour will conclude with samples of beer. The tour is paved and flat, but does involve walking. We will then travel to the quaint town of Boonville and have a delicious sit down lunch at Settler’s Inn, which will include two salads, rolls, smoked pork chop, green beans and au gratin potatoes with cobbler for dessert. Tea, lemonade and coffee will also be included. After lunch, we will go to Les Bourgeois Winery where we will have a wine tasting. This winery is renowned for its spectacular bluff top view of the Missouri River Valley.

Lisa Bobrzynski, lbobrzynski@chesterfield.mo.us, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727, www.chesterfield.mo.us

 

CARDINAL RECYCLING DRIVE

April 21 – 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Busch Stadium Parking Lot C
On Friday, April 21, the St. Louis Cardinals, in partnership with MERS Goodwill, will host their Cardinal Recycling Drive for Green Week. The event will be help at Busch Stadium's Parking Lot C at 8th & Cerre Street from 7:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. MERS Goodwill is encouraging all donors to drop off their unwanted items. As an added bonus when you make a donation, ask for the Cardinals’ ticket voucher which is good for half-price tickets! Known as “the original recycler,” Goodwill accepts donations of all kinds with a few exceptions. Donors do not need to sort their items prior to dropping them off. All donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a donation receipt. Goodwill uses the donations to generate revenue to advance our mission of “Changing lives through the power of work.” Items that can’t or don’t sell at our stores are recycled in a sustainable fashion to limit what goes into our landfills.

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905, https://mersgoodwill.org/earthday/

 

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY WITH GOODWILL AND BOYS SCOUTS

April 22 – 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Celebrate Earth Day with Goodwill and the Boy Scouts of Greater St. Louis! Area Boy Scouts will collect donations on April 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 20 locations throughout our territories in Missouri and Illinois. While helping Goodwill collect donations, the Boy Scouts will be completing advancement requirements in their commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Known as “the original recycler,” Goodwill accepts donations of all kinds with a few exceptions. Donors do not need to sort their items prior to dropping them off. All donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a donation receipt. Goodwill uses the donations to generate revenue to advance our mission of “Changing lives through the power of work.” Items that can’t or don’t sell at our stores are recycled in a sustainable fashion to limit what goes into our landfills.

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905, https://mersgoodwill.org/earthday/

 

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY WITH GOODWILL AND IKEA

April 22 – 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

#1 IKEA WAY
On Saturday, April 22, MERS Goodwill is partnering with IKEA for an Earth Day donation and recycling event. From 10:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. at 1 IKEA Way, at the corner of Forest Park Parkway and Vandeventer.  People are encouraged to stop by and drop off their unwanted furniture. Known as “the original recycler,” Goodwill accepts donations of all kinds with a few exceptions. Donors do not need to sort their items prior to dropping them off. All donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a donation receipt. Goodwill uses the donations to generate revenue to advance our mission of “Changing lives through the power of work.” Items that can’t or don’t sell at our stores are recycled in a sustainable fashion to limit what goes into our landfills.

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905, https://mersgoodwill.org/earthday/

 

WORLDS LARGEST GARAGE SALE

April 23 – 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Fairmont Park

On Sunday, April 23, WIL-FM will host its annual World's Largest Garage Sale at Fairmount Park in Collinsville, IL, 9301 Collinsville Road from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This event is powered by MERS Goodwill. .http://garagesale.hubstllanding.wpengine.com/

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905, https://mersgoodwill.org/earthday/

 

SAINT LOUIS BANJO CLUB

April 27 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Schlafly's Bottleworks

On April 27, 2017, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the St. Louis Banjo Club will provide a free evening of lively music played on "America's fun instrument- the four-string banjo". Sing along and listen to 15 banjo players playing the songs you know. Schlafly's is located at 7260 Southwest at Manchester, St. Louis, MO 63143. For more information, call 314-842-3185 or visit our website: www.stlouisbanjoclub.org. Table seating and full cash bar. Full menu for food purchase. Did we mention the music is free? 

Don Dempsey, dldempsey@earthlink.net, St. Louis Banjo Club, 314-842-3185, www.stlouisbanjoclub.org

 

FAIRMONT PARK HOURSE RACES

May 2 - 10:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Meet at North Pointe Aquatic Center
Nothing beats a day at the races. Get a track side view of the horse races from the Black Stallion Room. Enjoy thoroughbred racing at the world-famous Fairmont Park Racetrack including a delicious lunch buffet. You can’t beat the excitement and you can bet on that. We will start the day at 10:15 a.m. pick-up at the North Pointe Aquatic Center parking lot, 335 Holloway in Ballwin, adjacent to the Ballwin Golf Course. We will then travel by bus to Fairmount Park.  Sign up early, space is limited. The cost is $45 per person and covers transportation and a delicious lunch buffet. We will return at approximately 5:00 p.m. For any questions, please contact Stephanie at 636.391.6326 ext. 401. 

Lisa Bobrzynski, lbobrzynski@chesterfield.mo.us, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727, www.chesterfield.mo.us

 

ST. LOUIS CIVIC ORCHESTRA SUMMER MUSIC SERIES

May 18, June 22 and July 20

6:30 p.m. at Chesterfield Amphitheater
Don’t miss our wonderful Orchestra Music Series this summer! All performances begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free of charge. Fixed seats are available, but feel free to bring a blanket or a chair for lawn seating. Concessions will be available all night long. We are also a tobacco-free facility. No glass is allowed.   Performing May 18th is the St. Louis Civic Orchestra, based in Chesterfield, and comprised of 75 professional and amateur musicians devoted to their music. For more details, visit
www.stlco.org. Performing June 22nd is the Gateway City Big Band, a non-profit performing organization that brings quality symphonic and chamber music to the St. Louis community. For more details, visit www.gatewayfestivalorchestra.org.  Performing July 20th is Washington University's Orchestra which includes 75 musicians performing repertoire from the Baroque to modern period. For more details, visit www.music.wustl.edu/ensembles/symphony-orchestra

Lisa Bobrzynski, lbobrzynski@chesterfield.mo.us, City of Chesterfield, 636-537-4727, www.chesterfield.mo.us

 

HEROS MEMORIAL CELEBRATION         

May 29 – 10:00 a.m.

Fenton City Park
Come join us on Monday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the Heroes Memorial in Fenton City Park, as we honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to keep our country safe. Lawn chairs are recommended.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/1210449119024469/


KIDS FISHING DAY

June 3 – 8:00 a.m.

Westside Park
June 3 at 8:00 a.m. Grab your fishing poles and join us at Westside Park (1220 Woodridge Trails Dr.) for a fun morning of fishing! Activities will include a casting contest, prizes, and goodie bags. Check in will be at 7:30 a.m. and the Derby will start promptly at 8:00 a.m., signaled by a siren. You must register your child by May 31. * Ages 3-12 may participate. Co-sponsored by the St. Louis County Police Department - Fenton Precinct. Fee: $9 - Residents and Members $11 - Non-Members

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/114178879122490/


LIVE MUSIC

June 3 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Fenton City Park
Come enjoy live music at Fenton City Park located at 1215 Larkin Williams Rd. Sponsored by Commerce Bank, Ryan Fico State Farm, Olde Towne Fenton Veterinary Hospital, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, and Ideal Pediatrics. Come early to enjoy pre-show activities. Encore band is a popular band in the St. Louis area and is known for high quality sound and vocals, cutting edge music technology, amazing musicians, and their variety of songs. Admission is free for everyone, so pack up your lawn chairs or blankets and head to the park. Food trucks and the concession stand will be open. No glass bottles allowed. Free admission.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/681445492056952/

 

SWIMMING, GAMES, CONCESSIONS AND LIVE MUSIC

June 24 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Riverchase of Fenton
Head to RiverChase to kick off the 2017 pool season. On June 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. the first 250 Riverchase members will help us celebrate the beginning of summer and will receive a special giveaway. While you swim the day away also enjoy games, activities, concessions and live music by DJ Divine. Fun for the entire family presented by Ideal Pediatrics and Ryan Fico State Farm. Free for members. Regular admission fees apply for non-members.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/1013229135487645/

 

BRING THE GRANDKIDS TO EXPLORE NATURE AND WILDLIFE

June 28, July 26 and August 16 - 6:00 p.m.

Riverchase of Fenton
Preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 years, join us once a month this summer at 6:00 p.m. for a fun and exciting night that includes exploring, crafting, story time and a snack. Our nature and wildlife expert, Jill Wider, will introduce you to the wonderful, wild side of nature! Each month will focus on a different theme ranging anywhere from pollinators, to "what is wild vs. pet?" to birds, frogs, and "becoming a nature detective." Fee: $10 per child (Parents are free) Additional dates: June 28, July 26, and August 16

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/746801862154798/

 

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

July 22 – 8:30 p.m.

Riverchase of Fenton
Experience Christmas in July at the RiverChase outdoor pool, sponsored by Ideal Pediatrics. On Saturday July 22 guests will get to enjoy Sammy J. Balloon Creations, a movie, and possibly a visit from Santa. How the Grinch Stole Christmas will be showing on the big screen starting at approximately 8:30 p.m. Please enter through the pool gate. Free for Members / $5 for non-members.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/605988729609812/


5th ANNUAL DOGGIE DUNK

September 5 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Riverchase of Fenton
Join us as we have a night of fun with our furry friends at the 5th Annual Doggie Dunk on September 5th. Proof of updated vaccinations, DHLPP and rabies required before entering the pool. Special thanks to Olde Towne Fenton Veterinary, Hospital Bentley Animal Hospital, and Ryan Fico State Farm. This event will be held rain or shine (thundering/lightening cause for cancellation). 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You will not be able to enter until designated time.  $10 per dog and handler, $7 per additional dog, max. 2 dogs per handler, $3 per each additional human.

Angie Meyer, ameyer@fentonmo.org, RiverChase - City of Fenton, 636-343-0067, https://www.facebook.com/events/1763594463952520/


     ANNOUNCEMENTS

FREE NOTARY SERVICES

April 17
Debra K. Schuster & Associates will be providing free assistance and notary services on Monday, April 17th for any senior service organization interested in participating in National Health Care Decisions Day so attendees can complete a Health Care Directive. We will provide free forms for completion and gladly provide guidance to complete the document, so attendees will leave with a completed Health Care Directive. Please contact Jennifer at 314-991-2602 if you would like us to come to your gathering.

Debra Schuster, dks@dschuster.com, Debra K. Schuster & Associates, 314-991-2602, www.dschuster.com

GRAND OPENING BETHESDA HAMWTHORNE PLACE

April 19 – 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Bethesda Hawthorne Place
Please plan to join us at the Grand Opening of Bethesda Hawthorne Place, Bethesda's newest Assisted Living and Memory Support community, located at 1111 South Berry Road. The celebration is taking place 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Guided tours of the Bethesda Hawthorne Place will be available, and refreshments will be served. Parking is limited; valet is available, as is shuttle service from the front entrance of the Bethesda Dilworth skilled nursing community, 9645 Big Bend Blvd. Please RSVP online at: 
www.bethesdahealth.org/our-communities/bethesda-hawthorne-place. Looking forward to seeing you at the Grand Opening of Bethesda Hawthorne Place.

Lea Ann Coates, lcoates@bethesdahealth.org, Bethesda Hawthorne Place, 314-853-2551, www.bethesdahealth.org/our-communities/bethesda-hawthorne-place

HAWAIIAN THEMED TRIVIA NIGHT

April 22, - 5:30 p.m.

JFK Community Center
The Mother of Good Counsel Home Auxiliary is hosting their Hawaiian trivia night on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the JFK Community Center, 315 Howdershell Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and trivia begins at 7:00 p.m. Tables of 8 are $200.00. We are accepting less than a full table but we reserve the right to place others at your table. Please contact Dave Barnhart at 
barnharts2000@msn.com for more information. 

Marsha Heine, mheine@mogch.org, Mother of Good Counsel Home, 314-383-4765, www.mogch.org

ST. LOUIS CELEBRITY SENIORS

April 29

Double Tree Hotel in Westport
St. Louis Celebrity Seniors, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to function as ambassadors of goodwill. We are a group of volunteers formed exclusively to raise funds and provide volunteer manpower for selected nonprofit community organizations in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Programs are designed for individuals 50 years and older who want to stay informed, involved, and in action. Each year St. Louis Celebrity Seniors, Inc. applauds the efforts of three individuals, organizations and/or initiatives that have made significant humanitarian contributions to our community. The 2017 Humanitarian Service awards will be Saturday, April 29 at Double Tree Hotel in Westport. This celebration will highlight outstanding success stories from our community. Thank you for your help to identify candidates for this coveted award.  You may submit your nominations by mail to: St. Louis Celebrity Seniors, Inc. Healthy Life Choices, 9810 Halls Ferry Rd., PO Box 4113, St. Louis, MO 63136 or email to
wilzetta8@gmail.com. Please visit our website for details on how to make a nomination.  Nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 15, 2017.  Contact Wilzetta Bell 314-517-8973 with any questions.

Jo Ann Brown, stlouiscelebrityseniors@gmail.com, St. Louis Celebrity Seniors, Inc., 314-496-6625, www.stlouiscelebrityseniors.org

VETERANS HONOR PARK DEDICATION CEREMONY

May 3 – 5:30 p.m.

631 Veterans Place Drive
The City of Chesterfield is pleased to announce the Veterans Honor Park Dedication Ceremony will be on Wednesday, May 3. The ceremony begins with a social at 5:30 p.m., commenced by the flag raising at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Mayor Bob Nation and City Administrator Mike Geisel will deliver the opening statements for the keynote speaker, Admiral Phil Davidson, the commanding officer of the United States Fleet Forces Command. The park is located adjacent to the Chesterfield Amphitheater at 631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63017. The Veterans Honor Park offers a variety of donation opportunities including title sponsors, benches, and donor strips, as well as engraved pressed-concrete pavers. Details on all of the donation opportunities are available on the website, 
https://vhp.chesterfield.mo.us/donate.html. Renderings of the park are also available on https://vhp.chesterfield.mo.us or on the Veterans Honor Park Facebook page. For more details, please contact Lisa Bobrzynski at lbobrzynski@chesterfield.mo.us 

Lisa Bobrzynski, communications@chesterfield.mo.us, Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts, 636-537-4727, https://www.chesterfield.mo.us/veterans-honor-park.html

SWING INTO SPRING EVENT

Memory Care Home Solutions

May 18 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
MCHS takes trip down memory lane for “Swing into Spring”.  Memory Care Home Solutions is preparing for its 6th annual “Swing into Spring” event Thursday, May 18th. This year MCHS is excited to see how their venue change is received. The MCHS advancement team has decided to shake things up by hosting this year’s event at the Hall of Fame Club & Museum at Cardinals Nation Restaurant. Even though MCHS is staying faithful to the Cardinals this will be a big scenery change for the non-profit. “After five years the event has grown a great deal. I think this subtle change will continue the growth of this event,” said Erin Kelly MCHS Director of Advancement. The event will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Adult tickets are $35 until April 21, and will be $45 after. Tickets for guests under 21 are $25. Tickets can be purchased via phone at 314-645-6247, via web at 
www.memorycarehs.org under the “News and Events” tab, or at the door. All proceeds go to program operations. 

Nick Clark, nclark@memorycarehs.org, Memory Care Home Solutions, 314-645-6247, http://memorycarehs.org/news-events/2016-events/

ADULT PROGRAMS OFFERED AT TROUT LODGE
Trout Lodge is located only 90 minutes south of St. Louis, YMCA Trout Lodge is a country-style resort and conference center located on 5200 acres with a 360-acre lake. Trout Lodge has many fun & educational adults-only programs for those who like to travel and meet other lifelong learners, with something for every activity level. Whether in a group, as a couple or yourself, you will have an amazing time exploring new adventures and making new friends. April's programs include a trip to Elephant Rocks State park, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, zip line and much more. There will also be plenty of time to kick back and relax along the banks of the lake. Rates include lodging, meals and all scheduled activities. To receive a complete list of 2017 activities, go to
www.troutlodge.org, click on "Stay", click on "Adult Programs" and click on the 2017 Adult Program Guide. Or you can simply call 888-FUN-YMCA and ask for a booklet be mailed to you. Happy exploring.

Dillon Charleville, dillon.charleville@gwrymca.org, YMCA Trout Lodge, 314-241-9622, www.troutlodge.org

BJC HOSPICE HOUSE – EVELYN’S HOUSE

Scheduled to open May 2017
Evelyn’s House, providing care in peaceful and comfortable surroundings provides a holistic approach to the emotional, spiritual and physical care of terminally ill patients of all ages.  Offering therapies for complex symptoms or respite in a home-like setting. Located adjacent to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Evelyn’s House, scheduled to open May 2017, is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to the community. Features include: 16 private suites for adults, teens and children with walkout patio off every suite, family gathering spaces with overnight accommodations, kids and teen activity room and natural, comfortable surroundings with dedicated music and expressive therapy rooms, family kitchen and café, meditation room and garden.  In addition, there is an ability playhouse for special needs children.  Visiting hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Leading edge communication and safety are a priority. We offer specialized on-site staff; hospice specialized care team, medical director, nurse practitioner, registered nurses, aides, a social worker, spiritual counselor, music therapist, expressive therapist and many volunteers. 

Cara Lotspeich, cms0310@bjc.org, BJC Hospice, 314-273-0759, www.bjchospice.org

SPRING CLEANING AND DECLUTTERING

MERS Goodwill
Spring is right around the corner, which means it is time to declutter and donate! According to an American Cleaning Institute (ACI) survey, 72% of households spring clean every year. MERS Goodwill is encouraging everyone to follow these four fun, simple tricks to help your spring cleaning get underway: 1. only holding on to items for sentimental reasons? Take a photo then donate it. 2. Turn all hanging clothes backwards. Reverse an item to the correct direction once it is worn. After six months, donate any clothing still backwards; if you haven’t worn it by then, you probably never will. 3. Create a one-month calendar with different areas of your house that need to be decluttered. One day at a time, you will collect items that you no longer need. 4. Host a spring cleaning party! Invite friends over to swap unwanted items and donate any extras to MERS Goodwill. Someone in your community will benefit and bring new life to your donation, and MERS Goodwill is always looking for stuff.

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905

PULL-OUT-SHELF COMPANY
The Pull-Out Shelf Co offers made-to-fit pullout shelving expertly installed in your "existing" cabinets. These shelves are easy to fully extend outward with a simple finger pull, so there is no more getting on your hands and knees to find that pot or pan. Perfect for mobility challenged folks who want to simplify their lives. Call 314-403-2282 for your free in-home estimate today.

Tim Cechin, StlShelf@gmail.com, The Pull-Out Shelf Co, 314-403-2282, StLouisShelf.com


     HONORS & RECOGNITION

BILL AND BETTY FRESCH OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Vicki Spraul, Gray Matters Alliance
Vicki Spraul with Gray Matters Alliance, LLC has just been awarded Keeping Us Safe’s 2016 "Bill and Betty Fresch Outstanding Achievement Award". "The compassion, empathy and tact that Vicki displays while helping older drivers with diminished skills make a smooth retirement from driving are what have made her so successful in the "Beyond Driving with Dignity" program." says Matt Gurwell, founder of Keeping Us Safe. "She is a great asset to our team but more importantly, she is providing an exceptional service to the greater St. Louis community." Vicki serves as a facilitator for Keeping Us Safe's 'self-assessment program for older drivers. This individualized program serves as a valuable tool in helping older drivers, and their families, make appropriate decisions regarding the future of one's safe driving career. The 3-hour, 1-on-1 session is conducted in the comfort of the older driver's home. The session includes an in-depth learning conversation, several cognitive exercises, and an actual driving exercise with the older driver that takes place in his or her own car. Gray Matters Alliance, LLC is an organization created to help our seniors stay safe, connected & respected. 
www.graymattersalliance.com. 

Vicki Spraul, vicki@graymattersalliance.com, Gray Matters Alliance, LLC, 314-266-2678, www.graymattersalliance.com

 

MISSOURI ATHLETIC CLUB WOMEN OF DISTINCTION AWARD

Bonnie Laiderman
Veterans Home Care President honored by MAC; The Missouri Athletic Club honored five area women with their Women of Distinction Award at an April 7 luncheon and among them was Bonnie Laiderman, president of Veterans Home Care. The purpose is to recognize women who enrich the St. Louis region and contribute to the advancement of all women through her leadership, character and professional achievements. Bonnie Laiderman earned this award as a business owner and entrepreneur who started her business as a solo operation to help elderly, disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. Since then, Veterans Home Care has served more than 12,000 veterans and spouses in 46 states with 106 employees coast-to-coast and has become the industry leader. "Our company helps financially-challenged, wartime veterans and their surviving spouse’s age in place at home. We’re dedicated to helping veterans who have proudly served their country, get the benefits they deserve. To learn more about benefits for wartime veterans and their spouses, call Veterans Home Care at 888-314-6075 or email 
referrals@veteranshomecare.com.

Janet Jennewein, janetj@veteranshomecare.com, Veterans Home Care, 314-514-2444, www.veteranshomecare.com


      SUPPORT & COUNSELING

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP

Third Wednesday of the Month

Bethesda Health Group

Join us to discuss the challenges that come with caregiving and find solutions in a supportive group setting. The third Wednesday of every month from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Bethesda Health Group, Inc., 1630 Des Peres Road Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63131.  This is open to all caregivers. Caregiving can be immediate physical care or long-distance care provided to family, friend, or loved one. All caregivers have concerns and insights to share; we welcome all types.  The group is presented as a free service of Bethesda Hospice Care. For more information or questions, please feel free to contact the Bethesda Bereavement Team at 314-373-7025. Leslie Schaffer, LMSW, Kelly Haner, LMSW, Bereavement Coordinator Bereavement Assistant LLSchaeffer@bethesdahealth.org or KLHaner@bethesdahealth.org.  

Kelly  Haner, klhaner@bethesdahealthgroup.org, Bethesda Hospice Care, 314-373-7025, https://www.bethesdahealth.org/

 

FRONTO-TEMPORAL DEMENTIA: THE BASICS, RESEARCH AND COPING

Fourth Wednesday of the Month

Alzheimer’s Association Office
The Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter is now offering a Fronto-Temporal Dementia Support Group on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. beginning March 2017. The support group will meet at the Alzheimer’s Association office located at 9370 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132. This is a free group for caregivers of someone who has Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Pick’s Disease, Primary Progressive Aphasia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, or Corticobasal Syndrome. A caregiver support group is a safe place to learn, offer and receive helpful tips, and meet others coping with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. The groups encourage caregivers to maintain their own personal, physical and emotional health, as well as optimally care for the person with dementia. Before attending, please call the facilitator to confirm the group is meeting at its usual date and time, and to check for specific directions to the meeting location. Group Facilitators: Ashley Blattel, 636-262-0163.

Lindy Noel, lnoel@alz.org, Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter, 800-272-3900, www.alz.org/stl


WRITING AFTER A LOSS GROUP  

Mondays in May
Heartland Hospice in Wentzville will be hosting a four week writing group for those who have experienced a loss. We will meet on Mondays from May 1 to 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 .a.m. at 1097 Wentzville Parkway. This group is free and open to the public. Please contact Sarah Layton at 636-327-4018 or 
Sarah.Layton@heartlandhospice.com to register or if you have any questions. 

Sarah Layton, sarah.layton@heartlandhospice.com, Heartland Hospice, 636-327-4018

 

SOCIAL GROUPS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MILD TO MODERATE DEMENTIA

Morrissey Hall at Saint Louis University
Are you a caregiver of a loved one with dementia and looking for a group or activity for them to engage in? The Medical Family Therapy Program at Saint Louis University is now running social groups for those with mild to moderate dementia. The purpose of the group is to help improve cognition and memory in those with dementia, while helping them engage with others in a group format. The first group will look to start in mid-May. Groups are usually 75 minutes long and are twice per week over seven weeks. They take place in Morrissey Hall at the Center for Counseling and Family Therapy. For further details or to sign up, please contact Max Zubatsky at 314-977-2496 or email at 
zubatskyjm@slu.edu.

Max Zubatsky, zubatskyjm@slu.edu, Saint Louis University, 314-977-2496, https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/medical-family-therapy-program/the-memory-clinic


IN SEARCH OF...

GYPSY CARAVAN

May 29 – 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association (SVA) invites merchandise and food vendors to participate in the 45th annual Gypsy Caravan on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. For Merchandise Vendors, important entry dates: On-Time Entry: April 14, 2017; Late Entry: May 21, 2017; Last-Minute Entry: May 28, 2017. • Indoor Space: Arena Floor (12’Wx10’D)- On-Time: $220; Late: $270; Last-Minute: $320 • Indoor Space: Concourse (12’Wx10’D)- On-Time: $180; Late: $230; Last-Minute: $280; • Outdoor Space (10’Wx18’D)- On-Time: $110 ; Late: $160; Last-Minute: $210 For Food Vendors, important entry dates: On-Time: April 1, 2017; Late: May 13, 2017; Last-Minute: May 29, 2017. • Outdoor Space (16’W x 18’D)- On-Time: $500; Late: $600; Last-Minute: $700 • Additional Space (8’W x 18’D)- On-Time: $250; Late: $300; Last-Minute: $350 Vendors can visit the Gypsy Caravan website for either Contract Form. For more information, call 314-286-4452.

Nikki Abernathy, nabernathy@blacktwigllc.com, Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905,

 

HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS

BJC Hospice
At BJC Hospice, we feel it’s our calling to help patients and their loved ones embrace every moment. Maybe you feel it’s your calling too. The goal of hospice care is to enable patients to live every day to the fullest. Volunteers are key to making this all work. Evelyn’s House, BJC Hospice’s 16-bed hospice house located on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur, MO, provides a holistic approach to the emotional, spiritual and physical care of hospice patients, offering specialized attention of a hospital in a home-like setting. Evelyn’s House will need many volunteers that offer valuable support to our patients and their loved ones. Through training and guidance, you will be prepared every step of the way. Volunteers for the hospice house work in shifts, typically two to four hours long. Volunteers are needed as receptionists, hospitality, companionship/caregiver relief, veteran volunteers, Lumina life review, passage, final hours, spiritual support, music therapy, complementary therapy, hairstyling services, flower arranging, holiday decorating, crafting, or piano playing. Call 314-872-5050 or email 
mary.lindsley@bjc.org. 

Cara Lotspeich, cara.lotspeich@bjc.org, BJC Hospice, 314-273-0759, www.bjchospice.org

 

HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS

Heartland Hospice
Can you spare a few hours a week? Do you want to help others in your community? Are you a good listener? Do you like to bring joy to others? If so, Heartland Hospice needs you. We are currently looking for volunteers to visit with terminally ill patients. We have flexible schedules and offer day, evening, night, and weekend opportunities. A full background check and a full day of training is required. Please contact Angela Schneider at 636-327-4018 or at 
angela.schneider@heartlandhospice.com if interested. I look forward to hearing from you.

Angela Schneider, angela.schneider@heartlandhospice.com, Heartland Hospice, 636-327-4018

 

MONEY MANAGEMENT VOLUNTEERS

Lutheran Senior Services
Paying bills, balancing a checkbook, or reading mail can become challenging for many reasons. Lutheran Senior Services Volunteer Money Management is looking for volunteers age 21 and older to help older adults living in St. Louis City and North County manage these financial tasks. Knowing that the bills are paid and the checkbook is balanced gives many people peace of mind. We receive many requests for Volunteer Money Management services and there is always a demand for additional, caring people to become involved. Two hours a month is needed to help an older adult in your community remain independent. For details, please call Laural at 314-446-2474 or visit our website at 
www.lssmoneymanagement.org.

Laural Crues, Laural.Crues@LSSLiving.org, Lutheran Senior Services, 314-446-2474, www.lssmoneymanagement.org

 

PATIENT CARE AND ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS

Preferred Hospice
Preferred Hospice is seeking direct patient care and administrative volunteers. You decide how often and in what capacity you want to volunteer. Training is provided, and mileage reimbursement is also available. Volunteers can help make a person's final days more meaningful. We invite you to consider making a difference in the community and help us in providing support for our patients and their families. To start your volunteer career feel free to contact Tracy Sweazey at 636-527-9330 or email 
tsweazey.stl@preferredhospice.com.

Tracy Sweazey, tsweazey.stl@preferredhospice.com, Preferred Hospice Northeast Missouri, 636-527-9330, www.preferredhospice.com

 

USED IPODS AND ITUNES GIFT CARDS ARE NEEDED

Memory Care Home Solutions
Memory Care Home Solutions is calling out to all community members to donate their used ipods (any version is helpful!) or gift cards for itunes. These donations are tax deductible and will be used to help serve families working to keep their loved one with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer's disease at home as long as possible. If you are able to donate please drop off at our Headquarters and Caregiver Training Environment: 4389 West Pine Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108. There is guest parking in the rear of the building off of Newstead. Would you like to host a drive at your church or place of business, please contact us for an ipod drive packet.

Erin Kelley, ekelley@memorycarehs.org, Memory Care Home Solutions, 314-645-6247, www.memorycarehs.org

 

VOLUNTEERS, VETERANS FOR VETERANS

Compassus Hospice
Volunteers needed for Vet to Vet program. Looking for Veterans to volunteer to visit other Veterans on Compassus Hospice. These volunteers will understand what the veteran is going through. Volunteers will provide life review, companionship and caregiver relief. Please call Karen Riley at 314-731-4700 for more information. 

Karen Riley, karen.riley@compassus.com, Compassus Hospice, 314-731-4700, www.compassus.com

 

VOLUNTEER OMBUDSMAN

VOYCE
Currently seeking Volunteer Ombudsman to speak up for quality long-term care and visit residents living in long-term care communities. Volunteers are trained and then visit residents once a week. Ombudsman volunteers solve problems and serve as an advocate for residents. Contact Becky White at 
Bwhite@voycestl.org or 314-919-2406 for more information or to apply to volunteer.

Becky White, Bwhite@voycestl.org, VOYCE, 314-919-2406, www.voycestl.org


                         


LONGEVITY - LONGEVITY - LONGEVITY - LONGEVITY


Cognitive Improvement

10 Ways to Boost Your Cognitive Fitness and Longevity

     We normally associate the term cognitive development with babies and children. While many adults do not think of developing themselves cognitively, they should do so, particularly since studies show that reduced cognitive function can age us prematurely and reduce life expectancy. It is well known in the medical community that people who have advanced stages of Alzheimer's or dementia do not live as long as those free from these conditions.

     You can be many years younger than your chronological age by making certain lifestyle choices, including those that tax or challenge the brain. Research over the past 20 years has shown that certain regions of the adult brain can generate new neurons and new synapses. (Here's one recent study, for example.) In essence, whenever we learn something new, engage in new activities, or even ponder a new concept, the brain will rewire itself in response to these activities. Just like babies, adults can keep growing their brain and protect cognitive functioning as they age.

     There are many positive ways to build better cognition and to lessen the chances of developing diminished cognitive ability, dementia, or Alzheimer's later on in life, all of which make us act old and feel old. Here are ten of them.

 

Exercise to improve cognitive function.
     Exercise increases blood flow to the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory. One recent study found that the loss of tissue density in the brain was less in those who were aerobically fit, which is another way of saying fit people have better cognitive functioning and read "actively."
     The difference between watching "The Bachelorette" and watching an educational science show is how active your brain has to be. Watching TV is cognitively enriching when it takes effort to understand what you're watching, or sparks questions, ideas or "aha" moments. The same is true for reading. A celebrity tabloid magazine takes less brain power to flip through than, say, a magazine such as Smithsonian. Develop new connections in your brain by reading something that's instructive instead of merely entertaining. After reading or watching TV, make yourself recall what you just learned. This exercise boosts retention.

 

Take up a new hobby.
     Increase cognitive enrichment by taking on a new active pursuit that requires learning, as opposed to merely attending a baseball game or concert. Some examples include: gardening, antiquing, taking up an instrument, raising chickens, learning a foreign language or selling items on the Internet. Read books, talk to experts, take classes, attend conferences or join organizations related to your hobby. All of this learning activity develops new connections between neurons, which helps offset cell loss due to aging or disease.

 

Solve all types of puzzles.
     Puzzles are an outstanding way to build new connections in the brain. There are many types of puzzles other than crosswords. These include acrostics, cryptograms, syllacrostics and many other word-oriented brain teasers. Some brain teasers don't involve words at all, such as Sudoku. It's particularly good for your brain to seek out a variety. Or start with one type, and as you get better, switch to another type of puzzle. Your brain will be challenged anew with each particular type of puzzle. Switching from a puzzle that's easy to a more difficult or unfamiliar type stimulates new brain activity, or learning, as your brain now has to generate new memories in order to master the new challenge.

 

Play board games and card games.
     Games that involve strategy are excellent for the brain, especially those that involve puzzle solving or new learning of some sort, such as Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- all available in digital form as well. Chess and checkers are excellent games because almost every game is unique, requiring a different set of strategies each time. Card games can similarly help preserve cognitive functioning because the player continues to perfect the most effective strategies according to the opponent's playing style. You can also play card games with a computer!

 

Visit museums, zoos, and historical sites.
     There are many specialty museums as well as zoos and historical sites that will help you build better cognition. To get the most out of the visit from a cognitive standpoint, don't be a passive visitor. Read the signage next to the exhibits, try to repeat the key information to yourself and then do it again once or twice during or after your visit. Not only will you retain what the exhibits were about, but with some occasional recall attempts, you increase the odds of being able to recall the information months or even years later.

 

Become a student again.
     Many continuing education courses are available that do not require being in a degree program -- you merely sign up for one or two courses whenever you feel like it. Relatively inexpensive courses are available through community colleges. As a student, you will get many chances to learn new things, and most instructors will give you tests that will force you to recall the information learned. Nondegree classes are offered in many areas, from technical subjects to local community history, public speaking, relationships, poetry and other friendly topics.

 

Attend workshops.
     Workshops, conferences, and other gatherings where professionals in their field share their knowledge offer another way to build cognitive function through active learning. While these are commonly offered in a person's profession, you may find many others connected with hobbies and personal interests. One that came across my desk recently, for example, was a workshop on how to trace your family's ancestry. Another was amateur backyard astronomy.

 

Reduce stress.
     People with high amounts of stress are more likely to suffer from cognitive problems than those who are free of stress. While medications can reduce the symptoms of stress, they do not cure the problem or help you understand the root cause of the stress, which is key. Since many meds require ever-increasing dosages to be effective, and many have side-effects, it is important to consider reducing stress in more natural ways, including exercise, naps, individual counseling, meditation, relaxing hobbies, spiritual growth and other means.

 

Address depression.
     Depressed individuals are more likely to suffer from cognitive problems later in life than those who are free of depression. As with stress, many people who are depressed merely run to their family doctor and say, "Can you give me something for being depressed?" and walk away with a prescription. No attempt is made to find out what is causing the depression in the first place, let alone cure it. As with stress, there are ways to bring about a long-lasting solution to depression besides medication, including individual counseling, exercise, spiritual growth, career rejuvenation, goal setting, and other techniques.

 

Dennis Kravetz is a psychologist, physical fitness buff, business consultant, and writer whose lifelong passion has been to study and research how to extend the human lifespan and improve the quality of one's life with a healthy lifestyle. He's the author of eight books, most recently A Sound Mind in a Sound Body: Live Long, Live Healthy (KAP Books, 2013). Learn more at www.longlife4me.com.


Nutrition

Optimal Diets for Longevity: The Science, Not the Hype

     The conversation regarding what constitutes the ideal diet for optimal wellness and longevity is an ongoing and exhausting debate. Experts from each respective dietary camp have a plethora of data pointing to their case for why their particular system is the gold standard. But so far, this ongoing debate has not been productive for the general public. There seems to be more confusion than ever before. Perhaps this is because a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

     On November 16, the Center for Obesity, Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST) at UCSF hosted the leading scientists on diet and longevity to try a new approach. While the traditional format has been a debate-style panel discussing the best diet for health and longevity, COAST sought to identify the common thread between all these different diet styles, and further, to explore the influence lifestyle changes have on longevity.

     The discussion kicked off with Dr. Lynda Frassetto, internist and kidney specialist at UCSF Medical Center. Frasetto focused on the benefits of a low-acid diet, consisting of vegetables, some fruits, nuts, and lean meat, as a beneficial solution for people with Type 2 diabetes and for optimal kidney health. She presented her research on the benefit of a low-acid Diet (Paleolithic-like), concluding that even short-term consumption of a Paleolithic-like diet "improves blood pressure and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles without weight loss in healthy sedentary humans."

     While some may consider the phrase "healthy sedentary human" to be a bit of an oxymoron, the study found significant changes in health markers without the intervention of exercise. During the Q&A period, she acknowledged that the diet she studied in her research on the Paleolithic diet contained no red meat, even though meat features prominently in most Paleolithic diets.

     The second presentation was by Dr. Stephen Phinney, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at UC-Davis. Dr. Phinney presented his view on "The Art and Science of Nutritional Ketosis." Phinney defined the meaning of true nutritional ketosis as your body reaching a state of utilizing ketones for fuel in the brain and muscles instead of carbohydrates. This diet trend has become popular with a number of high-performance athletes and ultra-marathon runners who become ketoadaptive and burn ketones as their primary fuel source. Phinney's research on low-carbohydrate living showed that a very-low-carbohydrate diet had two major effects: (1) a reduction in plasma-saturated fatty acids despite a high intake of fat, and (2) a decrease in overall inflammation. According to Phinney, both of these results are beneficial for prevention and reversal of metabolic syndrome.

     The third and final speaker was Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at UCSF. Dr. Ornish emphasized "lifestyle changes," including diet, for longevity and disease prevention. The Ornish program emphasizes a plant-based diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and very low in animal products and refined carbohydrates. In addition to dietary changes, the program incorporates exercise, stress reduction, mindful eating practices, and community support. Dr. Ornish's Spectrum Diet allows you to personalize a way of eating and living that's just right for you -- rather than a one-size-fits-all.

     Dr. Ornish is renowned for the success of his program in reducing not only biomarkers such as cholesterol, but also actual prevention and reversal of heart disease. He also directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may slow, stop or even reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer. The Ornish program is the first lifestyle program to be covered by Medicare- - a huge win for the wellness, nutrition, and preventative medicine communites.

     In his lecture, Dr. Ornish emphasized the importance of scientific studies that actually measure the degree of heart disease, not just risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure. He cited a study from the New England Journal of Medicine reporting that mice fed a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet showed significant blockages in their coronary arteries; those fed a typical American diet had moderate blockages in their arteries; and those fed a diet similar to one recommended by Dr. Ornish had essentially clean coronary arteries.

     Another interesting point that was made was the notion that how you eat your food is just as important as what food you eat. This practice, often called "mindful eating," focuses on eating with more pleasure, which can result in fewer calories consumed. This is a popular area of study for COAST, with a recent study finding that the more mindfulness around eating increased and stress went down, the greater the decrease in abdominal fat among women.

     The takeaway, summarized by Ornish, was that all three speakers agreed that a whole-foods diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates is optimal. However, Dr. Ornish added that an optimal diet is also rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products in their natural forms. "There are hundreds of thousands of protective substances in these foods -- what you include in your diet is as important as what you exclude," he said.

 

A special thanks to Dr. Elissa Epel at COAST for bringing these distinguished doctors together. COAST is a multidisciplinary research center whose mission is to reduce the prevalence and adverse consequences of obesity, to seek and advance knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms by which stress influences obesity, and to develop effective interventions.


Exercise

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life

     Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem, with experts debating just how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount to improve health and longevity. Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity, suggesting that the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect. The studies also found that prolonged or intense exercise is unlikely to be harmful and could add years to people’s lives.

     No one doubts, of course, that any amount of exercise is better than none. Like medicine, exercise is known to reduce risks for many diseases and premature death.

But unlike medicine, exercise does not come with dosing instructions. The current broad guidelines from governmental and health organizations call for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to build and maintain health and fitness.

     But whether that amount of exercise represents the least amount that someone should do — the minimum recommended dose — or the ideal amount has not been certain.

     Scientists also have not known whether there is a safe upper limit on exercise, beyond which its effects become potentially dangerous; and whether some intensities of exercise are more effective than others at prolonging lives.

     So the new studies, both of which were published last week in JAMA Internal Medicine, helpfully tackle those questions.

     In the broader of the two studies, researchers with the National Cancer Institute, Harvard University and other institutions gathered and pooled data about people’s exercise habits from six large, ongoing health surveys, winding up with information about more than 661,000 adults, most of them middle-aged.

     Using this data, the researchers stratified the adults by their weekly exercise time, from those who did not exercise at all to those who worked out for 10 times the current recommendations or more (meaning that they exercised moderately for 25 hours per week or more).

     Then they compared 14 years’ worth of death records for the group.

They found that, unsurprisingly, the people who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death.

     But those who exercised a little, not meeting the recommendations but doing something, lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent.

     Those who met the guidelines precisely, completing 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, enjoyed greater longevity benefits and 31 percent less risk of dying during the 14-year period compared with those who never exercised.

     The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

     At that point, the benefits plateaued, the researchers found, but they never significantly declined. Those few individuals engaging in 10 times or more the recommended exercise dose gained about the same reduction in mortality risk as people who simply met the guidelines. They did not gain significantly more health bang for all of those additional hours spent sweating. But they also did not increase their risk of dying young.

     The other new study of exercise and mortality reached a somewhat similar conclusion about intensity. While a few recent studies have intimated that frequent, strenuous exercise might contribute to early mortality, the new study found the reverse.

For this study, Australian researchers closely examined health survey data for more than 200,000 Australian adults, determining how much time each person spent exercising and how much of that exercise qualified as vigorous, such as running instead of walking, or playing competitive singles tennis versus a sociable doubles game.

Then, as with the other study, they checked death statistics. And as in the other study, they found that meeting the exercise guidelines substantially reduced the risk of early death, even if someone’s exercise was moderate, such as walking.

     But if someone engaged in even occasional vigorous exercise, he or she gained a small but not unimportant additional reduction in mortality. Those who spent up to 30 percent of their weekly exercise time in vigorous activities were 9 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who exercised for the same amount of time but always moderately, while those who spent more than 30 percent of their exercise time in strenuous activities gained an extra 13 percent reduction in early mortality, compared with people who never broke much of a sweat. The researchers did not note any increase in mortality, even among those few people completing the largest amounts of intense exercise.

     Of course, these studies relied on people’s shaky recall of exercise habits and were not randomized experiments, so can’t prove that any exercise dose caused changes in mortality risk, only that exercise and death risks were associated.

Still, the associations were strong and consistent and the takeaway message seems straightforward, according to the researchers.

     Anyone who is physically capable of activity should try to “reach at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and have around 20 to 30 minutes of that be vigorous activity,” says Klaus Gebel, a senior research fellow at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, who led the second study. And a larger dose, for those who are so inclined, does not seem to be unsafe, he said.

 

By Gretchen Reynolds for The New York Times


Social Engagement

Social Connections Promote Longevity

     Previous studies have linked the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships to mental, as well as, physical health. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University (Utah, USA), and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 148 studies that included data from 308,849 men and women who were followed for more than 7 years.  The team’s analysis determined that individuals with adequate social connections have a 50% greater likelihood of longevity, as compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships. The researchers note that the overall effect remained consistent across age demographics and health status, suggesting that positive social engagement across the population may be a key to society-wide longevity.

 

By WorldHealth.net


Spirituality / Religion

Longevity and Religion/Spirituality

     A rare study--where a group of individuals born in 1920s were followed over several decades looking at their spiritual beliefs--reported that significant increase in spirituality was evident from late middle age (mid-50s to late 60s) to older adulthood (late 60s to mid-70s). This was irrespective of gender. Similar snapshots of people's beliefs have been substantiated by survey research and public opinion polls since the 1930s. The consistent finding is that older means that you are likely to become more religious/spiritual.    

     Because aging is correlated with spirituality it is not surprising to find that spiritual people are older and that older people are spiritual. Aging is correlated with spirituality. Spirituality does not, by itself, confer increased longevity. Being spiritual or religious is not a good predictor of how old you will live to, although it might tell us how old you are now. This is despite anecdotal “secrets” for longevity that people older than 85 years, gave for their good health and long life, which were "faith in God" and "Christian living." All valid responses but perhaps not accurate in this diverse society of today.    

     Allison Sullivan from the University of Pennsylvania published a study in 2011 showing that Jews have lower mortality than the rest of the USA. All other religions were comparable or, as with Black Protestants, had a life expectancy as much as five years lower than the average US citizen. So religion by itself is not a good predictor.    

     Religious affiliation follows other variables. For example, those that reported being Jewish reported lowest prevalence of drinking alcohol, were mainly women (comparable only to Catholics), were nearly exclusively White, and were the richest by a very wide margin. These are all factors that by themselves, regardless of their religious affiliation, promotes higher life expectancy. Religion and spirituality, by themselves, are not very good predictors of long life. Where religion and spirituality show distinct advantage is in coping with imminent death.

     In an Australian study, which conducted detailed interviews of older adults in nursing homes and independent living homes, it was reported that religious older adults reframe memories and experiences linked with final meanings, transcend their losses and suffering, reported intimacy with God and others, and found hope. God for them was the ultimate consolidator.

     Reporting religious beliefs is also associated with how your caregivers treat you. Nursing assistants who held similar beliefs as their elderly long-term clients, expressed more meaningful connections with them which resulted in better care. Which brings up the issue of what happens when societies are becoming more diverse both in terms of culture and religion and also in term of sexual preferences?    

     Spirituality does not confer longevity although having meaning in life does--not necessarily spiritual. Especially if you compare people’s religious participation with other older adults participating in other social events, the difference in longevity between religious and non-religious participants disappears. Being religious by itself does not promote longevity, but it might help how you are treated should you lose your independence.

By Mario D. Garrett, PhD

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