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     MARCH 15, 2018                                      A Love for Music


     Theon Heiserer’s grandfather came to the Unites States from Germany.  He is the sole survivor of 10 children, all born and raised in Oran, MO where his parents owned two farms. He and his brother worked the farms with his father. He had to quit high school in 1941 when his brother was drafted to serve in the war, then worked the farm for 1.5 years until he too was drafted. Theon recalls his 3 long months in basic training then found himself stationed in Hawaii.  A young man, never away from home, soon after found himself in the South Pacific. New Guinnea was a fearful place for a young soldier so far from his Missouri farm. He was discharged at the young age of 18. Theon’s brother came home soon after. There really was not enough farm work for both boys at home, so Theon moved on to work as a cook on a river boat for the Mississippi Corps of Engineers. The dredge boat of 80 men worked to keep the channel open.

     Theon, who will be turning 94 this year, lived this river boat life for six years until he met his bride at a dance. Theon says his fondest memory was his 1952 wedding day, regardless of the 110-degree temperature that day (without air conditioning). They remained happily married for fifty years, blessed with two children – a daughter, Debbie and a son, Jim. Theon soon found himself providing for a young family and took a job keeping him closer to home, working at Cupples Products aluminum factory in St. Louis. He recalls the company supplied metal for buildings all over the world, including the World Trade Center. The young family lived 63 years in a home they purchased in 1952. For 32 years, Theon provided for his young family by working two jobs, Cupples Products and Bettendorf-Rapp food chain, leaving early for work in the morning at 5:00 a.m. and not returning home again until at least 10:00 p.m. every night.

     Theon has had a love for music for as long as he can remember. His father played harmonica and accordion, and his mother had a player piano from which he believes he first found his affinity for music. He learned to play guitar when he was away in the military and after he came back home, enjoyed entertaining folks in local taverns on the weekends. Theon still enjoys entertaining with his music. I found him with his instruments the day we met. He lives and entertains his neighbors at the Affton Senior Center. Theon still plays music with a few buddies four or five days each week at surrounding senior centers.  Theon’s grandson has a recording studio and has produced a CD of Theon’s musical renditions. Theon says, “Music keeps the mind going. You have to think of every piece of every song”. And he has a musically talented family: his son and grandson both also play guitar. Although transportation is an issue at times, Theon has enjoyed playing with the Gateway Harmonica Club for ten years. The types of music he most enjoys playing are Waltz, Polka and Country. He still enjoys going dancing a few times each week, dancing both ballroom and swing. He even has a steel guitar he bought from a catalog when he was 18 years old. A year ago, he was given a 6-string banjo from his grandson. One of his most enjoyable memories was playing a small-town country festival in Illinois. He was amazed to see his picture appear in the newspaper a year later. Many residents and friends at the Affton Senior Center come to enjoy his music during lunch. Ruth Coleman is one of those residents. She told me, “Theon makes a lot of people happy. He is quite enjoyable”. 

     Edna Halbert, another resident of Affton Senior Center, just turned 93 years old on her most recent birthday in February. She has enjoyed living at the senior center for the past two years. She is from Steeleville, MO. She worked in retail and used to play piano for her local church. She has survived three strokes and speaks proudly of her five children - four boys and one girl.

Another friend is Otis Breshears, a proud owner of a 20-family St. Louis apartment building that sold in 2004. He is 91 years old. He too was raised on a farm. He once lived in Australia where he owned a TV repair factory. He feels he lived a full and interesting life. He enjoys his time at the Affton Senior Center and enjoys watching television.

Glenda Johnson is yet another friend that has lived at the Affton Senior Center for six years. She feels fortunate to be 91 years old and feels the most significant events in her life was the birth of her two sons. She was quite the seamstress and proudly made all her own clothes. She enjoys reading fiction and faith-based novels, one of which her niece recently published.  She was happily married for 60 years to a wonderful man and feels content she lived a good life. Glenda believes and wishes to pass along, “It would be nice if everyone loved their neighbor. We should all be kind to one another as we certainly cannot live alone in this world”.


By Janet Dalton / St. Louis Times

Health & Wellness


Very friendly and loving care center for all adults over the age of 18. This is a safe, beautiful, and fun facility with meals and transportation provided along with trained and qualified healthcare workers and volunteers. We are approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services. It is free for all who have Medicaid. We are well equipped to take care of your loved ones. Feel free to call us at our phone number 314-354-6121 or visit our website This is our second new location.

Romana Aftab, [email protected], Sun Valley Adult Day Care Center - Chippewa St., 314-354-6121, 



Veterans Home Care

New Customized Alexa Device Replaces Push Button Medical Alerts Veterans Home Care (VHC) announces the launch of VetAssist® Companion, an Echo Alexa device specially preprogrammed with new voice technology for seniors to reduce isolation and loneliness and replace push-button medical alert systems. The Companion’s launch has been stepped up to meet the needs of seniors during the recent pandemic. Others who are not VetAssist clients can purchase this new service under the brand, SmartCompanion. Companion can provide security 24 hours a day, seven days per week, when caregivers or loved ones are unavailable. It gives seniors increased independence and peace of mind. It also promotes engagement with unlimited on-demand information and entertainment featuring music, news, and more. Veterans Home Care helps wartime veterans and their surviving spouses apply for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which pays for assistance with activities of daily living in their homes. More than 17,000 seniors have used Veterans Home Care to access VA benefits for the care they need. Veterans Home Care is not affiliated with the VA. For more info:   or 888-314-6075

Janet Jennewein, [email protected], Veterans Home Care,





St. Louis Oasis Teams Up with Humana to offer member benefits, a local nonprofit educational organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults ages 50 and older, is teaming up with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) to offer Humana members a health benefit designed to increase cognitive and physiological health in adults. Humana Medicare Advantage HMO and LPPO members on plans H0028-14 and H5216-033-002 in St. Louis will receive an $80 credit toward St. Louis Oasis in-person programs and Oasis Everywhere virtual programs. Humana members enrolling for plans H0028-14 and H5216-033-002 during the open enrollment period of now through December 7 will receive information about the Oasis programs benefit and can begin registering for classes beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Affordably priced classes are open for registration through the St. Louis Oasis at for in-person and hybrid classes. Registration for Oasis Everywhere online classes are available at Courses cover a variety of topics ranging from art and history to science, theology, cooking, technology, current events, health and more.

Tina Duckett, [email protected], St. Louis Oasis, 314-862-4859,



American Red Cross

Healthy Blood Donors Needed Now. The American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri is holding blood drives at our Kansas City and St. Joseph locations. We are encouraging all healthy people to donate blood during this critical time. Click on the links below to make your appointment today.

Carina Kagan, [email protected], American Red Cross, 314-356-5726



St. Louis University, Memory Care Center for Counseling and Family Therapy

The Medical Family Therapy program is offering low cost psychotherapy to older adults suffering from issues such as stress, depression, health issues, family communication problems, caregiver stress, and other related areas. Current appointments can be done either by phone or video. Master’s and doctoral students are still taking openings for appointments. If you are interested in making an appointment for you or a loved one, please call 314-977-2505 or [email protected].

Max Zubatsky, Ph.D, LMFT, 314-977-2496



Heartland Insurance

Call us to make sure your Medicare Plan include the up and coming TeleDoc option. We are helping local Americans get the most out of their Health and Medicare dollars.

Jim Williams, [email protected], Heartland Insurance, 314-324-4158,



My mother passed away not too long ago at the age of 93. She had been living happily in an assisted living facility for just over five years once she got over her desire to never leave her home of fifty plus years. She was a widow since 1969, of a World War II veteran, and spent 3 months in skilled care before returning to her assisted living facility. I share my mother’s story to illustrate that at Never Forget the Vet we realize seniors have many challenges unique to seniors, go thru many of the same stages and require assistance in numerous areas. The variables are significant but not insurmountable with the right guidance. Yet to the family they are often overwhelming and hard to put together. We don’t know what the future brings. We often don’t plan for things we don’t understand or want to face. Mom and/or Dad getting older is one of them. Do not put this off. Setup a free informational session before Mom needs someone to come into her home or she needs to be moved or you need to make some other rushed decision. Explore your options before you start losing options. Call Never Forget the Vet.

Bob Gergen, [email protected], NEVER Forget the Vet, 314-583-2807, 



A feel-good opportunity for your readers to give back to the community. Crossroads Hospice is seeking volunteers to help give hospice patients a gift of a perfect day. Hope you’ll consider running an item in The St. Louis Times Express. Please contact me at 215-545-4715, ext. 26.

Courtney Rice, [email protected], SPRYTE Communications, 215-545-4715,


Superb Caregivers LLC

Superb Caregivers LLC is now officially providing Personal Care Services to Mental Health Patients. Come join our team as a patient or a patient worker.

Shelia Whitley, [email protected], Superb Caregivers LLC,




Lutheran Senior Services

Mondays – 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Insurance information is not needed. Measure your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar levels, and pulse. This free service is offered at Lutheran Senior Services, Dunn Road Manor. Located at 3399 Dunn Road- Florissant, MO 63033, Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 314-830-0919 for times and more information. Leigh Anne Hoormann, [email protected], 314-830-0919

Leigh Anne Hoormann, [email protected], Lutheran Senior Services




Lutheran Senior Services

Wednesdays – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Insurance information is not needed. Measure your blood pressure, weight, blood sugar levels, and pulse. This free service is offered at Lutheran Senior Services, The Village at Mackenzie Place. Located at 8520 Mackenzie Road, Affton, MO 63123, Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call 314-884-7909 for times and more information.

Selma Vereget, [email protected], Lutheran Senior Services, 314-884-7910,



Womens’ Fitness and Designed Workouts

For women forty and older, please call to set up your free fitness consultation. Christine will sit down with you and listen to what you would like to do to feel and look better. Please don't let knee or back issues keep you from activity you enjoy as a part of your life. Please call Christine at 314-541-3556.  It will only take 30 minutes. Located in Fenton.

Christine Bond, [email protected], Womens’ Fitness and designed workouts,


Lectures & Continuing Education


St. Louis Oasis

Oasis Presents Canvas Painting. Join us and create your own beautiful canvas painting using acrylic paint with easy step-by-step instructions. No prior experience is necessary. Learn different brush strokes, how to blend paints and how to create highlights and shadows. You will leave with your own personal masterpiece. A different image will be created at each session. All materials included.

Oasis Oasis, [email protected], 314-862-4859,




December 7 – 12:00 p.m.

Managing Survivor’s Guilt During COVID-19 Trying to come to terms with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will present an ongoing challenge for many years to come. We are observing global responses to the pandemic such as depression, anxiety, and COVID survivor’s guilt. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic it is vital that we learn how to recognize and mitigate the emotional and psychological impact of this devastating experience. This education session will help you to identify symptoms of survivor’s guilt and provide insight into coping mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for managing survivor’s guilt. Presented by Joan Sievert. Joan Sievert holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Registered Yoga Teacher. Joan has worked in the mental health field for over 25 years and is currently the owner of Flourish Therapy Services, LLC. CEUs available for long-term care professionals. Free to access for long-term care residents and their families.

Jamie McGeechan, [email protected], VOYCE, 314-918-8222,



St. Louis University

December 31

The Gateway Geriatric Education Center at Saint Louis University is pleased to offer "Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Older Adults", a 3-Hour Continuing Education Event that is available to view any time until December 31, 2020. Continuing Education is available for Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists. More information is available on the registration link:

Kathy Leonard, [email protected], Saint Louis University, 314-977-8454, 



American Red Cross

Volunteer from the Comfort and Safety of Your Own Home Join us by phone or online to learn the many ways you can help your community from home with the American Red Cross. Just send an email to [email protected] and we will send you all the information you need to join us. Learn how little time it takes to have an enormous impact on your local community, all without having to leave the comfort and safety of your own home

Kristin Pendleton, [email protected], American Red Cross, 314-281-7968


Arts & Entertainment


Winter Violin

Winter Violin is now performing socially distanced strolling violin concerts for senior communities. Hire Tom today and he will stroll, dance and sing outdoors. Tom is an experienced entertainer and works with budgets of all levels. Your residents have dreamed of adventure during quarantine. Give them the joy of music. Embark on the adventure with Winter Violin.

Tom Winter, [email protected], Winter Violin, 636-485-2494,  




December 11- 12:00p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Banjos at Evangeline’s on Saturday, December 11, 2021, from Noon to 2:00 p.m., the St. Louis Banjo Club will provide live music played on "America's fun instrument - the four-string banjo". Evangeline’s is located at 512 N. Euclid in the CWE, St. Louis, MO 63108. For more information, call 314-952-0646 or visit our website: Great Cajun food and drinks from their menu. Did we mention the music is free?

Don Dempsey, [email protected], St. Louis Banjo Club, 314-952-0646,



The Elk’s Club
December 2 - 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Banjos at the Elks Club On Thursday, December 2 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the St. Louis Banjo Club will provide a free evening of live music played on "America's fun instrument- the four-string banjo". Sing along and listen to 15 banjo players playing the songs you know. The Elk’s Club is located at 
6330 Heege Road (at Mackenzie), St. Louis, MO 63123. For more information, call 314-952-0646 or visit our website: Table seating and cash bar. Did we mention the music is free? And, there is room to dance.

Don Dempsey, [email protected], St. Louis Banjo Club, 314-952-0646,



December 31 – 2:00 p.m.

JEOPARDY JOE is ready to boost your Senior Community activity schedule. It's Fun. It's Entertaining. It's Stimulating and Educational. What more could you ask for? 314-399-2223

Joseph White, [email protected], Jeopardy Joe, 314-399-2223



Craft Alliance

Learn the art of Origami paper folding with this how-to guide from Craft Alliance created by St. Louis artist Abigail Lowe. Download the guide for free and learn at your own pace.

Mark Witzling, [email protected], Craft Alliance, 314-725-1177,



Fairwinds River’s Edge

Fridays – 3:00 p.m.

Fridays at Fairwinds River's Edge, please join us for happy hour with live entertainment Fridays at 3:00 p.m. RSVP required: 636-754-2317.

Stacy Welker, [email protected], Fairwinds River's Edge, 636-754-2311,




April 17

Debra K. Schuster & Associates
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, [email protected], Debra K. Schuster & Associates, 314-991-2602,



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: Looking forward to seeing you at the Grand Opening of Bethesda Hawthorne Place.

Lea Ann Coates, [email protected], Bethesda Hawthorne Place, 314-853-2551,



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 
[email protected] for more information. 

Marsha Heine, [email protected], Mother of Good Counsel Home, 314-383-4765,



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
[email protected]. 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, [email protected], St. Louis Celebrity Seniors, Inc., 314-496-6625,



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, Renderings of the park are also available on or on the Veterans Honor Park Facebook page. For more details, please contact Lisa Bobrzynski at [email protected].  

Lisa Bobrzynski, [email protected], Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts, 636-537-4727,



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 under the “News and Events” tab, or at the door. All proceeds go to program operations. 

Nick Clark, [email protected], Memory Care Home Solutions, 314-645-6247,


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, 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, [email protected], YMCA Trout Lodge, 314-241-9622,



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, [email protected], BJC Hospice, 314-273-0759,



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, [email protected], Black Twig Communications, 314-536-8905


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, [email protected], The Pull-Out Shelf Co, 314-403-2282,
Support & Counseling


St. Charles, St. Louis, Jefferson Counties

Visit-A-Bit Program is a weekly volunteer program and offers visit tasks, by which volunteers can connect with homebound seniors in their communities - at home or living in facilities that is designed to directly address senior loneliness in St. Louis City and County, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. We’re seeking volunteers that would like to be part of bringing happiness, joy, and purpose back to our aging community. Also, welcoming senior adults that would benefit from a weekly volunteer and offering weekly Tele-Bingo games. If you are interested and would like more information please contact Lisa, the Visit-A-Bit Coordinator at 314-918-7171 ext. 1255 or email [email protected].

Lisa, Visit-a-Bit, 314-918-7171, ext 1255


In Search Of ...


County Older Resident Programs

Seeking volunteers to provide transportation to medical appointments and other essential appointments for older adults who live in St. Louis County. Give just a few hours, Monday – Friday, to a senior who lives near you. You will making a huge difference for the senior while contributing a worthwhile service for your community. Hours are flexible and mileage reimbursement is available. Call 314-615-4435 today to help someone in your community stay independent.

Robin B Gillespie, [email protected], County Older Resident Programs



County Older Resident Programs

Please contact Robin B Gillespie, [email protected], County Older Resident Programs.

Robin B. Gillespie, [email protected], County Older Resident Programs,




Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care

Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care in St. Louis seeks volunteers to help support its signature Gift of a Day program. This Crossroads Hospice volunteer opportunity is based on the question: “If you had one perfect day, what would it look like?” The answer has led to a flight in a vintage Air Force biplane for a World War II Veteran or a Blues legend’s return trip to Beale Street in Memphis for a special performance. “We call our volunteers ‘Ultimate Givers’ because they selflessly give extra comfort and compassion to terminally-ill patients and their families,” says Volunteer Coordinator Taishai Starks. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Taishai Starks at 636-735-2000 or [email protected], or Before becoming a Crossroads Hospice “Ultimate Giver,” participants must complete an application, TB skin test, and training session led by members of the Crossroads team. Potential volunteers must wait a minimum of one year after the death of an immediate family member or loved one before applying. Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care is committed to being at the forefront of the hospice care industry to continually shape the way end-of-life care is viewed and administered.

Courtney Rice, [email protected], Crossroads Hospice, 215-545-4715,




4:30 to 8:30 p.m. or 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Volunteers needed to contact disabled citizens who might wish to work.

Larry Brown, [email protected], WORKNET, INC., 314-621-6300,



The Missouri Poison Center

The Missouri Poison Center would like your help in finding audiences for a new program targeted at seniors ages 65 years and older who are independent in taking their medications. We are looking to speak to groups up to about 15 adults in a conversational/interactive program to teach about avoiding medication mishaps. We will address such topics as: being an active assertive participant in your own health care, keeping an up-to-date medication list, and safe storage and administration of medications. This program will take approximately 60 minutes. If we can provide this program to your senior group or you have interest in medication safety please contact Amanda Ruback, at the Missouri Poison Center.

Amanda Ruback, [email protected], Missouri Poison Center,




Aging Ahead Star Program

The Aging Ahead STAR Program utilizes volunteers to take eligible riders to many of their medical appointments. Rides are available to appointments in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties, but eligible riders must reside within St. Charles County. All rides are based on the availability of a volunteer and due to scheduling and demand, we do ask for two-week notice, if at all possible. Volunteers are offered mileage reimbursed to cover gas and wear & tear on their vehicle, but they are volunteering their time. This is a flexible volunteer opportunity, perfect for those who are retired or someone with non-traditional work hours. To reach the STAR Coordinator to learn more about becoming a volunteer with STAR, please call 636-978-3306.

Stephanie Patrick, [email protected], Aging Ahead,636-207-0847,



Preferred Hospice

Are you looking for an opportunity to help in your community? Preferred Hospice is seeking caring individuals to provide friendly visits and companionship to hospice patients. Training is provided. Please contact Terri or Tracy at 636-527-9330 or www.[email protected].

Terri Bapst, www.[email protected], Preferred Hospice of MO NE, 636-527-9330



LifeWise STL

The Senior Companion Program is seeking new volunteers. Volunteers receive hourly tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, annual recognition party and gift, and the opportunity to make a difference. Call Today, 314-627-1243, Samantha Knight.

Samantha Knight, [email protected], LifeWise StL (formerly Kingdom House), 314-627-1243,



St. Louis Press Club

In these uncertain times, many organizations are struggling. Please consider supporting your local St. Louis Press Club. We need your help to continue supporting the numerous scholarships for media students awarded every year, funding grants for Enterprise investigative journalism and continuing to offer our communication workshops and forums (dates TBD) on major issues that are open to the community.

Founded in 1956, St. Louis Press Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of people who make, cover, influence and consume the news. Our mission is to serve as a primary resource for the journalism and communications industry. Our goals are to advance understanding of the mass communications discipline, promote scholarship and professional excellence, facilitate communication between mass communicators and their respective publics and promote awareness of significant issues facing the mass communication field throughout the community. We are affiliated with other cities’ Press Clubs throughout the United States and abroad. We research and publish a St. Louis Region Media Guide and hold an annual Media Persons of the Year Award Gala that honors national and local media professionals for their exemplary communication careers.

Ways to Contribute:

Become a St. Louis Press Club Member

Buy a St. Louis Press Club t-shirt!

Make a Donation!

St. Louis Press Club, 



Cognitive Improvement

Reading for Life: How What You Read Impacts Longevity

     Using longitudinal survey data that asked about book and newspaper/magazine reading separately, researchers recently looked at the association of reading with participants’ longevity, as well as which type of reading material had the strongest association with longevity.

     The researchers found that those participants who read books had a 23-month survival advantage over those who did not read books. The impact of book reading was actually the strongest among participants who had reported four or more comorbidities. Other demographic differences including income and education level showed little to no differences on the strength of book reading’s association with longevity. Magazine and newspaper reading showed a survival advantage as well, but the effect was not as strong and was only significant for periodical readers who read more than seven hours per week.

     The authors suggest two potential ways that reading books might bring about greater health benefits. The first is that books promote “deep reading”, which is more cognitively engaging and demanding. Analysis of the cognitive testing of survey participants did prove enlightening here. Statistically controlling for cognitive scores at baseline showed that the subsequent protective effect of book reading persisted regardless of initial cognitive differences. However, in addition to longevity, book reading had a positive impact on cognitive scores in later surveys. This impact on cognition appears to be responsible for the majority of the improvement in lifespan. The second way the authors suggested that books might provide benefit is by promoting empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, but this hypothesis remains untested.

     The authors conclude that “reading books provides a survival advantage due to the immersive nature that helps maintain cognitive status” and that “older individuals, regardless of gender, health, wealth or education, showed the survival advantage of reading books.” So regardless of the population of older adults being served, greater book reading should be encouraged. The authors note that individuals 65 and better spend an average of 4.4 hours per day watching television, and that study participants spent significantly more time reading periodicals than books. So one fruitful strategy would be to replace some TV and magazine/newspaper time with a good book.


By Avni Bavishi, Martin D. Slade, Becca R. Levy

6 Foods to Eat (and Avoid) for Longevity

     The foods you choose - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish - can help you fend off life-shortening diseases and conditions.

     We aim to eat right for optimal health and to ward off debilitating, chronic diseases that can shorten our lifespan. Indeed, heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the U.S., and diet can play a central role in promoting or preventing these diseases.


Eat your fruits and vegetables

     Given the recent press highlighting the science-based benefits of vegetarian and Mediterranean diets, including decreased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers, it should come as no surprise that eating patterns abundant in plant foods, like fruits and vegetables, offer the best dietary defense against chronic disease and premature death. This is not to say that animal foods need to be excluded; rather they ought to take up less space on our plates and be chosen wisely.


Beyond produce: other dietary disease fighters

     While there's little doubt fruits and vegetables promote health, there are other dietary disease fighters to put on the longevity plate as well: Whole grains, nuts, legumes and fatty fish have earned their place at the table, and here's why.

     Whole grains: "Eating more whole grains has been associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some types of cancer," says Kate Marsh, Adv.A.P.D., C.D.E., Ph.D., nutrition expert at Northside Nutrition and Dietetics in Sydney, Australia, and author of a 2012 review on the health implications of vegetarian diets, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

     How much to eat? The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans call for making at least half of your grain foods whole grains. Six ounces of grain foods are recommended for a 2,000 calorie diet (the average calorie requirement for adults), thus at least three servings should come from whole grains.

     Nuts: "Regular nut consumption is linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, CVD and metabolic syndrome (a clustering of risk factors that raise the risk of CVD and diabetes)," Marsh tells EN. How much to eat? A 2005 review in the Journal of Nutrition concluded 50 - 100 grams (about 2 - 3.5 ounces) of nuts eaten most days of the week significantly reduced total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which can help fend off life-shortening heart disease.

     Legumes: Marsh points to studies showing that bean eaters have a lower risk of developing CVD, diabetes and cancer. A 2004 analysis in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that bean consumption was a strong predictor of longevity in the elderly, and a 2013 review in the Journal of Medicinal Food supported a role for legumes in the prevention of cardiometabolic risk. How much to eat? A cup-and-a-half of cooked legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) per week is suggested for a 2,000 calorie diet by the USDA.


     Fatty fish: A wealth of research has found that regularly consuming fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and trout high in omega-3 fatty acids, decreases the risk of heart disease death. Even better news, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine this year reported that higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with lower risk of death from all causes. How much to eat? The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week.


Foods that inhibit longevity

     While a plant-based diet has been shown to be protective, following a Western style diet can up your chances of chronic disease and premature death. The American Journal of Medicine revealed such findings in May, demonstrating that a steady intake of fried foods, sweets, processed and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy does not bode well for longevity and quality of life in advanced age. With this in mind, EN takes a closer look at two aspects of the Western diet that have grabbed headlines recently due to their link to increased mortality.

     Red and processed meat: Both are linked to total cause mortality, but processed meats, such as salami, sausages, bacon, packaged lunch meats, and hotdogs - even in small amounts - carry a higher risk. Research published in the journal BMC Medicine in March 2013 found the risk started to be significantly increased among those who consumed more than 40 grams (about an ounce-and-a-half) a day, according to study author Sabine Rohrmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., head of the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich. "Processed meats are higher in sodium than fresh meats and high sodium intake is a factor related to CVD," explains Rohrmann. Furthermore, the heme iron and nitrites in red and processed meats may form compounds that promote cancer.

     Sodium: This mineral stands out because of its connection to high blood pressure (hypertension), which elevates the risk for stroke and heart attack.

     Excessive salt intake is also linked to stomach and esophageal cancer. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, much of it from processed foods. This is well above the Dietary Guidelines recommendation of no more than 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon of salt) for healthy adults 50 and under. Earlier this year, a report in the journal Hypertension estimated that a gradual sodium reduction over a 10-year period down to an average of 2,200 milligrams a day in the American diet would prevent up to half a million deaths.

     What's the bottom line on how to eat for a long, full life? Fill your plate with whole plant foods, eat fish at least twice a week, cut down on sodium, minimize red meat and avoid processed meats as much as possible.


By Andrea N. Giancoli

Regular Exercise—Along With Standing—Is the Key to Longevity

     Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Last year, 611,105 American men and women died from cardiovascular diseases. The annual financial price tag of coronary heart disease in the U.S. is $108.9 billion. Obviously, the emotional and psychological toll of cardiovascular disease cannot be measured in dollars and cents. 

     In recent decades, a wide range of studies have found that regular physical activity dramatically reduces a person's risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, only about half of U.S. adults meet the federally recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous, high-intensity exercise. If you are someone who doesn't meet these guidelines, hopefully this blog post will inspire you to exercise more, sit less, and help you stay alive longer.


Regular Exercise Is Critical for Heart Health and Longevity

     A new report by the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council (ECC) analyzed recent research and concluded that physical activity is an effective method of preventing heart disease. The January 2016 analysis was published in the The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

     According to the council, small amounts of physical activity—including standing—are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The ECC also found that larger doses of exercise can lead to an even greater reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease in a dose-dependent manner, up to a certain point.

     For this report, the researchers analyzed the volume and intensity of aerobic exercise required for favorable cardiovascular health. They also addressed the question of whether or not there is an amount of endurance aerobic exercise that might backfire and actually increase someone's risk of cardiovascular disease.

     The council concluded that moderate and vigorous intensity exercise in amounts lower than the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline recommendations can lower mortality risk in the broad population. In a press release, JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., said,

     "The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community. The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is twofold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation."


When It Comes to Exercise, More Is Not Necessarily Better

     The researchers found that increasing your amount of moderate intensity exercise reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. However, the cardiovascular mortality benefits from vigorous intensity exercise level off at a certain point. 

     The council concluded, “There is no evidence for an upper limit to exercise-induced health benefits and all amounts of both moderate and vigorous intensity exercise result in a reduction of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality compared to physical inactivity.”

     Based on my personal experience as a former ultra-endurance athlete, I can attest to the fact that more isn’t always better when it comes to endurance training or competitions. Although I managed to break a Guinness World Record by running 153.76 miles non-stop on a treadmill when I was 38, I retired after that event because it almost killed me. Exercising for 30-60 minutes, most days of the week, is great for your psychological and physical well-being, running non-stop for 24 hours is not.

     My personal experience of the potential backlash of too much intense exercise was corroborated by a recent New York Times article, “His Strength Sapped, Top Marathoner Ryan Hall Decides to Stop.” The author of this article, Lindsay Crouse, wrote:

     “Hall, 33, who was one of the last remaining hopes for an American front-runner in this summer’s Olympic marathon, is succumbing to chronically low testosterone levels and fatigue so extreme, he says, that he can barely log 12 easy miles a week.

     “Up to this point, I always believed my best races were still ahead of me,” said Hall, who has faced a series of physical setbacks since the 2012 London Olympics. “I’ve explored every issue to get back to the level I’ve been at, and my body is not responding. I realized that it was time to stop striving, to finally be satisfied and decide, ‘Mission accomplished.’”

     That said, the researchers still say that high volumes of aerobic exercise aren't nearly as bad for cardiovascular outcomes as no exercise at all. According to the council, "the possibility that too much exercise training could be harmful is worthy of investigation, but research results show that even for the very active, lifelong endurance athletes, the benefits of exercise training outweigh the risks."

     In a press release, Michael Scott Emery, M.D., co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, said, "The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease."


Standing Improves Your Heart Health

     One of the most interesting findings of the new report is that standing can also help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. How many hours a day would you estimate that you spend sitting? If you spend the majority of your day sitting, you are not alone.

     Sedentary behavior and a chronic lack of physical activity—also known as "sedentarism"—have become a national epidemic. The statistics on sedentarism are alarming. The average American sits for 11 hours a day. Sedentary lifestyles are related to $24 billion in direct medical spending. 20% of all deaths for people over age 35 are linked to physical inactivity and sedentarism.

     "Sitting is the new smoking," according to Dr. James Levine, of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. Levine is the author of, Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, and the inventor of the treadmill desk. Levine believes that excessive sitting is a more serious public health problem than cigarette smoking. Luckily, the detriments of sedentarism can easily be remedied by standing up and becoming more active.


Conclusion: Sitting Less and Exercising More Reduces Heart Disease Risk

     I’ve dedicated my life to trying to find ways to motivate people from all walks of life to be more physically active. If you are currently sedentary or inactive, hopefully these findings will inspire you to be more active. My father died prematurely of a heart attack. Like the majority of Americans, my dad didn’t make exercise a priority and was sedentary during the final years of his life. I believe that too much sitting and not enough exercise was the leading cause of his death.

     I'm a 50-year-old parent of an 8-year-old daughter. My prime driving force and source of motivation to exercise regularly, and to sit less, is my daughter. I don't want to die young and leave her fatherless . . . like my father inadvertently abandoned me and my sisters. Regardless of whether or not you're a parent, staying alive for your family and loved ones can be a strong source of motivation to sit less and exercise more for anybody.

     From a healthcare provider standpoint, Emery concluded, "The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients. Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the lifespan, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life."


By Christopher Bergland
Social Engagement

Work Colleagues Drive Your Longevity

     One of my executive clients once told me that “if it wasn’t for the people, work would be easy”. He may be right, but it would also rob him of great rewards. In fact, it might even stunt his longevity!

     Several observations from the social and biological sciences inform our understanding of longevity. First, we know that a sense of purpose both prolongs life, and increases health and happiness. Next, we know that marriage, and social engagement with friends and family drive health and happiness, and increase longevity. But what about work? Do the many hours we spend slaving away help us to live longer?

     For the most part, people with a job, or who work for themselves, have a purpose, even a mission. This is good. But there is more to this answer. In 2011, researchers published the results of a study that followed the lives of almost 1000 workers over 20 years. They evaluated several work-related psycho-social factors for their impact on longevity. Of all the possible influences they explored, only peer social support had a positive impact. Those workers who reported greater peer support had significantly lower mortality rates. They lived longer.

     Based on this, and other science, my own choice is clear.

          1. I will work for as long as I can.

          2. I will give as much kindness and support as I am able to those around me at work. Not

              only is this good for me, but this research proves its good for them too.

          3. I will (try very hard to) be open to the kindness and support of my peers and

              colleagues. For many of us, particularly for givers, this one is difficult. We’re raised to

              prize independence, and often view reliance on others as a weakness. Not so, says the

              science! On the contrary. Mother Nature has designed us to benefit from their support.

              I will try harder!

     I hope that these insights help you to unlock a long, healthy, happy and productive future!


By Roddy Carter
Spirituality / Religion
Religion, Spirituality and Health
     Some of my most satisfying moments with patients have been our conversations about religion and spirituality, often beginning with questions like- How important would you say religion is in your life- very important, fairly important or not very important?
     This question was part of a 2012 Gallup poll which showed approximately 70% of Americans consider themselves moderately or very religious. An increasing number also describe themselves as believers unaffiliated with a particular denomination or religion (often described as “spiritual but not religious”).
     The religious and spiritual beliefs of doctors and patients can affect medical care and healthcare decision-making. Spiritual sensitivity is an important component of cultural sensitivity, which is an increasingly appreciated attribute of compassionate patient-centered care. Doctors are advised to include spiritual assessments in their history-taking and patient management. But when doctors and patients differ widely on religion and spirituality there can be undesirable consequences. Recent research shows that, compared to doctors who consider themselves deeply religious, atheist or agnostic doctors are almost twice as willing to make decisions they believe will hasten the end of a very sick patient’s life. Women seeking certain birth control or abortion options may find their views at odds with the religious beliefs of their physicians.
     Some studies show that religiosity and spirituality (R/S) have no impact on health, while others even show a negative impact. Yet the vast majority of research on R/S shows a beneficial impact on health. This inconsistency has been the source of considerable debate. Over time, the quality of research has improved and the importance of the topic has been widely acknowledged by patients, their physicians, the broader healthcare system and health professional education.
     Harold Koenig MD directs the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center. The Center is devoted to a rigorous examination of religion and spirituality as factors in health. Koenig and the Center reviewed the published literature on R/S through 2010. Their findings provide an important and impartial assessment of the state of the science on a subject that is both vital to the lives of many patients and doctors and fraught with conflicting personal views and beliefs.
     The majority of studies on the “positive” aspects of mental health showed a benefit for those who considered themselves at least moderately R/S. Hope, optimism, sense of well-being, meaning, purpose, self-esteem and sense of personal control all tended to be greater in those who self-described as moderately or highly R/S. The majority of studies on the ‘negative’ aspects of mental health found moderate or high levels of R/S were related to lower levels of depression, attempted or completed suicide and less alcohol and drug use or abuse.
     The majority of the research on social health found that greater R/S predicted less anti-social behavior, crime, delinquency, divorce, marital separation and spousal abuse. They also showed greater R/S was associated with more altruism (volunteering, donating to the needy), gratefulness, marital satisfaction, commitment, relationship cohesion, sexual fidelity, couples’ problem solving, forgiveness, community involvement, trust, membership in civic, political and social justice groups and school performance (GPA, graduation rates).
     Research on physical health tended to show that moderate to high levels of R/S were associated with healthier diet and exercise patterns, less smoking and coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure, less risky sexual behavior and lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Nevertheless, some studies showed higher blood pressure, including clinical hypertension.  Some studies showed healthier weights and some showed unhealthier weights. There were conflicting results from a small number of studies regarding the impact of R/S on strokes, carotid artery disease, dementia and cognitive impairment.
     Cancer and overall longevity are two topics of increasing concern to our aging population. Moderate to high R/S tends to be associated with greater longevity and a reduced incidence of cancer, its progression over time and long-term cancer survival. However, some studies show reduced longevity and a higher rate of cancer in the moderately to highly R/S.
     One of the most interesting areas of research involves the use of spirituality interventions (such as prayer, meditation, yoga and mindfulness) as non-drug complements to conventional treatment. There is some evidence that such interventions can lead to better cardiac surgery outcomes, better blood pressure control, healthier cardiovascular stress-related reactivity, better immune function and lower levels of stress hormones. There is also evidence that regular practice of techniques that evoke empathy and compassion can actually increase the size of brain areas involved in these activities.
     The Duke Center and Koenig’s review of several thousand studies performed through 2010 shows a definite tendency for a positive association between religion, spirituality and health. Some of the best of these studies have followed patients for up to 50 years. Hundreds of studies have studied large numbers of people from different population groups, giving these findings more scientific legitimacy. Studies including people from many religious backgrounds from most of the world’s countries have shown mostly positive associations. Critics of these studies point to poor study design, many studies with small numbers of patients and claims often made by researchers that are not supported by the data.
     It seems clear that religion and spirituality will receive increasing attention as we seek to create a health care system that is more humane and compassionate for patients, their families and health care providers.
     Let your doctor know if religion and spirituality are important to you or your family. It might make a tremendous difference in your relationship with your physician and in your experience of health and illness.

By John A. Patterson MD MSPH FAAFP

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