Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Be Cyber Safe This Holiday Season

The Piers Project, an internet safety awareness campaign of the Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, offers helpful tips on how to stay safe online.
Are you planning a trip this holiday season? Understanding how, when, and where to use your mobile devices are important factors in keeping yourself protected during your travels. The Piers Project, an internet safety awareness campaign of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, has gathered some helpful hints from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect.TM initiative.

Before You Leave:

  • Update your mobile software and/or computer
  • Back up your information on an external drive or cloud system
  • Keep your devices locked when they are not in use
While Traveling:

  • Avoid automatically connecting to public wireless networks
  • Exercise caution before you connect to public wireless hotspot(s)
  • Steer clear from clicking any unknown or suspicious links
  • Be mindful of what you post while you are away on vacation—the more you share on websites like Facebook, the more likely you’ll be offering hints that nobody’s home!
  • Avoid participating in data-sensitive activities, such as online shopping or viewing your bank/credit card accounts on publicly accessible computers and unsecured wireless networks
  • Protect your mobile device(s) by keeping them near you at all times, especially in public spaces
Learn of more helpful tips and suggestions on protecting yourself online here. Happy and safe holiday travels!

The Piers Project is funded by a gift from the family estate of Ellie Piers to benefit the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s (CIW’s) ongoing mission of using technology to enhance wellbeing among older adults. Piers lived at Carlsbad by the Sea, a Front Porch retirement community in Carlsbad, CA. Her contribution allows the CIW to address Cyber Security through education, training, and the use of technologies that promote Internet safety, especially in the Greater San Diego Area.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to Recover Your Footing When Things Go Awry


“A woman at 20 is like ice," famed Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida once said. "At 30 she is warm and at 40 she is hot.”

So, by that logic, at 50 or 60 she must be red-hot. In fact, the only characteristic she may still have in common with ice is how solid she is — how she reveals her inner self and the degree to which she's had to contend with people trying to walk all over her.

Yet the obvious depth and shimmering emotional intelligence that many mature women possess may not always be enough to let them keep their footing on thin ice.

There will be times when they’ll still feel as if they’re slipping and sliding across a frozen pond, trying to outpace the cracks opening up behind them.

I was feeling like that a few weeks ago, just as the chill of winter set in. Crucial things that had lent definition to my life were shifting and despite all the “practice” I’d had in negotiating big changes, restoring a sense of stability was proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Right around this time, I found myself at New York City’s Rockefeller Center, where I paused to watch the ice skaters. That place is always magical to me and it's especially captivating at holiday time.

But this day, it was a whole lot more — it served as a reminder that when pathways get slippery we may need to learn new ways of navigating them.

My eyes drifted to the center of the rink where a middle-aged skater traced the motions of her apparent instructor — a radiant woman whose long, gray hair sliced through the cold air as she spun around. The two women whirled in perfect synchrony, their torsos taut and erect and their arms stretched out elegantly to their sides.

I imagined myself not as a southerner who had always done her best to avoid treading on icy surfaces, but as an Olympic figure skater — steady on her feet and able to traverse the terrain with grace and confidence.

Truth is, marble tile is the only slick white substrate I’d ever set foot on that hadn’t scared me. Texan-tall with creaky knees and a long way to fall, the notion of balancing on thin blades to cross frozen water always seemed impossible and inadvisable.  

But now it seemed to be just what I needed. A few days later I signed up for a skating lesson with the instructor with the great hair and spent the first 20 minutes squeezing the life out of her hand.

My teacher (I’ll call her Heidi), a former top competitive skater, quickly sized up her mission: She needed to make a sizable dent in my fear before I’d be able to make any real progress. It was also important that I learn to stop, that I feel as comfortable falling and getting up from the ice as walking onto it.

She devoted the first lesson to communicating basic techniques while I held on to her for dear life. I’d only committed to taking one lesson, but she convinced me to take another. By the end of the second session my fear was all but gone and I was skating — really skating — gliding on one leg with bent knee while smoothly lifting the other out behind me.

After the lesson was over, I continued skating alone for a couple more hours to the mental prompts Heidi had provided: “Bend and glide, bend and glide, bend and glide.” I kept my gaze fixed on where I wanted to go and had a great time.

Heidi’s other instructive phrases went on reverberating through my mind long after our sessions. “Let loose,” she’d urged. She meant of her hand, but her guiding words have helped me release other inessential emotional "props," like frustration and worry. “Glide it out,” she’d said, reminding me that coasting is a legitimate means of progress, especially on the heels of conscientious effort.

Over and over she prompted me to stand upright but make myself soft, find the fun and skate around problems like ruts and people. And that’s exactly what I did — on the rink and off — and it’s made a world of difference. The old status quo that fueled my former sense of stability now seems far less necessary than moving forward (with at least one foot on the ground).

Interestingly, Rockefeller Center was never supposed to have a skating rink. To quote the landmark's official site: "The Sunken Plaza, as the area was originally called, was lushly landscaped and boasted high-end shops and restaurants, but few people could be enticed down the stairs leading from the Channel Gardens. In the winter of 1936, in an effort to attract attention to the Plaza, Rockefeller Center’s managers contracted an engineer from Cleveland to build a temporary rink. It became a permanent fixture.”    

Which just goes to show — when life feels like a deep pit or you find yourself standing on uncertain ground, a bit of willpower and creativity can go a long way.

Copyright© 2014 Next Avenue, a division of Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.


Friday, December 11, 2015

How Boomers Can Sell Their Homes to Millennials

This real estate broker suggests four projects to snag a sale

Sabine H. Schoenberg for Next Avenue

Newsflash to
retiring boomers: Millennials account for 32 percent of real estate buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s why it’s essential to know what Millennials want in homes. Their values and desired lifestyles are very different than their boomer parents.

Millennials, perhaps more than boomers, have very specific criteria when choosing homes. Make your house fit their criteria and you will expand buyer interest, which means your home will sell faster and probably at a higher price.

What Boomers Wanted, What Millennials Want

Generally speaking, boomers who bought homes to start families purchased what their budgets allowed and fixed them up over time. Nothing could be further from the minds of typical
Millennial buyers.

For the most part, Millennials are looking for the finished product and will pay for it. They want what they see in magazines — nothing less. They don’t seem to view themselves living in any one place for a very long time, so there’s no time for gradually rolled out home improvements.

The bottom line: To capture the highest selling price, undertake some key home renovations before listing your house for sale.

Here are four projects to consider:

Open the kitchen to a family room and combine them into one space. Millennials want
kitchens that are great places to hang out with everyone while cooking. Even if the removal of a wall creates fewer cabinets and, in your mind, reduces the functionality of the kitchen, do it and increase the desirability of your home.

For the same social reason, if at all possible, give your kitchen a center island with room for stools, because that’s where Millennials want to congregate. (If you have a dining room, they may well turn it into their home office.)

Be certain your home has easy
WiFi access throughout the house. Millennials demand the ability to use their smartphones and tablets everywhere. So make sure cell signals are strong and, if they’re not, install WiFi boosters. A faltering cell signal can be a deal breaker for Millennials.

Fill your home with eco-friendly materials. Boomers taught Millennials that recycling was a big “green” idea. Millennials take this a giant step further, viewing themselves as “members of the planet.” Consequently,
eco-friendly materials and lifestyle choices are a part of Millennial DNA.

Fast-grown materials like bamboo in flooring and wood with FSC (Forestry Stewardship Certification) in kitchen and bath cabinets are important considerations, and thus clear selling points.

Oh, and save yourself from any conversation about underground oil tanks: if you still have one, remove it before listing your house.

Make sure your house is healthy for its inhabitants and visitors. Millennials want to see health-focused
home improvements such as no-VOC off-gassing from paint; mold- and fungus-free basements and good air quality. They also prefer wood flooring over carpet and look for super energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

Home Location and Size

That said, there are two other things you should know about Millennial buyers that you can’t do much about.

One is that
accessibility to an urban center will figure into the pricing of your home. Millennials want to be walking distance or minutes from town. Being out in the boonies and spending lots of time driving is not appealing to them. If your house isn’t near a city, discuss with your listing broker how best to offset this negative.

Unlike boomers, who often opted for more property in exchange for slightly more remote locales, Millennials will accept smaller lots just to be near the city.

The other issue you can’t do much about is that a
large house may be a turn-off to Millennials. The-bigger-the-better mansion-sized homes were status symbols for super-successful boomers. But that concept is antithetical to Millennials, no matter how successful they are. Many of them reject size over efficient use of space.

As a real estate broker, I frequently hear statements from Millennial buyers like: “I don’t want to be in separate parts of the house and never see my family.”

For them, compact, well-designed “open concept” and “connected” floor plans are the order of the day.

Every seller can improve the selling value of his or her home. A bit of good planning, based on key trends, and the right upgrades can position yours for the broadest audience. In real estate, “good luck” is generally created.

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2015. All rights reserved.


Monday, October 26, 2015

The New Boomerang Workers: Rehired Retirees

How to go back to work in retirement where you had a full-time job

By Chris Farrell for Next Avenue

You’ve no doubt heard about boomerang kids who return to their parents’ homes in their 20s (maybe you have one). But there’s a growing group of boomerangers who are typically in their 60s: retirees who return to work part-time or on a contract basis at the same employers where they formerly had full-time jobs.

If you’ll be looking for work during retirement, you might want to consider avoiding a job search and becoming one.

Employers That Rehire Their Retirees

A handful of employers have formal programs to rehire their retirees. The one at Aerospace Corp., which provides technical analysis and assessments for national security and commercial space programs, is called Retiree Casual. The company’s roughly 3,700 employees are mostly engineers, scientists and technicians, and Aerospace is glad to bring back some who’ve retired.

“With all the knowledge these people have, we get to call on them for their expertise,” says Charlotte Lazar-Morrison, general manager of human resources at Aerospace, which is based in El Segundo, Calif. “The casuals are part of our culture.”

The roughly 300 Aerospace casuals (love that term, don’t you?) can work up to 1,000 hours a year and don’t accrue any more benefits (the company’s retirees already get health insurance). Most earn the salary they did before, pro-rated to their part-time status, of course.

Why Aerospace Corp. Brings Back ‘Casuals’

The “casuals” program lets Aerospace management have a kind of just-in-time staffing system. “It allows us to us to keep people at the ready when we need them,” says Lazar-Morrison. 

Ronald Thompson joined Aerospace’s casuals in 2002, after retiring at age 64. He’d worked for the company full-time since 1964, in program management, system engineering, system integration and test and operations support to the Department of Defense. “It’s a really good way to transition to retirement,” he says. “You need both the physical and mental stimulation to keep you young.”

Thompson worked up to the 1,000-hour limit for the first couple of years. Now that he’s in his mid-70s, he’s cutting back to about 10 hours a week, mostly mentoring younger Aerospace employees. I asked Thompson when he planned to stop working. “I guess my measure is when people won’t listen to me anymore,” he laughed. “That will happen.”

At MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government, about 400 of its 7,400 employees are in an optional, flexible “part-time-on-call” phased retirement program. These part-timers can withdraw money from MITRE’s retirement plan while they’re working.

Why Some Employers Don’t Have Rehiring Programs

Why don’t most employers do what Aerospace and MITRE do?

For one thing, it takes a considerable investment in resources to set up a program for former retirees. So the ones who can most afford it are those with skilled workforces who offer customers specialized knowledge. 

For another, some employers are wary of getting trapped by complex labor and tax rules. For example, the Internal Revenue Service generally requires firms with retirement plans to delay rehiring retirees for at least six months after they’ve left.

But benefits experts believe boomeranging can make a lot of sense for retirees and the employers where they had worked full-time.

“I think this is really logical away to go back to work, so there is a lot of potential growth if it is made easy,” says Anna Rappaport, a half-century Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and head of her own firm, Anna Rappaport Consulting. “The legal issues need to be clarified and made easy.”

Outsourcing to Bring Retirees In

A growing number of companies are outsourcing the task to bring in some of their retirees. The independent consulting firm YourEncore, created by Procter & Gamble and Eli Lilly, acts as a matchmaker between corporations looking for experts to parachute in and handle pressing problems and skilled “unretirees” wanting an occasional challenge and part-time income. YourEncore has more than 8,000 experts in its network; 65 percent with advanced degrees.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of America’s “Blue Bring Back” program lets managers 
request a retired former employee if there’s a project or temporary assignment requiring someone who knows the company’s culture and procedures. Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group manages the program.

Tim Driver, head of RetirementJobs.com, plans on getting into the business of making it easier for employers to re-employ their retirees. His research shows that this type of program works best for companies needing ready access to talent with unique, hard-to-find skills and flexible schedules, such as insurance claims adjusters. When a storm hits, Driver says, insurers need to quickly dispatch trained property-damage adjusters who are knowledgeable about their claims processes and policies.

“It’s an attractive approach for companies that want to have people accessible but not on their books [as full-time employees],” he says.

The option of participating in an formal outsourcing arrangement is likely to grow with the aging of the baby boom population and their embrace of Unretirement. In the meantime, this kind of work deal “will be mostly ad hoc,” says David Delong, president of the consulting firm Smart Workforce Strategies.

How to Get Yourself Retired in Retirement

How can you get a part-time gig with your former employer when you retire?

Delong recommends broaching the topic while you’re still on the job. (My dad always used to say that six months after you leave an employer, people start forgetting you; they’ve moved on and have figured out how to get along without you.)

“Raise the idea with the boss,” says Delong. “Don’t assume they wouldn’t be interested in having you back part-time. The worst they can do is say, ‘no.’”

Taking a job with your former employer in your Unretirement can be a win-win situation for you and your once-and-future boss. After all, you have the knowledge and the skills to do the job well and the employer knows who you are and what you can do.

I suspect this kind of boomerang arrangement will become a bigger slice of a boomer movement toward flexible, part-time work in retirement.

Front Porch is a not-for-profit support system for a family of companies that serve individuals and families through full-service retirement, active adult communities, and affordable housing communities.

More information is available at www.frontporch.net.

© Twin Cities Public Television - 2015. All rights reserved.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Family of Givers

Their generosity goes back decades. During the early 1980s Lois and Lyle Schroder first donated to California Lutheran Homes and Community Services, not knowing that in 1991 Lois’ mom, Eda Cole, would be a resident at CLH–supported Walnut Manor Retirement Community and become a donor herself.

“We grew up in and raised our children in the Lutheran church,” Lyle said. “It was a natural thing for us to support CLH, particularly after Lois’ mother was living at Walnut Manor through the 1990s.”

Also in the 1990s Lois and Lyle’s son Terry remembers volunteering at Walnut Manor and visiting for youth activities.

“My churches were Lamb of God and Grace Lutheran in Anaheim,” Terry said. “I remember becoming a donor to CLH when I was a teenager. It was something my parents and the church instilled in me as important and our support continues.”

Some 30 years later, the old Walnut Manor is gone and the new
Walnut Village stands in its place, and Terry, his wife Kathi and Terry’s parents Lyle and Lois remain faithful givers to California Lutheran Homes. Add to the mix of this family of givers, recent Walnut Village residents and donors Connie and Del Crane, Kathi’s parents.

“When my parents told me they wanted to move to a retirement community, I immediately thought of Walnut Village,” Kathi said. “As CLH donors we asked (CLH Foundation Executive) Ross (Merritt) to help us encourage my mom and dad to make the move to Walnut Village. They couldn’t be happier.”

“We immediately loved what we saw,” Del said. “We were particularly looking for a continuing care retirement community in case our health needs changed. What made Walnut Village even better was that it was supported by CLH.”

The Cranes are currently reviewing the sale of their home and are considering a charitable remainder trust with CLH. Terry, Kathi, Lois and Lyle continue to give to the CLH general fund so that their donations can be used for the greatest need.

CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN HOMES AND COMMUNITY SERVICESCalifornia Lutheran Homes and Community Services (CLH) is a not-for-profit social ministry organization founded in 1947. CLH’s mission is meeting needs through ‘faith in action’ including support for residents of affordable housing communities managed by partner CARING Housing Ministries, and residents of Front Porch retirement communities, care centers and active-adult communities. CLH-sponsored retirement and active-adult living communities include Carlsbad By The Sea in Carlsbad, CA; Walnut Village in Anaheim, CA, England Oaks in Alexandria, VA and Cecil Pines in Jacksonville, FL. Among the programs and services supported by CLH are the CLH Center for Spirituality and Aging, whose mission is to meet the needs of older adults based on the understanding that aging is a spiritual journey; the Front Porch Gallery, which creates community by promoting an understanding of aging through art; the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, which enhances wellbeing and quality of life through the adaptive use of technology; the CLH Auxiliary; and the Charitable Care Fund, which supports residents in need who have outlived their finances. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

CLH Center for Spirituality and Aging to Host 6th Annual International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality

Four-day conference in Los Angeles this fall to feature internationally known speakers and experts

Issues and topics related to aging and spirituality will take center stage this fall as the
California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging hosts the 6th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality.

“The CLH Center for Spirituality and Aging is excited to host the 6th International conference,” said Nancy Gordon, the Center’s director. “Our goal is to give participants unique insight into the spiritual journey of aging as well as practical suggestions on how to better serve the needs of older adults.”

The 6th International Conference, to take place October 4-7 2015 at the California Endowment's Center for Healthy Communities in Los Angeles, continues a series of international conferences which began in Canberra, Australia in 2000. This year’s conference titled Paradox and Promise in the Pilgrimage of Aging will be hosted in the United States for the first time.

The 2015 event will include a mixture of keynote speakers in the areas of gerontology, spirituality, workshops and the presentation of papers of interest to those coming from a faith-based approach and to those approaching spirituality from a secular viewpoint.

Plenary speakers scheduled to attend are Jane M. Thibault, MA, MSSW, Ph.D, emerita clinical professor of geriatrics and gerontology in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY; Keith Albans, PH.D, BD, senior chaplain to Methodist Homes in Great Britain; Elizabeth MacKinlay, AM, FACN, Ph.D, professor in the School of Theology, Charles Stuart University; Ralph Kunz, M.Th, Ph.D, Ph.D habil, professor in practical theology with special focus on homiletics and pastoral care at the University of Zurich; Rabi Dayle Friedman MA, MSW, MA, founder and director of Growing Older – Wisdom + Spirit Beyond Midlife; and Mary Catherine Bateson BA, Ph.D, scholar, writer and cultural anthropologist.

“We chose the workshop theme because many cultures and religions have ‘pilgrimages’ to sacred places as part of their tradition,” Nancy said. “A pilgrimage is more than arriving at a destination; it includes the process of the journey—the delays, the inconveniences, the joys, the company in which one travels. The aging experience itself is paradoxical. The 6th International Conference will explore these themes as well as others.”

For more information about the conference, visit spiritualityandaging.org or contact Nancy Gordon at ngordon@frontporch.net or 714-507-1370.


California Lutheran Homes and Community Services (CLH) is a not-for-profit social ministry organization founded in 1947. CLH’s mission is meeting needs through ‘faith in action’ including support for residents of affordable housing communities managed by partner CARING Housing Ministries, and residents of Front Porch retirement communities, care centers and active-adult communities. CLH-sponsored retirement and active-adult living communities include Carlsbad By The Sea in Carlsbad, CA; Walnut Village in Anaheim, CA, England Oaks in Alexandria, VA and Cecil Pines in Jacksonville, FL. Among the programs and services supported by CLH are the CLH Center for Spirituality and Aging, whose mission is to meet the needs of older adults based on the understanding that aging is a spiritual journey; the Front Porch Gallery, which creates community by promoting an understanding of aging through art; the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, which enhances wellbeing and quality of life through the adaptive use of technology; the CLH Auxiliary; and the Charitable Care Fund, which supports residents in need who have outlived their finances. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Weight Training After 50: What You Need to Know

How often to train, what equipment to use – 6 tips to buff up safely


It’s easy enough to go for a walk or bike ride without professional instruction, but figuring out the weight training landscape can be a challenge. How much weight should you lift? How many repetitions and sets are best to help you achieve your goals?

Although it’s tempting to skip it altogether, many documented benefits of weight training after 50 make it a good idea to stick with it. Otherwise you risk losing muscle (called sarcopenia) as you age, for one. This slows your metabolism (muscle burns calories at rest) and increases risk of falls.

Plus, upon turning 50, women in particular have key health concerns, making exercise as important, if not more so, than in previous years, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala.

“At mid-life, a woman’s risk of heart disease parallels that of men. Also, hormonal changes can rapidly incite the deterioration of bone density, an increase in belly fat, and the loss of calorie-burning muscle tissue,” she says. Weight training helps with strengthening bones, adding muscle and therefore burning fat.

Of course, men also benefit. A study by Harvard School of Public Health showed that healthy men who worked out with weights for 20 minutes daily experienced less of an increase in age-related belly fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities.

Here are the most common questions about weight training at mid-life and how to get started. Seek exercise instruction from qualified, credentialed instructors for personal recommendations. (The following advice pertains to healthy adults without any medical conditions. Check with your health care provider before starting any new activity or exercise program.)

1. How much weight should I use?

Determining the amount of weight you should lift depends on the number of repetitions you can do properly, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. In general, you want to work with a weight you can lift properly for eight to 15 reps, says Irv Rubenstein, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a science-based fitness facility in Nashville, Tenn.

“An exception may be rehab exercises (for instance, those "prescribed" by a physical therapist to alleviate a particular problem),” he says. “And many folks over 60 do not like to strain, and that’s OK.” Rubenstein suggests building reps up to 20 or so until you’re comfortable, and then gradually increasing the resistance and again building up the number of reps.

2. How many sets and reps are best?

Traditional weight training for optimal strength goals involves three to five sets of eight to 12 reps, but “that’s a rare goal for boomers,” Rubenstein says. Plus, spine and knee problems can occur when working with heavy resistance. A safer and more practical idea is to do a variety of exercises and multiple sets that engage the same muscles, Rubenstein says.

“For example, instead of three sets of straight biceps curls, do a set or two of pulldowns (which targets back muscles and biceps), then do a set of biceps curls with a squat or lunge,” he says. So a total of three sets of exercises targeting the same basic set of muscles for eight to 15 reps works best for most people.

3. How often should I weight train? Can I work out on back-to-back days?

Beginners benefit from twice-a-week training, at least for the first month or two, Rubenstein says. “After that, three to four times a week can be done if the goals warrant it.”

Weight training workouts usually require a day’s rest in between to allow muscles to recover; the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recommends allowing 48 to 72 hours of recovery time between exercise sessions. However, if you want to train daily, spread out the muscle groups and body parts on different days, Rubenstein says. For example, do a chest workout one day and arms another, etc.

4. How do I know when it’s time to increase resistance?

Again, it depends on your needs, Rubenstein says. “In general, once you can lift a weight properly without pain 15 to 20 times you can add weight.”

Increase weight for larger muscle groups, such as legs, 10 percent at a time but only raise resistance 5 percent for smaller muscles, like arms and shoulders.

5. What’s best: tubing, dumbbells, kettlebells or other resistance?

Any of these modalities work, as long as the resistance is appropriate for the muscle groups and the person’s ability to control it, Rubenstein says.

For example, a dumbbell chest press (lying on your back, pushing weights overhead) works the same muscles as a tubing chest press (you stand, fitness tubing anchored in a door hinge, and press handles in towards the center) but the tubing version may be easier to control for novices. Try a few different resistance methods to find one that suits you best.

You will likely need training first for a type of workout you've never done before. For instance, no one should just start swinging kettlebells without understanding the control that's required for them to be effective. Also, if the last time you lifted was in 1979, you should seek out instruction.

6. Any other tips I need to know?

Stretching should be done only after muscles are warmed up or at the end of your weight workout. Foam rolling also benefits muscles after and before a workout to ease muscle soreness and speed recovery.

Copyright© 2015 Next Avenue, a division of Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
Front Porch is a not-for-profit support system for a family of companies that serve individuals and families through full-service retirement, active adult communities, and affordable housing communities.
More information is available at www.frontporch.net.



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Resident Voices: The Greatest Generation

By Ed McQuiston, resident at Casa de Mañana

This month we recognize another Casa resident, Albert Fitzpatrick, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduating high school in 1943, he knew what he wanted to do – “Fly, rather than walk”. In July he enlisted in the Army Air Corps flight training program and received his wings as a Flight Officer. In New Guinea he flew troop support missions with combat cargo, infantry, and the wounded. Moving on into the Philippines then Okinawa and, eventually, Japan, he flew B-25, B-26, B-17, and cargo aircraft until 1946, when he returned home.

He remained in the Air Force active reserve in Long Beach, CA, attending USC, where he received a Bachelors degree in Business, then a Masters degree in Business Administration. Recalled in the Korean war, he flew C-47 aircraft in a weather squadron for a year.

Subsequent tours of duty included teaching Air Force ROTC classes at Baylor University in Business and Economics while he earned a Master of Science in Economics; then for one year study at the Air Force Institute of Technology; AF Contract Representative to the North American and Douglas Aircraft Manufacturers; After receiving a PhD. In Economics from USC, he taught economics classes for six years at the Air Force Academy. After 24 years, he retired from the Air Force in 1966 as a Major, with 6 Combat Air Medals, numerous battle stars and area campaign medals.

In his second career as a Professor of Economics, he taught classes at the University of Colorado and University of Maine, where he settled with his wife, June, to raise his family of 4 at Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He became a Registered Investment Adivisor and Expert Witness Authority on Personnel Economic Value in law cases up to and including being referenced by the Supreme Court. He finally retired at the age of 80.


Friday, July 31, 2015

The Top 6 Healthy Foods to Put In Your Shopping Cart

Experts pick their favorite superfoods. Are these on your list?

As far as good-for-you foods go, the mind-boggling mix of advice directed to fiftysomething eaters is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Do you eat whole grains because the latest nutrition headlines say they prevent cancer? Become a vegan or vegetarian to help the heart? Honestly, the advice changes depending on whatever research is making news.

That made us wonder: Are there good-for-you food staples that make it onto the weekly grocery list of health experts regardless of headlines or hype about superfoods?

From doctors to scientists to dietitians, here’s a quick look at what six of the country’s top health experts are stashing in their shopping carts. You’ll notice the short list centers on whole foods, particularly a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Keep building them into your weekly shopping list, experts say, and you’ll stay on the road to good health.


Dr. Dana Simpler, a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., places special focus in her practice on using diet and lifestyle to prevent and reverse medical problems.

“One food I definitely eat each week is mushrooms, because mushrooms have strong anti-cancer properties and are also a great meat substitute in spaghetti sauce and soups,” Simpler says. “Mushrooms have an aromatase inhibitor effect, which reduces breast cancer occurrence and recurrence.”

Dried Plums

“There’s some fascinating research on dried plums — prunes — and bone health,” says Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine and a nutrition consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Dried plums are high in boron, a mineral that is important for bone structure, and high in polyphenols, plant nutrients that may have anti-inflammatory effects,” she says.

In addition, Bonci says scientists are looking at how eating prunes might improve bone mineral density. Of course, they’re also nature’s best digestive aid. And for seniors taking probiotics, these purple-black snacks are good prebiotics, special types of sugar or starches that feed and stimulate the growth of those good-for-your-gut probiotics.

Unsalted Mixed Nuts

“I like crunchy textures, so chips are definitely my downfall,” admits registered dietitian Neal G. Malik, who specializes in chronic disease prevention and nutrition at the University of California, Riverside.

“To combat this craving, the one food I make sure I eat every week (if not every day!) are unsalted, mixed nuts. I love these as a post-workout snack! Just 1/4 to 1/2 cup provides a nice dose of heart-healthy fats, some protein, and a decent amount of fiber. They’re nature’s perfect food and they satisfy my cravings for crunch,” says Malik.


“Bananas are a favorite,” says Holley Grainger, a lifestyle and culinary nutrition expert who shares more than 700 healthy cooking and nutrition videos with her online audiences. When it comes to nutrition, “they're an affordable fruit option that taste great, are filling and offer potassium, fiber, vitamin C, B6 and manganese.”

You can’t beat their versatility, either. “You can eat them as is or on peanut butter sandwiches, freeze and mix into smoothies, or use in baking,” she says. Even better, while bananas are helping fiftysomething blood pressure and heart health, they’re a healthy snack for the grandkids, too.

Sweet Potatoes

Dr. Thomas Campbell, a longtime proponent of plant-based diets and author of the upcoming book, The Campbell Plan: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using The China Study's Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, says he’s only recently come to appreciate sweet potatoes.

“Sweet potatoes have tremendous amounts of healthful nutrients, including antioxidants and minerals, in a package that's full of long-lasting energy. It is a fairly low glycemic index food, causing a lower spike on blood sugar than white potatoes and many grains,” says Campbell.

Leafy Greens

Mayo Clinic dietitian Katherine Zeratsky puts some form of leafy green in the grocery cart every week, usually romaine lettuce.

Romaine's mild flavor and crunchy texture “allows me to dress it up with many varieties of foods – other vegetables, fruits, meats, cheese, nuts and seeds, to create combinations of savory or sweet dishes, not to mention make a balanced meal,” she says. “My cups of romaine are very low in calories yet an excellent source of potassium and vitamin A.”

Don’t like romaine? Zeratsky says just make it a point to choose favorite fruits and vegetables that are in season.

“Seasonality allows for better pricing and better quality,” she says. “I eat fruit at meals and as snacks, so there are always one or two bowls in the refrigerator. I have salad as an entrée or as a part of the meal several times per week, as it is a great way to get nutrients and fill up my stomach while keeping calories in check. Also, I add carrots, celery and onion to most meals, raw and cooked.” It’s all just “a great way to add flavor, fiber and antioxidants.”

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