The 5 exercises you should do every day

Improve your range of motion and balance in less than 10 minutes

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

Balance and mobility training can benefit us at any age, but it becomes more important as you reach and pass the age of 50.

Maintaining joint range of motion allows you to move naturally and helps to combat the postural problems that cause neck, back, shoulder and hip pain.

Far from only preventing stumbles and falls, balance training is extremely important for everyone because it makes us better at every physical thing we do. Having a keen sense of proprioception (the sense of where your body is in space) makes all movement more efficient. When combined with fluid joints that allow for a full range of motion, this puts you at your functional best.

Here’s a short sequence of five exercises you can do every day to improve and maintain your balance and mobility. Done in a slow, controlled fashion, you can finish the whole workout in under 10 minutes:

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Finding love in a senior living community

Add romance to what single older adults look for when seeking housing

By Kimberley Fowler for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

There are many reasons older adults move into a senior living community, but is looking for love one of them?

Burdett Stilwell has been working with older adults for many years and, and as sales and marketing director of Somerby of Mobile,  she has had the pleasure of developing friendships with the many residents of this Somerby Senior Living home in Alabama. She’s up-to-date on who is dating whom. When it comes to relationships, Stilwell says, the Somerby people she knows fall into two categories: those who are interested and those who have “been there, done that.”

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God’s memorial

shutterstock_509385388-2By Wayne Rector, Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor chaplain 

As Memorial Day approaches, as in times past, our thoughts and our minds are directed to those who have lived and died, but now live on in our memories, The lives they lived, what they lived and stood for, comprise a living memorial in our hearts and minds.

God has given us a living memorial in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. It can all be summed up and symbolized in the Cross which Christ willingly endured for our sakes. Abraham Lincoln, in dedicating a portion of the battleground at Gettysburg for a National Cemetery said in part, “we cannot hallow this ground. Brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. It is for us, the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly carried on.”

And so it is with the Cross of Jesus Christ. We cannot hallow the cross. God in Christ has already hallowed it far beyond our poor power to add to or detract from (the glory of the cross) and all it stands for. It is rather for us, the living, to be dedicated to carrying on the work which God thru Christ thus far has so nobly advanced.

Art is Ageless® winners announced

 L to R seated: Joyce Guinty, Gerry Matney, Faye Doyle.  L to R standing: Pat Powell, Donna Thompson, Elsie Tipton.

L to R seated: Joyce Guinty, Gerry Matney, Faye Doyle.
L to R standing: Pat Powell, Donna Thompson, Elsie Tipton.

Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Tara Clawson, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

For the competition, works must have been completed in the past five years. Winners in the juried competition were:

Best of Show: Max Allison, “North Country Moose”
People’s Choice: Elsie Tipton, “Buttons and Bows”
Judge’s Choice: Gerry Matney, “Handmade”
Christmas: Pat Powell, “Christmas Fun”
Drawing: Virginia McConnell, “I Love You So Much”
Mixed Media: Faye Doyle, “Poppin’ Poppies”
Needlework: Donna Thompson, “12 Days of Christmas”
Painting: Joyce Guinty, “Bumper Crop”
Photography: Virginia McConnell, “Rain on Thirsty Roses”
Quilting: Gerry Matney, “Handmade”
Sculpture/3-D: Max Allison, “North Country Moose”

Local competition winners will join winners from 17 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities to be judged at the masterpiece level. Winning entries at the masterpiece level may be selected for publication in PMMA’s annual Art is Ageless calendar and note cards.

Started in 1980, Art is Ageless is an extension of PMMA’s wellness programs. It encourages Wichita Presbyterian Manor residents and other area seniors to express their creativity through the annual competition, as well as art classes, musical and dramatic events, educational opportunities and current events discussions throughout the year.

Staff grandmothers enter Art is Ageless®

ACPM-ElsieCammy-March2017-2Family ties are found throughout Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor. That was evident in this year’s Art is Ageless competition when two of the top prizes went to quilters with granddaughters on our staff: Elsie Tipton and Gerry Matney.

Elsie Tipton & Cammy Boone
Elsie’s Arkansas City home was always the family nerve center. She lives in town; most of them are in the country. Everyone is naturally drawn to Grandma’s.

Since Elsie moved to Presbyterian Manor in March, not much has changed. Elsie’s granddaughter, Health Services Director Cammy Boone, recently came up to visit and found her own mother dozing on the couch. Cammy’s teenage children come over after school and send their mom text messages that they’re upstairs at Grandma’s.

“Her house was always the stop-by spot for everybody, if you needed to change clothes before a meeting or if the kids needed to do their homework before practice. This is just four blocks away, and it’s continued to be the place for everybody to go,” Cammy said.

Elsie said it seemed only natural to move to Presbyterian Manor. Her sister is a resident. Her uncle and her husband’s aunt lived here too. And Elsie’s mother-in-law, Vera Tipton, lived here about 20 years ago — when Cammy was a CNA. In fact, Elsie used many of Vera’s handkerchiefs in her quilt “Buttons and Bows,” the Best in Show winner in our Art is Ageless competition this year.

“She didn’t go anywhere without a handkerchief in a pocket or two. She had 40-some when she passed away. Everyone said, ‘What are we going to do with all of them?'” Elsie said.

Years later, Elsie saw a handkerchief quilt in a magazine, and she went to work. Elsie had already made quilts for her seven great-granddaughters (one of them, Paige Bates, is a medication aide in our ACPM-CaseyGerry-March2017-2memory care neighborhood). “When I made this one, everyone asked me, ‘Who’s going to get this?’ I said ‘I guess it’s the first one who has a girl!'”

This fall, the question may be settled: that’s when Elsie’s first great-great-grandbaby is due.

Gerry Matney & Casey Zavala
Gerry started quilting about 15 years ago after her husband died, although she has been sewing most of her life. All of Gerry’s granddaughters now have one of her creations. One of them, Casey Zavala, is a medication aide in memory care at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor.

This year, she insisted her grandmother enter the quilt she made for Casey in the Art is Ageless competition. Gerry’s entry, “Handmade Quilt,” came away with first prize in the quilting category and received the Judges Choice award as well.

“She was very surprised,” Casey said. “She said, ‘I really didn’t think I was going to win anything, especially on that one,” because she felt she had made some mistakes on it.

Don’t ignore these facts about sunscreen

5 ways to apply it right and help avoid skin cancer

By Sheryl Kraft for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

The sun’s power is undeniable: The largest object in our solar system, it contains approximately 99.9 percent of the total solar system mass. Its interior could hold more than 1.3 million Earths. The sun provides for our very life. But this 4.5 billion-year-old star also has the power to kill.

Melanoma, the most dangerous and potentially lethal form of skin cancer, is caused most often by intense UV rays of the sun, and its rates have been rising for at least 30 years. About 73,870 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the U.S in 2015, and approximately 9,940 people are expected to die, according to the American Cancer Society.

The typical victim? On average, a person is 62 when the cancer appears. The risk of melanoma increases as we age.

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The health benefits of pets for older adults

They reduce blood pressure, help us get exercise and brighten our outlook

By Ronni Gordon for Next Avenue

Caption: Bridget Irving and her Yorkshire Terrier, Ben

When Lynette Whiteman’s youngest child went to college, Whiteman went out and got a second dog that she calls “my empty nest dog.” She wanted someone else to care for, “who loves me non-judgmentally and doesn’t mind if I’m gaining weight or getting gray.”

Whiteman may get home from work tired, but the 60-year-old resident of Toms River, N.J., says the dogs stare at her until she puts their leashes on. She walks them and always feels good afterwards.

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10 ways to turn your finances around in 2017

How advisers say you can do it without a lot of effort

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

Did you resolve to save more for retirement this year, become debt-free or put cash aside for a bucket-list trip? We’re more than a month into the new year, but there’s still plenty of time to turn your finances around in 2017.

Next Avenue spoke with a few noted money experts for their suggestions. Here are 10 recommendations:

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5 tips for disorganized taxpayers

How experts say you can avoid the mad scramble at tax time

By Rosie Wolf Williams for Next Avenue


Tax season is here and it may be causing you agita. Rifling through drawers for your 2016 tax paperwork; sorting a flood of receipts to qualify for write-offs; printing out assorted bank, brokerage and mutual fund statements and on and on.

Don’t hide under the covers. Instead, follow these five organization strategies from tax advisers to get your taxes together once and for all:

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4 money moves for a happier retirement

Advice from a writer who just combed through the latest retirement surveys

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

How do pre-retirees and retirees feel about retirement these days? Glad you asked.

Since this is “National Retirement Planning Week” (dreamed up by 40-odd financial industry and advocacy groups), a passel of retirement surveys have just been released. I’ve read them — so you don’t have to — and here are the highlights and four action steps to take based on the findings.

Interestingly, the results are somewhat contradictory.

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