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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Author to lead discussion on Alzheimer’s journey

Just Ask purple w-o locationAuthor and retired family care coordinator Celia Koudele will offer insights and lead discussion on the Alzheimer’s journey at a free event May 16 at Newton Presbyterian Manor.

Koudele offers down-to-earth, common sense tactics for caregivers based on her experiences working with the Alzheimer’s Association as a family care coordinator and her own experiences as a caregiver for her mother, aunt and grandmother. All three of these important women died from the disease. It is in her past, present and probably her future.

Koudele is passionate about the disease. She wrote “The Little Book for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” from her own experiences.

“An Alzheimer’s Journey” will begin at 7 p.m. May 16 at Newton Presbyterian Manor, 1200 E. Seventh. The presentation is free, and refreshments will be served. The talk is part of Newton Presbyterian Manor’s Just Ask series, a free, ongoing lifelong learning program featuring information from local, regional and national experts on topics of interest to older adults and their families.

For more information, contact Marketing Director Noelle Dickinson at 316-283-5400 or

The Heavens speak

shutterstock_335913692By Jerroll Martens, Newton Presbyterian Manor chaplain

One of the ways God speaks is through nature. “The heavens declare the glory of God…” Psalm 19:1.  Nature is not God, but nature can tell us there is a God.  Only God could create the heavens, and only He could create a flower.  There is not a place on earth where God’s creation is not evident.  Romans 1 tells us that the evidence of God’s creation in nature is so plain that no person on earth can claim ignorance of the fact that God exists.

Knowing that God exists does not mean that we know God. This Psalm tells us the sacred record of the Word of God gives understanding in knowing God.  The Bible is God’s record of His love in sending His son, Jesus, to be the sacrifice for sin’s penalty.  In knowing God through a relationship with His Son, Jesus, we are forgiven and changed within to be more like the loving, forgiving and gracious God that He is.

The Word of God can bring us peace in troubled times, comfort in sorrow, light for the pathway of life, and meaning to our brief lives.  Most assuredly it gives us a roadmap that leads to the Father’s House.

How one resident commits to staying fit

057-2It’s not always easy to keep up a regular exercise routine. But as we age, staying active is the key to independence and well-being — perhaps more than most other times in our life.

Don Croft understands this. Almost every day, Don crosses the street from his Broadway apartment to work out in the wellness center. His commitment to fitness shows us that a little exercise every day has a lot of benefits.

Don played a little basketball in school and in the Navy, but he wasn’t a star athlete. He isn’t training for a marathon. His goal is modest: to stay active. Having the wellness center close by at Presbyterian Manor makes it easy, and having a lot of options for activities keeps it interesting.

“I kind of vary my routine,” he said. “One day I’ll do the Nustep, then the next day I’ll do the treadmill.” He also hits the Fit Express circuit machines most days.

Melinda Ebersole, director of activities, said Don sets a great example for his neighbors. “You can count on seeing Don, rain or shine, walking over from his apartment to get his workout routine done before meeting others for coffee in the dining room,” she said. “He’s an inspiration with his commitment to daily exercise and good health.”

Don said he believes others have followed his fitness example, and he’s glad.

“I just think if a person sets an example in front of other people, sometimes it helps them and encourages them, too.”

If you have been thinking about starting a fitness routine, be sure to check with your doctor first. The benefits for older adults go well beyond weight control or heart health, too. Even simple, regular movement helps build the muscles used in balance, and it improves flexibility. In women at risk of osteoporosis, even light weight training can build bone density.

As we heard at last month’s Healthy Learning Lecture, movement is one of the best ways to alleviate pain. LaVeta Jarrett, ARPN, shared that even gentle exercise gets blood flowing to areas in pain and promotes healing.

Thanks to his desire to stay active, Don gets to join us on many of our day trips, too. It’s one more way to stay involved and engaged, and that’s a big part of overall wellness, too.

Exercise classes and personal training are available in the wellness center. Call 316-283-5400 to get started

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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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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