Change of pace: Consider walking for your next get together

Change of pace: Consider walking for your next get together

It might sound like a random invitation, but at a recent holiday gathering of women friends, a community acquaintance, Terry, invited me to go for a walk.

We had been talking about feeling a bit stressed and sad watching some of the rude behavior of others whether in the media or in our daily lives.

Always a positive person, Terry explained that she had some therapy she wanted to share with me. She explained how she recently invited a friend on a long beach walk, and how wonderful she felt afterward. 

She noted that her mood had improved. She said because of the conversation during the walk, she felt a closer connection to her friend. 

Be mindful: Most bad falls have a cause

Be mindful: Most bad falls have a cause

For weeks, friends and neighbors worked on planning a surprise block party for my friend Margaret’s 90th birthday. On the big day, over 50 people showed up with food, drink and gifts to celebrate this amazing lady.

Several of the neighbors who attended the party had read my Acorn column about my fall. Soon I had a group of women surrounding me talking about their recent falls—their broken bones, black eyes and ongoing recoveries. In each case, these women recounted the accident that resulted in their fall. We all listened with sympathy and understanding.

Since my fall, I have

Getting a painful lesson in fall prevention

Getting a painful lesson in fall prevention

Morning walks in my neighborhood are one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.

I love the coolness of daybreak and the special sightings of the stag and two does that frequent our open space.

I also enjoy my walk because each day at that time I call my mother to catch up with her. Our daily conversations allow us to share our lives with one another. We also reminisce about aspects of my growing up years.

Be mindful: Brain injuries can cause change in personality

Be mindful: Brain injuries can cause change in personality

I have a 79-year-old friend who I have lunch with about once a month. We met many years ago by happenstance, as she had a weekly appointment that ended when mine began.

We started to chat in the waiting room and over time became friends.

She is a smart woman who spent many years in corporate America. When she retired, her circle of friends became smaller and dwindled further since she is a caregiver to her husband with a chronic illness.

At our lunches we would chat about the goings on in our lives. During the year we exchange holiday and birthday gifts. In between our visits we talk on the phone.

We always end our conversations with one of us saying “I love you” and the other saying “I love you, too.”

A couple of months ago my friend had a very bad fall that resulted in a brain injury. 

Eating with others can provide an emotional boost

Eating with others can provide an emotional boost

One thing the past few years has taught us is the value of breaking bread with family and friends. Holiday meals, casual barbecues, Sunday suppers and milestone dinner celebrations were sorely missed during the height of the pandemic.

My friend Nancy and I were talking recently about one of her family traditions, and it struck me that she knew the value of gatherings right from the start.

When she first got married, Nancy created a scrapbook of sorts that cataloged special meals at her house. She began with a title for the event, be it a birthday, a themed dinner with friends or a special celebration.

Clearing the way for reading enjoyment

Clearing the way for reading enjoyment

If your friends are anything like mine, casual conversations these days often turn to a discussion of the amazing television series they’ve been watching on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

I appreciate their enthusiasm and write down their recommendations, fully intending to check them out as soon as I have some free time.

The problem is that my choice when I have free time leans toward reading a good novel versus binging on TV. My enthusiasm for reading became especially fierce during the COVID lockdowns, and it remains a passion today.

That cold might be COVID, so it’s best to play it safe

That cold might be COVID, so it’s best to play it safe

Last week my sister’s father-in-law, who lives on the East Coast, was mowing his lawn. After he finished, he started feeling respiratory discomfort, chalking it up to the grass and weeds he’d stirred up while mowing.

A few days later, his wife experienced a runny nose, cough and muscle aches. Suspicious of her symptoms, she used one of her insurance-provided home COVID tests and tested positive for coronavirus.

Now believing he was responsible for passing it to her, he went over in his mind all of the people and places he’d visited in the days before: the church meeting he attended, his visit to see his granddaughter and great-grandchild, and his evening spent with neighbors.

In all, he estimated he had come in close contact with over 30 people.

He still didn’t take a COVID test, 

Trip to the ER brings fresh insights

Trip to the ER brings fresh insights

A few weeks ago, I had a two-day stay in the hospital. I’m OK, but my eyes were opened by the changes I saw since my last visit to the emergency room three years ago.

I want to share what I experienced on the chance that it might be helpful to others.

First, I was shocked by the sheer number of people who came to the ER for care. Maybe I had been there on a slow day in the past? The people I happened to see were at the hospital for treatment for something other than COVID. And still, this was a very large number.

I arrived at the ER before 9 a.m. At the time, I was one of four people waiting to be seen. As the day wore on, the waiting room became full and there was a line of folks just to enter the building.

Knowing where to turn after a loved one’s health crisis

Knowing where to turn after a loved one’s health crisis

Right now I’m aware of several neighbors dealing with the sudden health crises of aging loved ones.

Once the short-term crisis is dealt with, they will have to decide where to turn next.

I have seen queries about these types of choices on Nextdoor. And while I love Nextdoor for restaurant recommendations and learning about wild animal sightings or local robberies, I get a bit concerned when subscribers seek recommendations for critical personal support at a time of need.

Most respondents on Nextdoor are well-intentioned, but at the same time their experience may not be the thing your loved one needs. Just as we generally would not ask neighbors to provide advice on a medical issue, what you do and where you go after a loved one’s health crisis can best be served by talking to exp

Dashed plans due to COVID cause stress and anxiety

Dashed plans due to COVID cause stress and anxiety

My husband keeps asking me why I cry at the drop of a hat lately.

I have always been prone to tears when really stressed or when something touches my heart. And I guess that is exactly why I’m crying these days.

For the past three months, my staff and I at Senior Concerns have been preparing for the grand reopening of our Adult Day program on Sept. 1.

With safety as our first priority, we installed a new HVAC system, complete with air purifiers that clean the air at the molecular level. We replaced our 18-yearold pergola to provide shade, and purchased new outdoor furniture to allow for outside activities.

A team of teenage volunteers helped to wash windows.

Other volunteers pitched in to

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