Are you getting enough protein? Too much?

How obsessing over protein could be harmful to your health

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue

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If you’re like me, you often find yourself confused by how many health headlines contradict one another. Lately, I’ve found this to be true where protein is concerned, particularly the protein needs of adults aged 50 and over.

In one study, published Jan. 1, 2015, in the American Journal of Physiology’s Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists split 20 adults aged 52 to 75 into one group that consumed the U.S. RDA recommended level of protein, and another group that consumed double that amount, measuring levels of whole body protein at the beginning and end of the trial. While both groups maintained a positive protein balance (their bodies synthesized more protein than they broke down), the higher protein group ended up with a higher overall protein balance than the lower protein group. The news media jumped all over this, proclaiming that older adults should double their protein intake if they want to live long, healthy lives.


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Spring cleaning? Donate your items now

shutterstock_247916446Now that it’s warming up outside, it’s time to think about spring cleaning. As you identify the things you no longer need, consider donating those items to the annual Fort Scott Presbyterian Village fundraiser.

“You may look at it and see junk, but your neighbors may look at it and see a treasure in the form of a collectible, a useful tool or the start to a new hobby,” said Executive Director Ginger Nance.

Stop by 2401 S. Horton during regular business hours, as well as evenings and weekends, to drop off your donation. For pick-up and delivery of heavy items, call 620-223-5550 to make arrangements.

“Used hobby items are always popular at the auction, such as a golf cart or clubs you no longer use, fishing tackle, that boat that’s been sitting out back untouched for a few years, knickknacks and even some of those farm equipment pieces you don’t use anymore, such as a tractor, hay equipment and shop items,” Nance said. “The possibilities are endless, and everything will go at the auction, including that vintage jewelry you haven’t worn in years and the furniture pieces you plan to replace with your income tax return.”

Items do not have to be old. New items are appreciated as well. Do you have a vehicle or a four-wheeler that you haven’t driven in months or years? Consider furthering the mission of the Presbyterian Village and helping a person in need with your donation. All items donated for our auction are tax deductible.

Presbyterian Village’s annual dinner and auction will take place on May 17. Proceeds stay local and go to the Village’s Good Samaritan Program, which helps seniors who have outlived their financial resources through no fault of their own.

Historical Events in Fort Scott

shutterstock_522019972Meet the authors of historical books about Fort Scott at a free event March 9 at Presbyterian Village.

Jack Scott, a resident at Presbyterian Village, has published “History of Fort Scott Schools” in collaboration with Jessica Cook, director of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce, and Deborah Rhynerson. The book records the history of public, parochial and private schools in Fort Scott.

Fred Campbell, Don Miller, Arnold Schofield and Donald Banwart published “Fort Scott Kansas Then and Now.”

The authors will give short presentations followed by a book signing.

Call in advance to reserve your seat, as seating is limited. Call the Presbyterian Village business office at 620-223-5550 or email amrobinson@pmma.org.

Working with natural fibers

20170109_172600-2Ever been curious about how wool is turned into yarn? Join Fort Scott Presbyterian Village as Susan Jones brings her spinning wheel materials to demonstrate roving, carding, spinning and knitting with natural wool fibers.

This free event will be at 2 p.m. March 2. Once Susan has demonstrated the techniques, audience members will have an opportunity to try them out for themselves.

“Working with Natural Fibers” is part of Fort Scott Presbyterian Village’s Just Ask series, a free lifelong learning program featuring information from local and regional experts on topics of interest to older adults and their families.

Call in advance to reserve your seat, as seating is limited. Call the Presbyterian Village business office at 620-223-5550 or email amrobinson@pmma.org.

How to prevent a real life nightmare at life’s end

A Next Avenue Influencer in Aging urges conversations around death

By Barbara Coombs Lee for Next Avenue

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Editor’s note: This article is part of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging project honoring 50 people changing how we age and think about aging. 

To my everlasting shame, this boomer spent many of her formative years as an ICU nurse, thoughtlessly pushing tubes down the noses and pounding on chests of dying patients, torturing them with electric shocks, instead of allowing death to come peacefully.

The tragic reality is people who do not communicate their values and priorities for end-of-life care often pay dearly for this failure, by enduring futile, agonizing tests and treatments that only prolong the dying process. It is equally important for people to empower a loved one in writing to be their decision-maker if they are unable to speak for themselves.


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Making communities friendlier for those with dementia

Making Communities Friendlier for Those With Dementia

That’s the goal for the ambitious Dementia Friendly America initiative

By Beth Baker for Next Avenue

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Credit: Courtesy of Paynesville (MN) ACT on Alzheimer’s Caption: Volunteers pass out laminated bookmarks with the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s at the local supermarket

Can a strong community network help ease the challenges faced by people with dementia and their families? That’s the hope of a national volunteer-driven initiative known as Dementia Friendly America (DFA), announced at the White House Conference on Aging in July.

“Our goals are to foster dementia-friendly communities that will enable people who are living with dementia and their care partners to thrive and to be independent as long as possible,” says Olivia Mastry, who’s guiding the effort. “The side benefit is that it’s beginning to normalize [Alzheimer’s], to reduce the stigma. It’s created an environment that’s allowed people to talk about this disease.”


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A cure for senior loneliness is within our reach

We can solve the problem of social isolation by thinking differently about senior housing

By Tim Carpenter for Next Avenue

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Credit: Getty Images

(Next Avenue invited all our 2016 Influencers in Aging to write essays about the one thing they would like to change about aging in America. This is one of the essays.)

The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 required that packages of cigarettes display the warning “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.” I wish the Surgeon General would issue this warning: “Caution: Loneliness and Social Isolation May Be Hazardous to Your Health.”

Yes, just like smoking, loneliness and social isolation are deadly. And just like smoking in the 1960s, our society is just beginning to understand the perils of loneliness and social isolation today. A 2015 study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The New York Times recently ran a story with the headline “Social Isolation Is Killing Us.”


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Make every day Valentine’s Day

How to survive the holiday and keep romance alive 365 days a year — however long you’ve been together

By Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. for Next Avenue

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I always look forward to February and especially Valentine’s Day, but I’m well aware that not everyone does. I love seeing all the red hearts in the stores and enjoy the romantic commercials on TV for diamonds, perfume and lingerie.

It’s hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed by the media barrage to buy cards, flowers and presents.

There’s another way to look at it, however. Valentine’s Day can serve as a useful reminder to practice simple acts of kindness and to show appreciation for the special people in our lives.

While it’s easy to say that every day should be as romantic as Valentine’s Day, we often wind up distracted by all the things we have to do and don’t make time for what I call “relationship upkeep.” Work, routines, kids and other obligations take precedence, and our attention gets deflected everywhere but toward our one and only.


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Want to age better? Join a choir

A groundbreaking study examines the health benefits of making music as we age

By Deborah Quilter for Next Avenue

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Credit: Getty Images

Twenty years ago, when academic researcher Julene Johnson wanted to study how music might help the aging process, she couldn’t get funding. Johnson, a professor at the Institute for Health & Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, suspected that music might improve memory, mood and even physical function.

And, she thought, what could be more perfect than choral music? Your instrument is already in your body, and you are bathed in beautiful sound by fellow musicmakers. Singing in a group is fun, so there’s plenty of reason to come back week after week: You get to see your friends and exercise your vocal cords and brain all at once.


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Fighting ageism and unfair treatment in health care

Among the problems: doctors who view depression and anxiety in older adults as ‘normal’

By Terry Fulmer for Next Avenue

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Credit: Getty Images

(Next Avenue invited all our 2016 Influencers in Aging to write essays about the one thing they would like to change about aging in America. This is one of the essays.)

Everyone deserves equal treatment — in the broader society and in our health care system. Today, older people are often not treated fairly and do not get the care they deserve, simply because of their age. While one of our great success stories in the 20th century was the stunning gain in human longevity, recent research from The Frameworks Institute, funded by my group, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and others, has found that the majority of us still don’t recognize ageism or its deleterious effects. They call it a “cognitive hole,” a mental blind spot.

As 10,000 of us turn 65 each day, it is critical that we shine a bright light on this insidious prejudice. It is a matter of simple fairness and justice. It is a way to honor the priceless and irreplaceable contributions that older adults make every day to enrich our society and culture. And for those of us at The John A. Hartford Foundation, it is critical to the broader effort to improve care for older people.


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