Being older is better for many travel discounts

Those milestone birthdays can add up to major savings

By Irene S. Levine for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

The next time you travel, ask about a “senior discount.” You may discover there are fabulous perks to reaching those milestone birthdays. Many hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, entertainment venues and big-box stores offer age-related discounts, although they’re often not publicized.

It’s no wonder travel companies seek opportunities to woo older travelers. U.S. News & World Report recently reported that boomers control 70 percent of all disposable income in the United States. Moreover, older travelers are likely to have more time to travel. A report by AARP found that boomer travelers anticipate taking four or five trips a year.

Whether you are traveling in the U.S. or abroad, here are some tips for finding age-related discounts to whittle down the costs of your next vacation:

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4 ways to beat the winter blues

Use these ‘light’ tips to brighten your days.

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue


When the sun wakes up late and slips away before the workday ends, when many a day is dark and gray, when it’s Groundhog Day and even an early spring seems far away, many large, hairy mammals — Punxsutawney Phil, included — choose to hibernate. But not us!

We slog through, knowing that the passage of time will bring brighter days ahead. But we can do more than wait it out. Here are four easy ways to beat the winter blues and create a little sunshine of your own:

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Where to volunteer on the MLK Day of Service

It’s a cinch to locate opportunities to help out

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service Monday, consider for a moment these two quotes from the esteemed civil rights leader:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” and “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

With those words in mind, I hope you’ll look for a way to do something for others on MLK Day and volunteer. Be great. (Some nonprofits have Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering projects on Tuesday, too.)

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30-day declutter challenge: What I’ve learned

Halfway through, I’ve got a pile of junk and gained some wisdom, too

By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue


I used to be able to put all of my belongings in a 1985 Honda Accord and still see out the back.

Now, I can barely see out of some of the windows of our four-bedroom house. What happened?!

Here’s what happened: Marriage, kids, dogs, hobbies, a reluctance to let things go and years of living in progressively larger apartments where I could stash the stuff without having to look at it.

Now that I’m turning 50, it’s time to take stock and get rid of some stock. On Aug. 1, I decided to take the Next Avenue 30-Day Declutter Challenge, getting rid of one item on Day 1, two on Day 2, and so forth for 30 days.

By the end of the month I will have collected 465 items to give away, throw away or sell on eBay. That’s 465 items that I no longer need at midlife — like toys from when my daughters were six and four, books I have read but don’t need to keep in the age of Kindle and clothes that clearly, and embarrassingly, date back to the 1990s.

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The 1 New Year’s resolution to improve your finances 4 ways

Here’s what it is and how to put it into practice

By Jack Fehr for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

New Year’s resolutions: so easy to make, so hard to keep. But what if you could make just one financial resolution that would improve your life in four ways?

Here’s how: Make a habit of reading between the lines of your financial statements from your bank, mutual funds, credit card issuers, insurers and mortgage company. Many of these companies, sadly, shroud their products in confusing terminology that requires a linguistic scholar — or at least a person with some time — to decipher.

Learning how to sort through and interpret the financial and legal goop that confuses and abuses can help you…

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7 ways to keep your New Year’s resolution

Are you sabotaging yourself? Here’s how you can fulfill your commitments.

By Linda Melone, CSCS for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

It’s that time of year again. A new beginning, a clean slate. But how often do you actually make good on your New Year’s resolutions? If the answer is “not very,”  you’ll want to read the seven ideas below that can help you follow through in 2017.

The start of a new year naturally creates incentive for making changes. Days that seem like transition points motivate people to take advantage of the “fresh-start effect,” research shows. Birthdays, the beginning of a semester, and the start of a new week all fall under this new transition time. Researchers at the Wharton School came to this conclusion after they discovered that visits to the university fitness center spiked during these turning points.

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5 New Year’s resolutions for older adults

How to set your sights on the big picture at New Year’s

By Bruce Rosenstein for Next Avenue


In 2007, British psychologist Richard Wiseman followed more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve New Year’s resolutions including the top three: lose weight, quit smoking and exercise regularly. At the start of the study, most were confident of success. A year later, only 12 percent had achieved their goals.

To make meaningful New Year’s resolutions that you’ll really keep, set long-range resolutions for your second act. This way, you can help reach the goals that matter to you in the context of your entire future, not just a single year.

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Art Collector Finds Home at Presbyterian Village

img_8985-2As you travel down the hallway toward the apartment of Kale and Thorene Roberts at Presbyterian Village, you can’t help but notice something interesting on the walls: original works of art.

“I have 21 original pieces of art, and more than half were given to me, they’re mostly Western in nature,” said Kale.

Horses and bucolic scenes are what appeal most to this art collector, which makes sense considering Thorene’s rural upbringing and Kale’s horse ownership in later years.

“We’re both from Mount Hope. She was born on a farm there, and my folks lived in town. I joined the Army when I turned 18 in January 1945. I tried to get in the Navy, but they found out I was color blind — red on gray was the hardest for me to see. They said, ‘ We have lots of lights in the fog. You can’t make it.’ So the Army it was,” said Kale.

“That wasn’t my only challenge getting into the Army, though. When I started school in 1932, the first grade teacher had my mom change my name to Kayl. I’m not sure why. The army wasn’t one bit interested in my story, though. It was spelled ‘Kale” on my birth certificate, so that’s what I went back to.”

Perhaps people are surprised that someone who’s colorblind would like art, but Kale enjoys it as much as anyone. It didn’t keep him from pursuing much else in life, either. Kale worked in the aerospace industry in Wichita for many years and enjoyed life after retirement on their property which they owned for 50 years.

“We moved onto our acreage in 1959, and shortly after that we got horses. I worked at Boeing for 35 years and retired in 1985, when I was 58 years old. I was in the accounting department most of the time. They had two large computers on order from IBM, all departments sent people to a six-week school to learn how to use them. I spent six years in timekeeping. I was then hired in shipping, and then went on to finance for a few years. When IBM came out with a badge reader. I got put in charge of that conversion,” said Kale.

So how did Kale and Thorene end up in Fort Scott?

“Our son and daughter-in-law, Kent and Becki Roberts, have been here since 1980. Kent came here to run a restaurant. When that ended, he remained a resident but started a restaurant in Independence. He sold that and opened a restaurant in Nevada. He has a daughter and a grandson in Carthage. We have family around here,” said Kale. “Our other son lives in Plano, Texas, and he has two sons and three grandchildren.”

While they initially bought a house in Fort Scott, Kale and Thorene decided the Presbyterian Village would be better to suit their needs.

“The personnel that run this place are unbelievable. We love the food. Everyone bends over backward to help us. I thinks it’s very well managed. I’m on the tenant advisory council, and we’re trying to increase activities to encourage more socialization. We have things like church groups coming to sing and taking people on trips to Louisburg for lunch, or to Branson for the day,” said Kale.

In addition to the tenant advisory council, Kale also serves on the Art is Ageless committee, although he doesn’t plan on entering any artwork of his own.

“I think my art career ended with crayons in second grade. I do have an appreciation for the arts, though. I think the Art is Ageless program is great for those who enjoy making or viewing original art,” said Kale.

Kale celebrates his 90th birthday this month, and he’s quick to tell you his wife isn’t nearly the age she may appear.

“Thorene is a leap year baby. She’s only 22. She was born on 2-29-28, so she won’t even have a birthday this year,” said Kale.

We certainly think both Kale and Thorene are worth celebrating, regardless of when their birthdays may be!

The 2017 Art is Ageless juried art competition will be accepting entries until April 13. Contact Anicia Robinson at 620-223-5550 for more information.

Presbyterian Village makes staying home possible

img_8962-2When Fort Scott resident Janet Braun had hip replacement surgery at KU Medical Center in 2012, she knew she would need a lot of help getting back on her feet again. That’s why she called her friends at Presbyterian Village. But it wasn’t to inquire about moving in or even a temporary rehabilitation stay. Janet was aware of something that most people aren’t: Presbyterian Village provides services to help seniors stay in their own home as long as they’re willing and able.

“I’ve been associated with Presbyterian Village for many years, and although I’d like to live here someday, I’m happy at home right now. Both of my parents lived here, and I’m on the Community Advisory Council, so I’m familiar with all of the services Presbyterian Village offers and was grateful for them,” said Janet. “After my hip replacement, I needed transportation back to my home from Kansas City, and I needed help getting settled in. My daughter would have normally done this, but her daughter, my granddaughter, had auditioned for a part in the children’s chorus and the performance was the day I was released from the hospital. I told her not to worry and called Frieda at Presbyterian Manor. Everything was handled from there.”

Janet is a retired special education teacher. In addition to serving on the Presbyterian Village advisory council, she also serves on the school board, is involved in Rotary Club, and has helped plan Fort Scott’s Annual Festival for more than 35 years. To say she’s involved in the community is an understatement.

“This kept me from having to change my life. There were many in-home services I could access from the Presbyterian Village. Jennifer Hyer, RN, was in charge of home services and came out with her list to ask what I needed, and I was billed once a month. We decided I needed at least one meal per day, and an aide from the Village would come to my house for about an hour when she finished her shift. She would go to the grocery store, fold laundry, and just be in the house so I could take a shower and know there was someone there. Day to day we worked out what we’d do,” said Janet.

“I was also able to maintain my volunteer obligations. The van from the Village would take me to school board meetings, and later I pledged a donation toward purchasing the new van because I appreciated it so much.”

This wasn’t the first time Janet had seen how supportive the Presbyterian Village staff could be, though.

“My mother and father, Pauline and Pratt Irby, both moved in right after it was built. My mother would come and watch it being built. That was in 1994. Nobody was sick at the time, and Dad didn’t have to worry about the lawn. They picked out the apartment they wanted, and they were thrilled. Gradually as they needed more services, the services were here. Eventually, Mother passed, and then my father passed, but having the physical and emotional support here was so helpful,” said Janet.

When she’s not volunteering at her many community commitments, Janet enjoys spending time with her family. She has three children and eight grandchildren. And of course, she’s a familiar face here at Presbyterian Village, where she also volunteers at the Good Samaritan fundraiser each year.

“I sit under the overhang at the front entrance and help with getting the dinners ready to go and out the door to those picking them up in the drive-through. I handle the money and manage the high school helpers. We couldn’t do it without them,” said Janet. “I enjoy it, though. It was wonderful for my parents and wonderful for me. I know that down the road, it’s there, and the services are there for whatever I need in the future. I’m glad there’s a continuum of services.”

Executive Director Ginger Nance is proud of the wide array of services we offer. “In home services are a nice option when a little help can make a lot of difference. Whether due to a recent illness or just the convenience of having a helping hand around the house, our specially trained staff will take care of those tedious tasks that you’d like to check off your list. Call us today at 620-223-5550 to discuss the in-home service option that best suits your needs.”

Fort Scott Presbyterian Village honored with Emerald Award certificate


Bill Taylor, PMMA chief operating officer, Ginger Nance, Fort Scott Presbyterian Village executive director, and Bruce Shogren, PMMA president and chief executive officer.

Fort Scott Presbyterian Village received a certificate of recognition from Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America for reaching goals in fiscal year 2016, July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

The recognition came through PMMA’s new Emerald Awards Program, designed to encourage its 17 locations to achieve high levels of resident and employee satisfaction, meet financial goals, build philanthropic support for the organization’s mission and meet marketing goals. There are 11 areas measured for the Emerald Awards.

To receive an emerald, a community has to meet its goals in all 11 areas. Certificates of recognition were given out to communities that reached their goals in one or more category.

Fort Scott was recognized for building philanthropic support of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s mission.

“This recognition is a visible sign of Fort Scott Presbyterian Village’s commitment to the mission of PMMA of providing quality senior services guided by Christian values,” said Bruce Shogren, chief executive officer for PMMA.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has been providing quality senior services guided by Christian values in Kansas and Missouri for more than 65 years.

For more information about Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, contact Marketing Director David Sorrick at 620-223-5550 or