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Senior Square

Senior Square

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Published by Brush News Tribune
Senior Square published January 25, 2012
Published by Brush News-Tribune
Senior Square published January 25, 2012
Published by Brush News-Tribune

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Published by: Brush News Tribune on Jan 27, 2012
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Senior SQUARE 
January 25, 2012
 Issue I 
Colorado CaringCompanions, LLC, the lead-ing company in northeast-ern Colorado for nonskilledinhome care, has launchedthe Maturing AdultAssistance Foundation(MAAF).Founders, Tom and AnnBlickhahn, have initiatedMAAF with the idea of aid-ing maturing adults in theregion with many of theneeds they may have tocontend with. These vener-able citizens often needsimple tasks attended tothat would otherwisebecome impossible choresconsidering their circum-stances. Then there are others who could use minor modi-fications to their homes torectifyimpediments totheir mobility. Wheelchairramps and larger doors arecommon improvementsneeded to accommodatethose in declining health.“MAAF has been designedto develop resources to pro-vide for these needs,” saidMrs. Blickhahn. “Fundsraised by the organiza-tion,” she continued, “willbe channeled into provid-ing materials for minorhome repairs and improve-ments for the maturingadult population, and vol-unteers to perform thoseservices.”A major focus of the foun-dation will also be to servethe aging community withsimple tasks such asexchanging regular lightbulbs with more energy effi-cient fluorescents, orreplacing the batteries intheir smoke and CO2 detec-tors. The idea behind MAAForiginated when the family-owned and operated com-pany, Colorado CaringCompanions, received a callfrom a local senior in needof help in performing theroutine task of changingthe batteries in her smokedetectors. She did not needday-to-day care as she wasable to function safely alonein her home.However, that is when theBlickhahns became awareof just how vast the scopeof the need was in theregion. While most people would associate the nameColorado CaringCompanions withprivate/pay non-skilled in-home services, these own-ers are very much aware of the population that cannotafford such services and donot have family which canattend to their needs. The inauguration of MAAF alleviates many of the needs in this regard.Mr. Blickhahn noted thatthe needs of our senior pop-ulation are often overlookedand, typically, a senior willnot seek help in their situa-tions. “They still have theirpride and wish to maintaintheir dignity,” he said,adding, “Another reasonthat often comes up is thatthey may not be aware of the resources that might beavailable to them.”While the program is stillin its infancy, it has alreadyassisted with several proj-ects. MAAF is also in theprocess of becoming a reg-istered non-profit organiza-tion and is making applica-tion to obtain its 501(c)(3)status so that contributionsmay be tax deductible andto procure access to grantfunding.While application to thefoundation does not guar-antee assistance, MAAFstrives to create an avenueof support which might nototherwise be available. The program may not beable to provide all of thefunding needed for a specif-ic task, but could possiblyform partnerships withother agencies or sources of funding to accomplish thetask at hand. Those knowing of individ-uals in need can contactMAAF through the offices of Colorado CaringCompanions, LLC, at 970-842-9740.
Local company launches regional charit
Courtesy photo
Mike, a volunteer spends the afternoon reconstructing afront door frame for a MAAF client.
By Katie Collins
News-Tribune Staff Writer
In the year 2012 over 10,000 peo-ple per day are turning 65. Just asthe Baby Boomer generation’s num-bers made nation-wide impacts onschools and on the work force in thepast, so too will they influence thefuture of healthcare. As this sizeablegeneration of people enters into therealm of aging concerns, their impacton senior healthcare will call for aredefinition of the industry, prompt-ing changes on all levels from thegovernment, to providers andpatients.In 2003, 5.7 percent of the adultpopulation in America was over theage of 65. In the very near futurethat number will make a substantialincrease to nearly 17.5 percent ofthe adult population. For Eben EzerLutheran Care Center CEO BarbaraBradshaw, who counts herself as aproud member of the Baby Boomergeneration, changes need to be madeswiftly to accommodate.“Changes are coming about becausethe healthcare delivery system, akaMedicare, in its current state will notbe able to survive,” noted Bradshaw.“Our future generations will not beable to support the Medicare programin its current state.”According to LeadingAge, an asso-ciation of 5,600 not-for-profitorganizations dedicated to makingAmerica a better place to grow old,an infrastructure unprepared toaddress the coming aging BabyBoomer cohort will become increas-ingly apparent throughout the entireaging services sector. This organi-zation predicts that a consumer-driven model will replace the currentservice model for aging services.They anticipate that other technolo-gies will greatly improve an individ-ual’s ability to remain independent.Prevention, rather than crisis care,will emerge as the new focus of agingservices.An important shift in reforms willinclude healthcare delivery systemchanges.“The goal of reforming theMedicare program is based on a tripleaim,” said Bradshaw. “Number oneis better health through education andpreventative strategies, second is toreduce the cost and third is toimprove the quality of health careservices.”Moving to a patient-centered focusis one way many providers andorganizations are catering to the rushof baby boomers in senior care. Thisprimary care evolution centers onthe medical home or what Bradshawcalls the medical home-base. Here,the primary care provider organizesall facets of a patient’s healthcare. Ina way, this is a nod to the old coun-try doctor who took care of, managedand coordinated care. Governmentand even private organizationalreforms are attempting to create thissame sort of system where health-care is more comprehensive andcoordinated. This involves theexpansion of the healthcare delivery
Baby Boomers redefine the future of senior health care 
Courtesy photo
Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center CEOBarbara Bradshaw has enjoyed a 30-yearlong career in the healthcare industry and will be retiring in late February of thisyear.
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With age comes theinevitable anxiety of mentaldecline.A common misconceptionis brain health is predeter-mined and can't be changed -it's the "you're stuck withwhat you got" notion. Butexperts suggest brain healthcan be positively influencedthroughout different stagesin life.A recent state-by-stateranking, America's BrainHealth Index, delivers dataon how well Americans aresuccessfully incorporatingthe four dimensions of brainhealth - diet and nutrition,physical health, mentalhealth and social well-being- into their daily lives.The top-ranked state -Maryland - scored higheston the Index because of res-idents' performance on anumber of health markers,including high consumptionof fish rich in DHA and DHA-fortified foods and supple-ments, as well as a low inci-dence of Alzheimer's dis-ease-related deaths.Residents of the states thatranked the lowest(Mississippi and Louisiana)can make adjustments tohelp get their brains inshape.See where your stateranked at www.beautiful-minds.com."Whether we live in thetop-ranked states or in theareas that are below aver-age, there are several waysto nurture and engage themind to keep it healthythroughout our lives," saysDr. Majid Fotuhi, chairmanof the Neurology Institutefor Brain Health and Fitness,and assistant professor ofneurology at Johns HopkinsUniversity School ofMedicine. "All too often Iwork with patients who needto make only a few lifestyleadjustments to see a markedchange in their mental acu-ity. It's never too late totake action to improve yourbrain health."
Four easy steps to abeautiful mind
Step 1 - Get movingEngage in physical activityfor at least 30 minutes aday to encourage new braincells and connections toform. Walk, take the stairsinstead of the elevator, playsports or do something youenjoy outdoors.Step 2 - Nourish yourbody and mindAim for a varied diet richin colorful, fresh fruits andvegetables, washed with theskin on to take full advan-tage of the nutritional punch.Maximize your intake ofDHA, the omega-3 fatty acidthat makes up 97 percent ofthe omega-3s in the brain.Find it in fatty fish (salmon,tuna) or, if you are vegetar-ian, you can find it in algalDHA-fortified foods andbeverages like juice, milk,eggs and in algal DHA sup-plements, including theAlgal-900 DHA andBrainStrong lines found atCVS, Walgreens andWalmart. Find other prod-ucts with algal DHA atwww.lifesdha.com.Step 3 - Embrace newactivitiesCommit to lifelong learn-ing, which can take the formof brain-stimulating activi-ties, including reading, cre-ating art, completing cross-words, learning a new lan-guage or playing a newinstrument. Keep a mentallyengaged mind by living witha "use it or lose it" philoso-phy throughout life."The aging processinvolves increasing physicaland emotional change and aheightened search for mean-ing and purpose," says GayHanna, executive director ofthe National Center forCreative Aging inWashington, D.C."Expressing oneself throughthe creation of art can serveas a powerful way to honorlife experiences. Embracethe idea of learning some-thing new to help fuel yourcreative fire."Step 4 - Expand yoursocial networkStay socially connected soyou feel like you're a part ofsomething. This can includesocial connections at work,in clubs, with friends andfamily and through volun-teer groups or a religiouscongregation. Experts theo-
Four steps for a healthy and active mind 
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