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Have you been?

To a National Park, that is? Spending just a few minutes at the National Parks Service website can inspire so many travel plans. Their website has great planning tools. Pick a state. Pick an adventure and set out. If you are 62 or over you can have a lifetime pass for $80. Plus there are special savings for amenities, camping, boat launching and more. You can search for ideas by state, activity, or topic. The opportunities seem endless. I feel like a cheerleader for the NPS, but why not? Whether you are excited by natural phenomena or battlefields, presidents or volcanoes, the NPS has something to suit you. The small state of Maryland has 28 sites alone. I will never forget our visit to Antietam.

If you are looking for adventure, perhaps think about discovering one of America’s treasures. Take a trip to a National Park. Please check back and tell us about it. Please share about an adventure you have already taken to a National Park.

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Mission Trips Are Not Just for Teenagers

 

If you hear that someone is going on a mission trip, do you automatically envision a group of teenagers hitting the road? I do. Well, at least I did. Oh dear, have I fallen prey to one of those myths about aging? Yes, indeed I had.

As it turns out there are a number of organizations around world that arrange a myriad of mission projects for people over 50. When we sit back and think about it, we can see how diverse the population over 50 really is. We range between living one’s whole life in one town and rarely, if ever traveling to moving often and traveling widely or perhaps we have a limited education or we may hold a number of degrees, and our mobility falls in wide range anywhere from go-go, slow-go, to no-go. The variation in people over 50 is astonishing. What this means is that whether you are 50 or 85, or anywhere in between you may be ready to travel on mission. And there are organizations out there that can make it happen.  Continue reading “Mission Trips Are Not Just for Teenagers”

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Top 10 Aging Myths…. Dispelling Them One By One

Aging MythsEvery culture has had myths. We may be most familiar with Greek and Roman ones. As defined by Merriam-Webster, a myth is “a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.” One more thing. myths are not the truth. That is my personal definition. Myths are often misconceptions of reality, what we think, rather than what can be proven true.  Again, my personal definition and accurate when it comes to discussing aging myths.

What are the top 10 Aging Myths:

  • Old = Sick
  • “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
  • Too late for changes in lifestyle to make a difference
  • Older adults only take from society and do not contribute
  • Most older adults live in nursing homes
  • Engage in few activities other than watching TV
  • Most older adults are unable to adapt to change
  • Older workers cannot work as efficiently as younger workers
  • Most Older Adults experience significant memory loss
  • Older Adults only want to relax and lead a life of leisure

Let’s look at the first 5 in-depth:  Continue reading “Top 10 Aging Myths…. Dispelling Them One By One”

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Preschool in a Senior Center???

The first time I heard this concept my thoughts may not have all been positive. I admit it. Then I watched a video and then I read some articles and then it all began to sink in. We spend so much time in our society separating people by age. We grow to be distinct from one another. Instead of appreciating those of different ages, we become suspicious or wary. We succumb to myths. This works both ways. Younger people believe myths about older people and older people believe myths about the younger generation. Surprise, surprise, not all of these myths are positive. Yes, I say that in jest. Most of the myths are in fact negatively held misconceptions. The more time we spend with people of other ages, actively engaged in relationship, the more we will come to appreciate others.  Continue reading “Preschool in a Senior Center???”

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Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance, and Alzheimer’s Disease

My dad passed away nearly 5 years ago. Parkinson’s with Dementia had ravaged his brain and body for a number of years before that. I wish we had known more years ago. Perhaps it would have helped this brilliant man maintain his cognitive abilities. Prevention of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is a major reason I have cut way back on carbohydrates in my diet. Real food and real nutrition may make a tremendous impact on your brain health.

Please check out this article to learn the why’s of blood sugar, insulin resistance and brain disease.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease Is Easier Than You Think

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Exercise Variety is the Spice of Fitness

 

When you think of exercise, do you think weight lifting or running? High Intensity? High Impact? This may come as no surprise to those of you who have been with us for just a short time, but here it is….. There is so much more: so many choices and styles. There is also one more important aspect of exercise for everyone, but especially for the Older Adults among us, either you or your loved ones. There are four areas that need to be attended to: Endurance, Strength, Balance, and Flexibility.

There is good news also: High Intensity and High Impact exercises are not necessary and really are not even best as we age. Personally my basketball playing knees are happy to know this!  Continue reading “Exercise Variety is the Spice of Fitness”

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Fear Not, Learning Never Needs to End

 

The opportunities for learning, regardless of age, are nearly limitless. There are the serious topics necessary for all Older Adults to know about:

  • Legal matters (wills, living wills, advanced directives, powers of attorney, and so many more)
  • Medical
  • Financial
  • Housing
  • Insurance
  • Health Concerns
  • Protection from Scams, Abuse, and Other Crimes (Howard County Police Department has an officer dedicated to presentations to protect Older Adults.  Perhaps your local police department does as well.)

Continue reading “Fear Not, Learning Never Needs to End”

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Spirituality and Aging

“Positive spirituality is defined by developing an internalized relationship with the sacred and transcendent world that is not bound by race, ethnicity, economics or class, and promotes the wellness and welfare of the self and others.”[1]

Study after study confirms what many may already  know: spirituality can have a tremendous positive effect on health, wellness, and longevity. Also, as people age there is often a turn to a deeper sense of spirituality. Let’s take this as strong encouragement that spirituality is good for us.

What is spirituality?  Continue reading “Spirituality and Aging”

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Service:

The second “S” in SENIORS+ ministry stands for Service. How do you serve others? How can you become engaged?

Service opportunities within the local church and community abound both by older adults and for older adults. Older adults can carry out acts of service from their homes as well in the form of phone calls to other seniors to check in on their well-being and sending cards for celebration and condolences. While these activities take place already, bringing this activity to the fore in churches can help to empower those who otherwise might feel they are unable to contribute to the community of faith. These are activities that the homebound can carry out and remain an integral part of the congregation. Older Adult Ministries across the country are moving beyond the doors of their homes and churches to serve in community. For example, Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas, was instrumental in serving the families who were evacuated to Houston during Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading “Service:”

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Recreation 55+

There is more diversity in people 55 and over than in any other age group. Diversity in education, experience, travel, employment, health, mobility, and more cannot be anymore varied. Then you take into account where you live and have lived, with whom you live, ethnicity and religion. When it comes to recreation opportunities and experiences for those over 55 cannot be anymore varied. It also cannot be more important.

Age is just a number, mobility is a daily reality. When you combine traits mentioned above in the countless number of ways possible, the ideas for recreation are endless.

When I think of recreation I think of sports activities, hobbies, and travel! Travel just may be my favorite. What is yours? Here at Winter Grace Senior Ministries we want to make you aware of the myriad of recreational activities available near and far.  Continue reading “Recreation 55+”