Senior Nation: Coping with Stress by Kim Huff

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The body deals with stress by using the flight or fight response. When the body senses something stressful, hormones are released that initiate physiological responses known as the stress response. Long term activation of the stress response decreases the efficiency of the immune system and increases the risk of physical and cognitive diseases.

Lifestyle changes associated with age can create stressful challenges such as:

    • Coping with medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, chronic pain, cancer or Alzheimer’s disease
    • Physical and cognitive changes associated with aging that limit functional mobility and intellectual processes respectively
    • Retirement is a time of relaxation, however changes in lifestyle and financial status can initiate stress that can carry over into long term stress.
    • Becoming a caretaker for a friend, neighbor, or loved one or losing a friend or loved one

Signs of short term or chronic stress include:

      • Worry, anxiety, or panic attacks
      • Sadness or depression
      • Feeling pressured, hurried, helpless or overwhelmed
      • Irritability and moodiness
      • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
      • Stomach problems, headaches, chest pain, asthma, skin rashes
      • Problems sleeping
      • Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or misusing drugs
        Changes in eating habits

The following are suggestions for managing stress:

        • Give back to the community by volunteering to enhance self-esteem and reduce stress.
        • Participate in regular exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight.
        • Refer to problems as “challenges” that can be overcome instead of adopting a feeling helplessness
        • Spend time with friends and family. Social relations help with adjusting to changes such as retiring, moving, and losing loved ones.
        • Learn and use relaxation techniques and meditation.
        • Make use of support and education groups, as well as respite care, which provides time off for caregivers.

For more information on the stress response and coping with stress go to the American Psychological Association’s website apa.org or consult a medical professional.

Kimberly Huff is the fitness director at Heron Point of Chestertown

Terry Wolf Art at Heron Point in May

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The paintings of local well-known artist Terry Wolf will be featured at Heron Point during the month of May. Wolf works in many mediums but says “watercolor, pastels, egg tempera and water gilding are most suited to express my ideas.” He paints in Maine and Maryland and has studied with John Dehlinger and Henry Peacock. He also studied “The Art in Painting” at the Barnes Foundation for three years. He will return to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania this spring and summer to demonstrate egg tempera painting in celebration of Andrew Wyeth’s 100th birthday celebration.

The paintings may be viewed daily from 10am until 5pm. A reception honoring Terry Wolf and his work will be held at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue on Saturday, May 6th, from 2 until 4pm. All are welcome.

Senior Nation: Springtime is the Perfect Time to Eat Right by Kimberly Huff

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The National Institute on Aging recommends older adults follow the USDA Dietary Guidelines which emphasizes a variety fruits and vegetables, focusing on dark green, red and orange vegetables, whole grains, seafood and fat free dairy products.

Unfortunately, older adults are often faced with many barriers to heathy eating. Age-related changes result in diminished sense of smell and taste, difficulties with chewing and swallowing, digestive disorders and other chronic conditions which can influence eating habits. One of the most concerning change is the loss of appetite which results in decreased hunger and increased satiety (feeling full). This if often referred to as “anorexia of aging”.

Medications may also represent a barrier to healthy eating. Medications can alter taste perception which decreases interest in eating. Medications may also have interactions with foods, have diet altering side effects, impair digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Lifestyle factors such as changes in physical activity, changes in cognitive function, economic status and social isolation can also have a negative impact on dietary choices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides the following recommendations to help older adults overcome barriers to
healthy eating:

• Shopping on a budget: buy foods on sale – buy store brands – use coupons
• Options for people with difficulties with chewing, swallowing or digestion: fruit juices, soft canned fruits, vegetable juices, creamed or mashed cooked vegetables, ground meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, cooked cereals and rice
• Unable to shop – requesting assistance from family members or friends or use a delivery service
• Unable to cook: buy low sodium, pre-package meals
• Limitations with taste or smell: use herbs and spices to flavor food
• Decrease interest in eating: sharing meals with family and friends
• Check with Health Care Professional to see if medications may be affecting eating habits

Kimberly Huff is the Fitness Director of Heron Point in Chestertown MD.

Senior Nation: The Art of Falling with Kim Huff

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If one had to summarize Heron Point of Chestertown fitness director Kim Hoff’s philosophy regarding those of a certain age falling, it might very well be “Enjoy the ride.” And given Kim’s training and self-confessed addiction to physical fitness research, that should be taken as sound advice.

In turns out that a good bit of Kim’s work with her clients relates focuses on actually preventing falling, including balancing and strength training, but when it does happen – and it does – she wants people to be prepared since the consequences of not falling the right way be catastrophic for older adults.

The Spy spoke to Kim last week about her approach to physical fitness as one move beyond the age of 60.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Heron Point please go here.

Heron Point to Host Forum on Preventing Falls

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Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. But, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Simple lifestyle adjustments can greatly reduce the number of falls among seniors.

Join Heron Point for its 2nd Annual Falls Forum to explore what you can do to prevent falls in your life.

The forum will be held:

Tuesday, November 8th
10:00 to 12:00
Heron Point of Chestertown
501 E. Campus Ave

Please RSVP by Monday, Nov 7th by calling Kim Morgan, 410-810-8635. The first 100 participants receive a goodie bag!

Educational Presentations at the Forum include:
> Medications and Fall Risk – Omnicare Pharmacy
> Vision and Balance – Aegis Therapy
> Health Issues Related to Falls – Heron Point Nurse Practitioner
> Tai Chi and Balance Exercise Demonstrations

A Blink of an Eye: Heron Point Celebrates 25 Years

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A crisp, clear autumn day and dozens of guests including town, county and state officials, made for a perfect 25 Anniversary celebration and ribbon cutting at Chestertown’s Heron Point Retirement Community.

Hosted by Executive Director Garret Falcone, and given a blessing by Chaplain Anne Ledbetter, guest speakers talked about the past, present and future of the facility, and the changing world of retirement communities while honoring the significance and impact Heron Point has on the town and county.

Speakers included in the video are: Jim Urda, Former Executive Director of Heron Point, Lyle Feisel, Vice President of Resident Council, Mayor Chris Cerino, and Jonathan Grant, ACTS Retirement Communities Vice President Mid-Atlantic Region.

At closing remarks, a Maryland General Assembly Proclamation was read by District 36 Delegate Jay Jacobs.

Compass Hosts Grief Support Group at Heron Point

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Bereavement counselors Linda Turner, MS (left) and Ann OConnor, LCSW-C (right)

Compass Regional Hospice is offering a grief support group for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue in Chestertown. The group will meet every Wednesday through December 21. Participants are asked to commit to attending all or most of the 10 sessions in order to benefit the most from the group.

The grief support group will be co-facilitated by Ann OConnor, LCSW-C, and Linda Turner, MS bereavement counselors for Compass Regional Hospice.

“Our grief groups are a combination of education and support,” says OConnor. “In this confidential and intimate setting, with facilitation from the leaders, participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences, memories, and learn essential coping strategies through open discussions.”

Each group session will focus on a different topic from the renowned author, educator, and grief counselor Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s book Understanding Your Grief.

A $25 enrollment fee covers the cost of materials. No one will be turned away based on inability to pay.

For more information about the adult grief support group, call Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4100, or email Ann OConnor, aoconnor@compassregionalhospice.org or Linda Turner, lturner@compassregionalhospice.org. To learn more about other grief support programs available through the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center, visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/hopeandhealing.

Working Artists Forum Opens 10th Annual Memorial Show at Heron Point

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Best in Show, Heron Point, Patty Mowell and Teddy Johnson

“Blossoms of Spring,” Best in Show watercolor by Patty Mowell, and Teddy Johnson, Judge

On Wednesday, June 1st, the Working Artists Forum (WAF) opened their Tenth Annual Memorial Show at Heron Point in Chestertown, Maryland.  WAF is a non-profit organization of 90 working artists who meet monthly at the Academy Art Museum in Easton for lectures, critiques and demonstrations and exhibit their work in a variety of venues throughout the year.  Artist and curator Teddy Johnson judged the show this year and was on hand for the awards presentation to meet the artists and provide informative critiques for the winning works. Teddy Johnson has a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Georgia, His work is exhibited in galleries in the Mid Atlantic area, Atlanta, NYC. and internationally in Italy and in Korea.  He has curated shows in Baltimore, MD and Brooklyn, NY with the Rotating History Project, which he co-founded in 2010. He is based in Baltimore, MD.

Mr. Johnson described the works in this exhibit as “presenting a vibrant and thoughtful community of artists, each with their own style and handling of drawing and painting materials.  Though largely united through their exploration of the visible world, each artist displayed their own unique voice in surface quality, texture, and approach.”  Best in Show was awarded to Patty Mowell for her watercolor painting, “Blossoms of Spring,” a work that caught his attention immediately for its “freshness and fluidity, walking a line between representation and abstraction. It shows a felt understanding of both the subject and shape, and there is a freeness of expression coupled with a wonderful contrast between the marks of the glass and bouquet.”  Three Awards of Excellence were given to Martha Holthausen for her oil, “Regal Sheltie”, Nancy Thomas for her watercolor, “Blue Danube with Fruit”, and Evie Baskin for her plein air pastel, “Morning at Poplar Grove.”  Four Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Karen Wood for her oil painting, “Marsh”, Jack Fancher for his acrylic, “Breaking Wave II,” Barbara Zuehlke for her watercolor, “Red Edges,” and Patti Lucas Hopkins for her oil, “Sally’s Garden.”

This delightful show will hang daily throughout the month of June at Heron Point and is open to the public for viewing.  Please sign in at the desk when you arrive.  Heron Point is located at 501 East Campus Avenue in Chestertown.  For more information about The Working Artists Forum, please see www.workingartistsforum.com.

The Future of the Chestertown Hospital with Heron Point’s Garret Falcone

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It is hard to think of anyone in Chestertown that is more worried about the future of its local hospital than Garret Falcone.

As the executive director of the Heron Point retirement community, located on the banks of the Chester River, Garret not only is tasked with keeping the first class facility in tip-top shape for the more than 300 adults who live there, but also spends a good amount of his time marketing the 66-acre campus for newcomers.

Since every similar retirement community in Maryland is located within 15 minutes of a general hospital, the idea that Chestertown’s health center might continue to downsize has made Falcone a leading activist to make sure that doesn’t happen.

In his Spy interview, Garret talks candidly about how important health services are to Heron Point residents as well as the dire consequences for the retirement community if Shore Health reduces services like inpatient care for his residents.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length