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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Farmington Presbyterian Manor honored with Emerald Award certificate


Bill Taylor, chief operating officer, left, and Bruce Shogren, president and chief executive officer, right, present Jane Hull, executive director, with an Emerald Award certificate for meeting safety, financial performance and professional employee growth goals.

Farmington Presbyterian Manor 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.

Farmington was recognized for meeting safety, financial performance and professional employee growth goals.

“This recognition is a visible sign of Farmington Presbyterian Manor’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 Farmington Presbyterian Manor, contact Marketing Director Heidi Beyer at 573-756-6768 or hbeyer@pmma.org.

Nurse’s world filled with new beginnings

wedding1-2Jessica Brawley’s life looks markedly different now than it did a year ago. 2016 was a year of new beginnings for Jessica: in June she accepted a promotion to quality assurance nurse at Farmington Presbyterian Manor, where she has been an LPN since 2011. In August, she married Josh Brawley. And in the fall she adopted her cousin’s teenage son.

“It’s been exciting,” Jessica said of all the changes in her world. “It was very emotional and stressful planning the wedding, but pretty much it’s just exciting.”

At work, the changes in her duties have given her a new perspective on the rules that the nursing staff follows. The job of a quality assurance nurse is to make sure everything’s running smoothly, checking policies and procedures, and ensuring they are being followed and implemented. “A lot of things make more sense now,” she said. Jessica is also the lead wound care nurse in health care and responsible for infection control.

Right out of high school in 2009, Jessica earned her CNA certification and came to work at Presbyterian Manor. She took a break to attend school, then returned to our nursing staff.

“We’re like a family here. We have a good time, and the residents are treated very well,” she said. “I just love it; I never wanted to work anywhere else. This has been my only job since high school.”

At home, Jessica and Josh’s adoption of her cousin’s 17-year-old son became official in October. He came to live with them when his parents could not adequately care for him. Already, she said, his grades have improved and he’s doing well in sports. “He just needed someone to show they care about him,” said Jessica, who is only 9 years older than he is.

Soon, the Brawley family will grow again. Jessica is preparing for at least one more new beginning later this year: she’s expecting her first child in July – and hoping for a boy.

Art is Ageless® call for entries

Basic RGBResidents and friends of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Art is Ageless program are proving that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition, whether you picked up a brush for the first time as a child or completed your first drawing after age 80.

Farmington Presbyterian Manor is accepting entries for the 2017 Art is Ageless competition until Feb. 20. Art will be on display Feb. 22-24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Assisted Living Lobby. There will be a reception with the artists at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Artists may enter as amateurs or professionals. The categories for submitted artwork are:
·       Christmas
·       Drawing
·       Fiber Arts
·       Painting
·       Sculpture/3-D
·       Photography
·       Mixed Media/Crafts
·       Quilting: Machine-stitched
·       Quilting: Hand-stitched
·       Needlework
For more information, contact Heidi Beyer at 573-756-6768, ext. 2111, or hbeyer@pmma.org.

The joy of fostering a senior dog

You and your adopted companion benefit when you open your home

By Debbie Swanson for Next Avenue


Credit: SecondHand Hounds


Carol Byers already had two dogs when she decided to foster a third. Byers, an active woman in her early 70s, set her sights on an older pet.

“Like most seniors, I’ve experienced loss and know how important quality of life is,” she says. “To give a senior dog an opportunity to live out life with a loving family, a lap to curl up in, a comfortable bed and tummy rubs, means a lot.” (A senior dog is one in the last 25 percent of his or her life; the average lifespan of most breeds is nine to 15 years.)

At a visit to Muttville, a senior dog rescue in San Francisco, a pug/shih tzu named Peggy caught Byers’ eye. Peggy’s owner had died.

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