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August 2014

Life Lessons from our Grandparents

iStock_000017888551XSmallAs the saying goes, “families that pray together, stay together.”  A lot can be learned from a God-centered family.  Grandparents’ Day is Sunday, September 7 this year and keeping a close-knit family can be a true blessing.  We thought it fitting to create a list of important lessons our grandparents have taught us.  These are little life lessons that take us back to what is truly important.

5 Life Lessons from our Grandparents:

  1. Mealtime is family time.  Within the hustle and bustle of everyday life, grandparents always take time for a non-negotiable family meal.  Mealtime gives families an opportunity to pray together and talk.  Many families today seem to miss out on this valuable time, and grandparents keep everyone counting their blessings by applying a time for family.
  2. They start everyday with a devotional.  Even while working and raising a family, grandparents consistently took time to read a devotional everyday.  Even something as small as reading a verse in the morning can help improve days and grow closer to God.
  3. They clean their plate.  Regardless of what is being served, grandparents see things differently after coming through the Great Depression.  Grandparents are grateful for every meal and do not fuss over their plates.
  4. Chivalry is not dead.  Holding open a door, saying, “I love you” sincerely, and being polite might seem cliché, but most of these simple sweet thoughts have been lost today.  Grandparents remind us what loving one another should look like, and keep us humble in our own relationships.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Grandparents have lived long enough to realize not to get upset over the little things.  Life is too short and filled with so many blessings.

Verses:

Psalms 145:4  “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”

Titus 2:1-5  “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.  Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.  Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in they way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Proverbs 16:31  “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.”

Deuteronomy 4:9  “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Isaiah 40:28-31  “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Deuteronomy 5:16  “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

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Moving Can Help Prolong Your Life

Get Up from the Chair and Move!

Strolling through the parcGetting out of your chair and moving more might help lengthen your life, “Sitting for hours can shave years off your life,” reports CNN.  The new “sitting disease” has taken over the health and science sections of every newspaper and website.  The scientific evidence behind this chair epidemic shows that sitting for a long period of time has been linked to increased risks of Type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, disability in people over 60, as well as heart disease, back pain, and stroke.

A recent study suggests, “there are 34 chronic diseases and conditions associated with excess sitting”, says endocrinologist Dr. James A. Levine from the Mayo Clinic, “excessive sitting is a lethal activity.”   He has researched sitting disease for three decades and recently published a new book, Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.   The average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of their day sitting.  Today’s chair-based world has changed lifestyles from being primarily active to largely sedentary.  While regular exercise is great for your health, it is not enough to offset being sedentary the rest of the day.  “You should move a minimum of 10 minutes every hour,” Levine says.  This is especially true for retirees who want to “lead a zestful, purposeful existence after a life of hard work.”

Moving is not the same as exercising and can be worked into your regular routine.  Here are some suggestions for simple changes in your daily life to help keep you moving:

  • If you like to watch TV, make it a point to walk around the room during commercials
  • Pace while on the phone, cooking dinner or folding laundry
  • March in place whenever you can
  • Take the long route to the mailbox
  • Work on a home repair project
  • Garden
  • Shop at the mall – not on the internet

Remember, it only takes a few minutes to keep the body in motion.  Incorporating some of these suggestions into your day could actually prolong your life. So remember, get up from the chair and move!

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Ten Technology Tools for Seniors

Senior Couple Using Tablet Computer At Outdoor CaféAccording to the Pew Research Internet Project, movement into digital life continues to deepen for American seniors.    While today nearly one third of all seniors are on Facebook and 53 percent use the Internet and email in their daily lives; the connection with the digital world goes beyond online researching or social networking.  Many of today’s new technologies are designed specifically for seniors to help improve their quality of life and offer more independence.

Check out a sampling of tech tools that can help keep the senior in your life stay engaged, mentally active, connected and safe.

1.  Audio Books

Seniors can enjoy thousands of books through Audible, Audiobooks.com, and other online sources.  Free and paid books are available on your smartphone or tablet.

2.  Local Library – Virtual Media

Most libraries have an extensive collection of virtual media available, including ebooks, movies, music and audio books and even periodicals.  Once an account is set-up, borrowers can have full access to available materials from anywhere without a trip to the library.  Stop by or call your local library to learn what tech products they offer.

3.  Health Tracking Software

There are several new health tracking apps and software available today to help seniors monitor their health, remind them to take their medications and track their physical activity.

4.  Text to Speech Tools

People facing a temporary or permanent speech difficulty can use text to speech (TTS) apps to “talk” to others via their table or smartphone keyboard.  Popular options include Speak It and Speak It! 2.

5.  Video Calls

Seniors can make voice and video calls to family and friends over the internet using Skype or Google Hangout.  Communicating with family long-distance is easy and is available for smartphones, tablets and regular computers.

6.  Ringing Flashlight

This is a smartphone app that makes the camera’s flash light blink when a call is coming in or a text message is received, even when the ringer is turned off.

7.  Video and Computer Games

Video games have been proven to improve awareness, mental alertness and even physical health for seniors, with devices such as Wii Fit.  Video games can also help promote social interaction.

8.  Helpout by Google

Enjoy personal one-on-one instruction, troubleshooting help, or training from real people in real time from your computer, tablet or smartphone.  From art and music classes to setting up new computer networks or performing a new yoga pose.  Free and paid classes are available.

9. Wireless Home Monitoring

Wireless home monitoring systems can help seniors; their families and caregivers stay in touch. Using sensors in the home, these systems can detect emergencies such as falls; alert to unusual behavior that doesn’t follow normal routines and even track vital signs.

10.  Hearing Aids

Many people who have, but do not wear, hearing aids complain about the size, the need to adjust the volume and background noise.   But thanks to technology, today’s hearing aids are much smaller, automatically adjust the volume, filter out background noise and are much easier to wear. Improved hearing can have a significant impact on the quality of life for many seniors.

Technology can be intimidating to many seniors so they may need help getting started.  Many people have had success with family members and friends teaching their elders how to use technology.   In addition, many communities offer classes and other resources to help seniors learn how to use this new technology.  Check with the following sources to learn more:

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Sarah Mueller Runs for the First Time!

With the Amazing Anti-Gravity Treadmill at the Meadows

museum

At The Meadows, we recently experienced something extraordinary with Sarah Mueller.  Sarah is a busy lady – a vibrant 27-year old who works full time, has authored a book Elf Help: Ability Therapy and works out every day.  This talented lady has accomplished many things but one was still missing.  She had never been able to run.  That is until July 8 when she experienced the sensation of running using the breakthrough AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill at The Meadows.  You can share our joy by seeing the incredible video of her run for the first time.

Read About the AlterG at the Meadows

See Sarah’s YouTube Video

Sarah was born with a neural tube birth defect called spina bifida myelomeningocele.  In spite of the rare sounding name, it is a common, permanent disabling birth defect that does not allow the spinal cord to fully develop.  Sarah is able to get around with the aid of a cane for short distances but uses a wheelchair for longer ones. She cannot run or jump, and walking very short distances causes physical pain for her. So when Sarah was able to run without any pain on the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, she declared it “a magical moment.”

 Sarah’s Experience

 The Meadows is the only skilled rehab facility in the area to have one of these revolutionary anti-gravity treadmills.  After reading an article about the treadmill in a local newspaper, she decided to visit our facility and give it a try.

Here is Sarah’s story, in her own words:

“First, you put on some really silly looking shorts that are a lot like scuba diving pants. Then, you step onto the treadmill into a tiny opening. Once you’re securely in the open spot, physical therapists pull up what looks like a giant bag all around your body, up to about right under the chest line, and then proceed to zip it up all around you.

At this point this giant bag around you then fills with air until you are lifted slightly above the running strip on the treadmill. It’s like you’re floating on air! Then, the device lowers you back down until your feet are again touching it.

From this point on you get to decide how much support the machine provides you—all based upon your individual needs as it relates to your muscle mass and overall strength. Once you have that plugged in, you can begin going as fast or as slow as you would like. The goal is to feel comfortable, and to feel absolutely no pain as you get an amazing cardio workout! It also happens to have a TV screen attached to it, so you can be entertained while you work out, or even have a camera directly on your feet and legs so you can see if you are running straight, or having any difficulties you may otherwise be unable to feel. In other words, this machine is amazing.”

Sarah’s Results

“I went in with some serious lower back, shoulder, clavicle and knee pain (…let’s just say that everything hurt when I went in). And afterward? I had Zero pain, soreness, aching.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. 

It took everything in me to keep from bawling my eyes out! There didn’t seem to be a dry eye in the room as all the physical therapists stopped what they were doing to watch me. Apparently, I was the first person to come in and ask to try the machine out, so they were mesmerized by the fact I was experiencing something so monumental –for the very first time–, in their clinic, on this machine that they were barely even used to using yet.

I managed to keep my emotions in check while there, but I’m not afraid to say once I was in the privacy of my own vehicle, I spent a good 10-15 minutes crying hysterically with joy.  I have spent my entire life dreaming of what it would feel like to go for a run.  To be honest, I would have happily settled for knowing what it felt like to walk more than a few minutes without feeling excruciating lower back pain. But instead of “just” one wish, today I was granted two.

As I sat in my car reflecting on what had just taken place, all I could think of were two things:

  1. I am filled with so much gratitude, elation and awe I think I might burst.
  2. I would go through every bit of physical and emotional pain in life all over again if I knew it would bring me back to this moment in time.

I just had the most spectacular, memorable day…and my soul is overflowing with gratitude and happiness! When all is said and done, I can do some very incredible things, and my life is more fulfilling than words could ever convey. In short…my life is a never ending gift, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I feel like the luckiest person on Earth.”

 

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Almond Cloud Cookie Recipe

Looking for a delicious treat to end your summer?  We found one of our favorite recipes to share with you!  Here’s how to make our yummy Gluten-free Almond Cloud Cookies:

almond cookies

Our tasty Almond Cloud Cookies go great with a milkshake!

Ingredients

10 ounces almond paste

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

¼ tsp. gluten-free almond extract

1/8 tsp. extra-strong bitter almond oil

confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease two baking sheets.  Blend the almond paste, sugar, and salt until the mixture becomes uniformly crumbly.  Add the egg whites while mixing until the dough forms a smooth paste.  Next, stir in the flavorings and scoop the dough using an ice cream scoop or spoon onto the prepared baking pans.  Sprinkle the cookies heavily with confectioners sugar and then use 3 fingers to press an indentation into the center of each cookie.  Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are brown around the edges.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

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