It’s important to cultivate a healthy mindset as we age

NIAGARA, Wis. — As I write this column, my 73rd birthday is just a few days away. As I contemplate another year lived and another year ahead, I remember what my mother always used to say as she aged, “It beats the alternative.” Aging gets a bad rap in our society. How often do we hear the term “anti-aging” as products are being pitched to us in television commercials? Marketers would have us believe that we need to protect ourselves against getting old, and, for goodness sake, let’s not look our age! Aging is a natural and normal process, and we need to approach it with a positive attitude. So, today let’s take a look at how to develop a healthy mindset as we add years to our life.

First, it is helpful to remember that not everyone gets the chance to age as far into life as others. If we are fortunate enough to “still be kicking,” we need to appreciate that fact and cherish not only the time we have remaining to us, but all the years we have been given to date. So much of our happiness in our later years depends upon our own mindset. Helen Mirren takes a very matter-of-fact approach to her attitude toward this process as she says, “You die young, or you get older. There is nothing in between. You may as well enjoy it.”

Second, there is something to be said for experience. Think of all that we have learned over the years. Some lessons have been difficult ones while others have provided us with many happy memories that we can spend time savoring now. As Madeleine L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” With experience comes perspective, and we know events that caused us great worry when we were younger are no longer cause for concern. Max Ehrmann expressed this fact in his words, “Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.” And Morgan Harper Nichols expressed the beauty of the aging process when he said, “One day you will look back, and see that all along, you were blooming.” Personally, I like this notion most of all: I am not old, I am simply in full bloom!

Third, aging is a process. The longer we live, the more of that process we get to experience. And with that experience, comes greater appreciation for each new day. Frank Lloyd Wright captures this thought in his words, “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” And Louise Hay echoes similar feelings in her words, “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once.”

Finally, former President James A. Garfield advises that as we physically age, we must protect ourselves from aging emotionally. As he states, “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.”

So, how do we protect our spirit from growing old — and forlorn? How do we bolster our mental and emotional health as we age? In a recent article written by LaKeisha Fleming for the Verywell Mind newsletter, we are encouraged to treat ourselves to little luxuries. And she advises that they need not be expensive to be effective. A little luxury is something that brings a spark of joy, beauty, or delight to our day. It is not something we need, but it is something that makes our day the tiniest bit more extraordinary. Think of them as simple acts of kindness toward yourself that help you find joy in everyday moments. These simple acts will yield these benefits:

— Stress relief. Activities that accomplish stress relief include listening to music, spending time with friends, enjoying time in nature, and quiet meditation. As stress decreases, we become more aware of our presence in the moment, and any anxiety we may have had lessens. We experience a feeling of well-being, and our blood pressure decreases, muscle tension is relieved, our sleep improves, and our immune system strengthens.

— A greater sense of self-compassion. We cannot be there for others if we do not first take care of ourselves. Be kind to you. Lessen the demands you place upon yourself.

— Enhancement of your creative capabilities. Giving yourself pleasant activities will allow you to be more productive as mental abilities increase.

— Mood enhancement. As you allow yourself little luxuries throughout the day, feel-good neurotransmitters will be released that will improve your overall mood.

As their name implies, little luxuries are just that –small, inexpensive things that simply help us to feel good in the moment. They can include one piece of your favorite decadent chocolate, a walk in the woods or on the beach with no phone, a drive to the riverbank, a small bottle of your favorite perfume. Anything that you enjoy, that helps you to savor the moment in which you find yourself, and gives you a lift can be a luxury. At work, a walk around the building, going to your favorite restaurant for your lunch break, or buying a cushion to make your desk chair more comfortable are all small luxuries. And when traveling, a neck pillow for the plane or the latest copy of your favorite magazine for the trip qualify as small luxuries. All of these things are personal indulgences that lift our spirits in meaningful ways. They allow us to be kind to ourselves.

If you are not accustomed to being kind to yourself or putting yourself first once in a while, adopting this practice may seem a hurdle that is just too big for you to jump. And you may feel that it will simply take too much time. But remember, time invested in yourself will replenish your energy and improve your mental health making you more productive and better able to continue to help others. New habits do take time in the beginning so here are a few tips.

— Upgrade your routine. These new habits, once you have decided upon them, will only become habit if they are incorporated into your daily life. If you have decided to enjoy your favorite coffee in a special mug, get up early enough to fully savor it in peace and quiet. If soaking in a bubble bath is what you have chosen, set a time at the end of each day to make it happen.

— Enhance your environment. Create a space that relaxes you, and make it your own oasis away from the hectic pace of your day. This can be a corner on your deck or porch at home, under a tree in the backyard, or a quiet place at work away from your desk and telephone.

— Schedule your escapes. Whether a part of your day, week or month, treat your personal escape like an appointment that cannot be missed. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip; a simple, yet regular, change of scenery will do the job.

— Keep it personal and subjective. These little luxuries are simple indulgences meant just for you. They do not have to please anyone else. The key is to find what works for you and to make it a consistent part of your self-care routine.

Taking care of ourselves is not a selfish act. Indulging in a few simple pleasures will keep life worth living and keep us mentally and emotionally strong so we can continue to live our best life for ourselves and for those we love. We cannot stop the aging process — we are all getting older with each passing day. But we can make the journey a lot more pleasant and meaningful by not only taking care of ourselves physically, but by investing in our mental and emotional health as well.


Freeman Nursing and Rehabilitation Community



The facility welcomes anyone who would like to entertain residents. Volunteers are also needed to help with crafts and other activities.

Sunday: Church on TV/resident self-activities, 10 a.m.

Monday: Breakfast fun, 7:45 a.m.; rosary, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; dice club, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Breakfast fun, 7:45 a.m.; hair, 10 a.m.; music — YouTube, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Breakfast fun, 7:45 a.m.; garden club, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; art, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Breakfast fun, 7:45 a.m.; resident council meeting, 10 a.m.; crafts, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Breakfast fun, 7:45 a.m.; room visits, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Resident choice — have fun with the weekend packet.

Iron County Medical Care Facility

Crystal Falls


Sunday: Room visits, 8:30 a.m.; “Name That Tune,” 9:30 a.m.; chair exercise, 10:45 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; bonfire, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Coffee social/just friends, 9:30 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; garden club, 2 p.m.; western movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; Sunshine Club, 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; Dan’s songs for seniors, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; happy hour with music, 2 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; scavenger hunt, 2 p.m.; activity council, 3 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: “Price Is Right”/how do you feel? 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 10:45 a.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Optalis Healthcare



Sunday: File and style, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; ice cream social, 1 p.m.

Monday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; June fun facts, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; name that, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Jim Edberg, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 9 a.m.; leisure cart, 10 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Suzuki students, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; chair yoga, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; snacks and movie, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Donut social, 9 a.m.; reminiscing, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Men’ social, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; po-ke-no, 1 p.m.

Maryhill Manor Nursing Home

Niagara, Wis.


Families are allowed to attend activities and are encouraged to join in.

Sunday: Scattegories, 10 a.m.; delivery of communion, 12:30 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; church service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Rosary/communion service, 9 a.m.; pamper and polish, 10 a.m.; bocce ball, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Rosary/communion service, 9 a.m.; board games, 10 a.m.; music with Bob Larson, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary/communion service, 9 a.m.; baking — mint chocolate chip cookies, 10 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; evening prayer, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Rosary, 9 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9:30 a.m.; birthday social, 10 a.m.; movement in the courtyard, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Friday: “You Be the Judge,” 10 a.m.; C&R happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Scrabble, 10 a.m.; courtyard cabana – lemonade, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy/Sunday scripture, 3 p.m.

Northshore Healthcare

Florence, Wis.


Sunday: Independent activities

Monday: Card games — Uno and cribbage, 10 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Group puzzle, 10 a.m.; manicure, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Exercise/chair dance, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; bean bag toss, 2 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; movie, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Independent activities

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain


Sunday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; bingo and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; trivia and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; bingo and refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Friday: Juice time, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; refreshments, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday: Juice time, 10 a.m.

Pinecrest Medical

Care Facility



No information available


Alpha-Mastodon Center


The center at 415 Main St. is open four days a week, serving soup and sandwich meal from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, fish fries from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, pizzas from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and dinner from 2 to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Amasa Center


Menu for the week —

Tuesday: Garlic parmesan haddock, tartar sauce, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, biscuit, pudding.

Wednesday: Baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, applesauce.

Thursday: Shredded barbecue chicken on a bun, sweet potato with butter, macaroni and cheese, yogurt parfait.

Breen Center



Open for dine-in eating Monday through Thursday, serving at noon. Friday and night meals are on hold indefinitely. Carryout meals are available. Soup and salad bar are also available.

Menu for the week —

Monday: Scalloped potatoes with ham, green beans, biscuit, pudding.

Tuesday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, broccoli with cheese, dinner roll.

Wednesday: Beef stroganoff, mixed vegetables, whole wheat dinner roll.

Thursday: French bread pizza, Italian blend vegetables, fruit crumble.

Note: All meals served with a choice of skim milk or juice and fruit.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook: Elizabeth Peryam

Assistant Cooks: Debbie Bigalski and Shannon Stapleton


The center is now open on Mondays and is serving meals for dine-in or takeout — call the center by 1 p.m. to make reservations or to place an order. All food is purchased from local vendors. All dinners include warm vegetables, salad bar, soup, homemade desserts, coffee, tea, or milk. Salad bar begins at 4:30 p.m. and dinner is served at 5 p.m. Pickup for takeout meals is 4 p.m. — call ahead and leave a message with a phone number. A volunteer will deliver meals to homebound citizens only.

Menu for the week —

Monday: Spaghetti with Italian sausage, garlic bread.

Tuesday: Chicken ala king, egg noodles.

Wednesday: Beef burgundy, mashed potatoes. 50-50 raffle.

Home-delivered meals (prepared by DICSA – independent from above menu)

Monday: White chili with beans, carrots, cornbread.

Tuesday: Chicken teriyaki over rice, fried apples, Oriental vegetables, fortune cookie.

Wednesday: Oven-fried fish and chips, tartar sauce, steamed green beans.

Thursday: Hamburger and cabbage bake, sweet potatoes, garlic cheese biscuit, pudding.

Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency


Iron Mountain

906-774-2256, ext. 230 or 235

This is a Meals on Wheels program only. Home-delivered meals only — call to make arrangements.

Menu for the week —

Monday: White chili with beans, carrots, cornbread.

Tuesday: Chicken teriyaki over rice, fried apples, Oriental vegetables, fortune cookie.

Wednesday: Oven-fried fish and chips, tartar sauce, steamed green beans.

Thursday: Hamburger and cabbage bake, sweet potatoes, garlic cheese biscuit, pudding.

Friday: Taco salad, fiesta corn salad, tortilla chips.

Note: All meals include a choice of skim milk, juice, or no beverage.

For more information, call Christine McMahon at 906-774-2256.

Crystal Lake Center

Iron Mountain


Schedule for the week:

Monday: Les Artistes art club, noon to 4 p.m.; woodcarvers, starting at 9 a.m.

Tuesday: Cards — Pinochle and cribbage, noon to 4 p.m.; Happy Quilters, noon to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m.; cards cost 25 cent with 10 games played.

Thursday: Spinning Spools quilting, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friday: Cards — Smear, noon to 4 p.m.

Felch Center


Open for dine-in eating — call for serving times. Carryout meals also available.

Menu for the week —

Monday: Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce, Italian vegetables, garlic bread, dirt cup pudding.

Tuesday: Chicken with Brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potato slices, dinner roll, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Oven-fried fish and chips, tartar sauce, green beans.

Note: All meals served with skim milk or juice.

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: White chili with beans, carrots, cornbread.

Tuesday: Chicken teriyaki over rice, fried apples, Oriental vegetables, fortune cookie.

Wednesday: Oven-fried fish and chips, tartar sauce, steamed green beans.

Aging and Disability Resource Center

Florence County, Wis.


Director: Tiffany White

Menu for the week —

Monday: Cheese burger, baked beans, tater tots, beet salad, fruit.

Tuesday: Taco salad, corn bread, salsa, lime Jell-o with pineapple.

Wednesday: Spaghetti, spinach salad, garlic bread, fruit, birthday cake.

Thursday: Chicken strips, sweet potato fries, corn, fruit.

Friday: Breaded pork chops, mashed potatoes, cream corn, fruit, pumpkin brownies.

Note: All meals served with whole grain bread, butter and milk.

Fence Center/Town Hall


RSVP for meal at 855-528-2372

Same as ADRC menu, served at noon on Wednesday only.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

Open Monday through Thursday, serving at 11:30 a.m.

Reservations for a meal on site need to be made 48 hours in advance by calling the above number.

Tipler Town Hall

RSVP for meals at 715-674-2320

Same as ADRC menu, served at noon on second Thursday only.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

RSVP for meals at 715-589-4491

Same as ADRC menu. Now open, serving at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Barb Peters


Center is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meals are served through the Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency in Escanaba. Meals-On-Wheels program is available for those who are homebound.

Monday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable, pears, whole wheat bread.

Tuesday: Pork cutlet, au gratin potatoes, peas and onions, pineapple, whole wheat bread.

Wednesday: Beef and bean enchiladas, Spanish rice, Mexicorn, fresh fruit.

Thursday: Sweet and sour chicken, rice, Oriental vegetables, Oriental coleslaw, fruit cup.

Friday: Beef tips over noodles, Brussel sprouts, fruited Jell-O.

Iron River Center


Dine-in meal served at 11 a.m. Salad bar is available, as are carryout meals. No night meals are being served at this time. Menu for the week —

Monday: Tater tot casserole, candied carrots, biscuit.

Tuesday: Barbecue chicken wings, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, garlic biscuit, side salad.

Wednesday: Pasty, corn, cinnamon applesauce, coleslaw.

Thursday: Chicken and spaghetti, green beans, breadstick, Jell-O with fruit.

All meals are served with choice of skim milk or juice and fruit.

Niagara Senior Center/Café


Dinner is served at noon Monday through Thursday. Reservations are required one day in advance. Suggested donation is $5 for those older than 60 and $11 for 60 and younger. Bingo played on most Wednesdays. Transportation is available.

Tuesday: Seasoned chicken breast, parsley buttered potatoes, mixed vegetables, pineapple, wheat dinner roll.

Wednesday: Salisbury steak with mushrooms and gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, five-bean salad, wheat bread.

Thursday: Lasagna, romaine lettuce salad with tomatoes, garlic bread, cookie.

The center will have bingo on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month.

Norway Center

Director: Joyce Olesky

Head Cook:  Brian Gutkowski 


Dine-in eating begins at 11:15 a.m. Salad bar available from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Takeout meals available for pick-up from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Let staff know if planning to dine in or pick up. Menu for the week —

Monday: Chicken parmesan over noodles, garlic bread, vegetables.

Tuesday: Pizza burger, sweet potato fries, vegetables.

Wednesday: Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables.

Thursday: Soft shell taco with vegetable toppings.

All meals include milk, juice, fruit, bread and dessert.

Feeding America on Thursday.

Center activity schedule:

Mondays and Thursdays — Exercise at 10 a.m. and card bingo after the meal.

Monday through Thursday — Card game 101, noon to 3 p.m. Call Joe at 906-563-5587 for information.

Tuesdays — Quilting and sewing

Wednesdays — Ceramics and crocheting

Last Monday of each month — Book club at 9 a.m.

Second Thursday of each month — Birthdays and bingo

Sagola Center


Dine-in meals available. Salad bar opens at 11 a.m. and meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Tuesday: Chili dog, baked fries, macaroni and cheese, pudding cup.

Wednesday: Hearty beef stew, pickled beets, garlic cheese biscuit, Jell-O.

Thursday: Pork roast, fried cabbage, peas, dinner roll with butter.

All meals served with an option of milk, juice or no beverage.

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: White chili with beans, carrots, cornbread.

Tuesday: Chicken teriyaki over rice, fried apples, Oriental vegetables, fortune cookie.

Wednesday: Oven-fried fish and chips, tartar sauce, steamed green beans.


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