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Senior News: Seven lifestyle habits to help you ‘live long and prosper’

NIAGARA, Wis. — Our lifespans have increased. It is no secret that medical advances have kept many of us living far longer than our ancestors. More is now known about the causes of disease so we can better take the steps we need to take to prevent them — or at least prevent their onset for as long as possible. Physically, this is definitely true. But we have more to learn about how to keep our brains functioning well along with our bodies. After all, it is a pretty sad state of affairs when we are physically fit, but our brains have deteriorated. We need both body and brain in good shape to help us continue to enjoy our lives.

So, how do we accomplish this? I read an interesting article in the most recent edition of the AARP Bulletin that shared seven “secrets” of “super agers” — those people who are 90-plus years old yet have the memory, thinking skills and zest for life of people decades younger. While genetics play a part, family history is not the only reason why some of us manage to live both long and fulfilling lives. It turns out that lifestyle choices well within our control also contribute to living both long and mentally sharp lives.

Here is the list of the seven habits we can all adopt to help us live long lives that are both physically and mentally healthy.

1 — Control your blood sugar and blood pressure. This is accomplished through both medication and eating a nutrient-rich diet. Follow an eating pattern rich in whole grains, vegetables that include leafy greens, nuts, berries and fish. Your diet should be low in red meat, butter and sweets. This diet has been proven to slow brain aging by 7.5 years, thus keeping thinking and memory sharper.

2 — Talk to friends — a lot! Older adults who connected every day to friends and relatives had less shrinkage in key brain areas than those who seldom had social contact with others. Our brains need social connection to stay healthy. Those who cite feeling lonely most often experienced greater memory decline.

3 — Avoid stress and prioritize mental health. A Danish study found that depression doubled the risk for dementia and that those with high stress levels had a 37% higher risk for memory problems compared with those reporting low stress levels. Another study found that older adults with depression who got treatment — including medication and talk therapy — were up to 32% less likely to develop dementia than those who did not seek help.

4 — Prioritize sleep. During sleep, our brains rid themselves of toxic waste that builds up early in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep three or four nights per week for three months boosted the risk for worsening memory in older adults. If you have chronic sleep difficulty, do not rely on medications, as they were found to boost the risk of dementia by 48%! Sleep is essential to a healthy brain, so seek help from your doctor or a sleep medicine specialist. Or you can do a simple Google search for “good sleep hygiene” to get a list of tips for healthy sleep.

5 — Protect vision and hearing. As we age, cataracts and hearing loss become a greater concern. We need both those senses to keep sending strong messages to our brain — accurate messaging gives our brain the information it needs to keep functioning at an optimum level. Studies have shown that hearing aids decreased memory loss by 48% in people who used them, and cataract surgery lowered dementia risk by 29%. Most Medicare plans will cover both an annual hearing exam and vision exam. Take advantage of these benefits so your ears and eyes remain healthy enough to send stimuli to your brain.

6 — Exercise is important. Studies have shown that while super agers do not exercise more often, they do exercise harder. They push themselves by doing more strenuous activities like gardening and stair climbing. Walking a mile is wonderful, but walking a mile fast enough to get your heart rate up is better. Consequently, super agers have more speed, mobility, agility and balance than typical older adults.

7 — Super agers engage in a lot of different brain exercises. The brain likes variety and responds favorably to many different stimuli. If you do crossword puzzles and word finds — great! To those activities add others like reading, listening to music, attending lectures and movies and concerts. Travel more and play games. New experiences provide food for your brain, so keep feeding it a varied menu.

If this list of seven seems daunting, try this condensed list of four lifestyle characteristics that have been identified as major contributors to a long and healthy time on this Earth.

1 — Practice a physically and mentally active lifestyle.

2 — Be willing and able to continually challenge yourself.

3 — Practice an active social life and cultivate a wide social network.

4 — Practice moderation in all indulgences but allow yourself the occasional glass of wine or piece of pie.

A few lifestyle changes now, along with a little self-control, will reap large rewards. There is a promise for many more years filled with both meaningful productivity and enjoyment. So, let’s all take guidance from “Star Trek” and follow Mr. Spock’s motto: “Live long and prosper!”

——

NURSING HOMES/ SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES

Freeman Nursing and Rehabilitation Community

Kingsford

906-774-1530

Group activities are ongoing, and doors are unlocked for visits. Anyone who would like to entertain residents is welcome. Volunteers are also needed to help with crafts and other activities.

Sunday: Church on TV/coloring/residents’ choice, 10 a.m.

Monday: Rosary, 10 a.m.; room visits, 10 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; men’s day — target golf and snacks, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Church with Lisa, 10 a.m.; dancing manias, 10:15 a.m.; world TV trivia, 11:45 a.m.; crafts, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: For the love of hair, 10 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; drinks and chatter, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Family visits.

Friday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; white board fun, 11 a.m.; music, 11:45 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Visit with coffee at the nursing desk/resident choice

Iron County Medical Care Facility

Crystal Falls

906-874-1501

Sunday: Room visits, 9 a.m.; “Name that Tune,” 10 a.m.; parachute, 11 a.m.; room visits, 12:30 p.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Riddler, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Sunshine Club, 9 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; men’s club, 2:15 p.m.; classic movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/travel club, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; monthly birthday party and music with Bob Larson, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; turkey bowling, 10 a.m.; travel film, 1 p.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Friday: Mandalas, 9:30 a.m.; exercise, 10:45 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; smart shoppers 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Word game/room visits, 9 a.m.; spelling bball, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; social hour, 2 p.m.

Optalis Healthcare

(formerly Manor Care/ ProMedica)

Kingsford

906-774-4805

The center is now open for visitation. Visitors no longer need to call in advance.

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

Monday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; exercise, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; Thanksgiving bingo, 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Wet your whistle, 9 a.m.; chair yoga, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; roll a turkey, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 10 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; talkin’ turkey, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Macy’s Day Parade, 8 a.m.; Thanksgiving Day coffee clutch, 9 a.m.

Friday: Chips and chatter, 9 a.m.; reminiscing, 9:30 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; turkey bowling, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Morning mixer, 9:30 a.m.; devotional, 10 a.m.; room visits, 11 a.m.; memory game, 1 p.m.

Maryhill Manor Nursing Home

Niagara, Wis.

715-251-3172

Visitation is allowed. Family members are also invited to daily scheduled activities.

Sunday: Coffee and tic tac trivia, 10 a.m.; delivery of communion, 12:30 p.m.; romance movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Monday: Rosary / communion, 9 a.m.; pamper and polish, 10 a.m.; joker-eno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; exercise and trivia, 10 a.m.; scattegories, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Rosary/communion, 9 a.m.; Yahtzee, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Packers vs. Lions tailgate with popcorn, 2 p.m.

Friday: Uno, 10 a.m.; C&R happy hour with Jim D., 2 p.m.

Saturday: Morning mingle/“Price Is Right,” 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Northshore Healthcare

Florence, Wis.

715-528-4833

Sunday: Independent activities.

Monday: Write thank you letters, 10 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Parachute, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Puzzle, 10 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; bean bag toss, 2 p.m.; Movie — “The Thanksgiving Story,” 3 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Independent activities

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

906-774-5158

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: Thanksgiving Day

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

Saturday: Juice time, 10 a.m.

Pinecrest Medical

Care Facility

Powers

906-497-5244

Sunday: Morning visits and reality orientation; church service, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; movie, 1:30 p.m.

Monday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; resident council meeting, 11 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; table talk, 4 p.m.

Tuesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; sensory group, 10:30 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; one-on-one visits, 4 p.m.

Wednesday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.; story hour, 4 p.m.

Thursday: Morning visits and reality orientation; open room, 10 a.m.; turkey talk, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; holiday handouts — return filled out on Friday and pick out a prize!

Friday: Morning visits and reality orientation; Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; leftover talk, 11:30 a.m.; movie, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday: Morning visits and reality orientation; exercise, 10 a.m.; trivia, 11:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

SENIOR CENTERS

Alpha-Mastodon Center

906-875-3315

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

906-822-7284

Menu for the week —

Tuesday: Beef barley soup, grilled ham and Swiss sandwich.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

Breen Center

Kingsford

906-774-5110

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: Creamy chicken vegetable soup, grilled cheese sandwich, yogurt cup.

Tuesday: Breakfast meal — eggs, potatoes, bacon.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

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

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook: Sterling Peryam

Assistant Cook: Bitsy Peryam

906-875-6709

The center is open on Mondays, serving meals for dine-in or takeout — call the center by 1 p.m. to make reservations or 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 phone number. A volunteer will deliver meals to homebound citizens only.

Menu for the week —

Monday: Baked chicken, rice pilaf.

Tuesday: Tacos with pinto beans, Mexican rice.

Wednesday: Beef burgundy, egg noodles.

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

Monday: Cheese tortellini with meat sauce, broccoli, garlic bread.

Tuesday: Mushroom Swiss burger, French fries, baked beans.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Egg-cheese-ham, muffin, hashbrowns, pears.

Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency

DICSA

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: Cheese tortellini with meat sauce, broccoli, garlic bread.

Tuesday: Mushroom Swiss burger, french fries, baked beans.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Egg-cheese-ham, muffin, hashbrowns, pears.

Friday: Chicken Caesar salad, hard-boiled egg, pudding.

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

906-828-1776

Schedule for the week is:

Monday: Les Artistes’ art club, noon to 4 p.m.; wood carvers, 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 cents, with 10 games played.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday: Closed

Felch Center

906-246-3559

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

Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas.

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes, potato wedges, buttered corn.

Wednesday: Spaghetti with meatballs, green beans, breadstick.

Note: All meals served with skim milk or juice.

Home-delivered meals ­–

Monday: Cheese tortellini with meat sauce, broccoli, garlic bread.

Tuesday: Mushroom Swiss burger, french fries, baked beans.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie.

Aging and Disability Resource Center

Florence County, Wis.

715-528-4890

Director: Tiffany White

Menu for the week —

Monday: Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, beets, fruit.

Tuesday: Chef Choice — entrée, vegetable, fruit.

Wednesday: “Deer Camp” pasties, coleslaw, bananas, applesauce cake.

Thursday: All centers closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday: All centers closed.

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

Fence Center/Town Hall

715-336-2980 – RSVP for meal at 855-528-2372

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

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

Same as ADRC menu. 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 number listed earlier.

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, served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Barb Peters

906-498-7735

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: Spaghetti with meat sauce, corn, Italian blend vegetables, garlic bread, pears.

Tuesday: Chop suey, white rice, Oriental vegetables, Oriental coleslaw, Mandarin oranges.

Wednesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, applesauce, whole wheat bread.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday: Closed.

Iron River Center

906-265-6134

Open for dine-in eating, serving at 11 a.m. Salad bar is available. No night meals served at this time. Carryout meals also available. Menu for the week —

Monday: Cowboy casserole, fiesta corn, applesauce.

Tuesday: Mushroom-Swiss burger, french fries, bacon-lettuce-tomato salad.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

Niagara Senior Center/Café

715-251-1603

The center is open, and 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.

Monday: Sloppy Joes, baked beans, steak fries, chips.

Tuesday: Chicken breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, Jell-o poke cake.

Wednesday: Marinated pork, gravy, red potatoes, vegetable medley, pineapple.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

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

Norway Center

Director: Joyce Olesky

Head Cook:  Brian Gutkowski 

906-563-8716

Open for dine-in eating, beginning at 11:15 a.m. Salad bar is available from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Takeout meals will remain available for pick-up from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Those coming for a meal should let staff know if planning to dine in or pick up. Menu for the week —

Monday: Thanksgiving Meal — Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Tuesday: Polish sausage, sauerkraut, red potatoes, vegetables.

Wednesday: Liver or burger and onions, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetables.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

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

Center activity schedule:

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

Monday through Thursday — Card game 101 from 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

906-542-3273

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

Tuesday: Biscuits and sausage gravy, fried potatoes, fresh fruit.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie.

Thursday: Closed — Happy Thanksgiving.

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

Home-delivered meals —

Monday: Cheese tortellini with meat sauce, broccoli, garlic bread.

Tuesday: Mushroom Swiss burger, French fries, baked beans.

Wednesday: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie.

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