Dear Savvy Senior, I’m concerned about my 80-year-old mother who’s at high risk for coronavirus. She lives on...
The Denver Tech Center has been relatively quiet of late as businesses and residents work to adapt in the wake...
Dear Savvy Senior, Is Medicare covering testing for the coronavirus? My husband and I are very nervous about t...
Relationships come in many forms. There are family relationships, friendships, collegial relationships and rom...
Dear Savvy Senior, Do kidney problems run in families? My mother died from kidney failure 10 years ago at age...
What is on your “Bucket List” regarding the health of your relationships? You might say, I want more respect o...
Three candidates are vying for two seats on the board of directors for South Suburban Park and Recreation Dist...
The last parcel of land on West Side of RidgeGate community, it continues the expansion of Sky Ridge Medical C...
SUBMITTED BY RENEW SADDLE ROCK MEMORY CARE With the fear of pandemic, never has it been truer that “an ounce o...
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Dear Savvy Senior,
I’m concerned about my 80-year-old mother who’s at high risk for coronavirus. She lives on her own about 100 miles from me, and I’ve been keeping close tabs on her since this whole pandemic started. What tips can you offer long-distance family members?
Because the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are the most vulnerable to the new coronavirus, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of social distancing and staying home is critically important.
Here are some additional tips and recommendations from the CDC and public health specialists that can help keep your elderly mother safe and healthy while she’s hunkering down at home until the pandemic passes.
Know and follow the other CDC recommendations:
Make sure you and your mom know and practice the CDC recommendations for older adults and those with compromised health conditions. Some of their guidelines – like washing your hands and avoid touching your face – you’re probably already familiar with, but there are many other recommendations and they’re constantly changing. For the complete list visit Coronavirus.gov – click on “Older Adults & Medical Conditions.”
Have supplies on hand: Start by contacting your mom’s healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand for a prolonged period of time. If she cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications so she can avoid going into a pharmacy. Also be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms.
She should also have enough groceries and household items on hand so that she can stay at home for an extended period of time. If she needs to restock supplies, there’s online grocery delivery options like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Peapod, Target and Walmart, and a growing number of stores including Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Dollar General and many other that are offering early dedicated shopping times to vulnerable seniors to reduce their risk of being exposed to the virus.
There are also home delivery meal programs that can help home-bound seniors – see MealsOnWheelsAmerica.org to locate one in your mom’s area. Or, check out companies like Silver Cuisine (SilverCuisine.com) or Mom’s Meals (MomsMeals.com) that deliver nutritious pre-cooked meals to seniors that can be heated up in the microwave.
Use technology: For many seniors, social distancing can also lead to social isolation and loneliness, which is a common problem in the older population. If your mom has a computer, tablet or smartphone, she can stay connected to friends and relatives via videocalls through Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, which is a safe alternative.
If your mom isn’t familiar or comfortable with mainstream technology there are other solutions like the GrandPad (GrandPad.net), which is a simplified 4G tablet designed for seniors 75 and older that allows one-touch videocalls, email and much more.
And for peace of mind, there are also check-in services like Snug (SnugSafe.com) that send free daily check-ins to your mom’s phone to confirm she’s OK. And, will let you know if she doesn’t respond.
Skip nonessential doctor’s appointments: Most public health experts are also recommending that seniors at risk cancel nonessential doctor’s appointments. If your mom has a condition that she feels should not be put off, see if a telemedicine session, which is now covered by Medicare would be an option.
Talk to caregivers: If your mom uses a home health or home care service, that means a number of different aides may be coming through her door.
Be sure you talk to the agency she uses or her aides about hygiene. They should all be reminded to wash their hands or use hand gel sanitizer frequently. And any equipment they bring into your mom’s home should be wiped down with disinfectant.
The Denver Tech Center has been relatively quiet of late as businesses and residents work to adapt in the wake of statewide closures.
The mood was particularly subdued last Thursday, with the typical bustling afternoon crowd having worked from home, and others being driven back inside by the snowstorm. But the scene wasn’t dead.
At MidiCi on South Newport Street, delivery drivers came and went, and the occasional patron would stroll by the restaurant to pick up a pizza. Inside, owner Blaine D’Argonne sat typing away under the restaurant’s olive tree.
“Social distancing isn’t exactly a term that excites anyone in the restaurant industry,” said D’Argonne, leaning into an elbow bump. “But it’s important to do what we can.”
MidiCi opened its doors in March of 2019. Though like all restaurants currently closed for in-house dining — a recent state mandate to help avoid large gatherings — the charming little pizzeria is facing uncertain times. I sat down with D’Argonne to discuss the changing environment.
Villager: Restaurants and bars are closing down around the state, while others like yours are still operating through takeout and delivery. What has this experience been like?
D’Argonne: Things happened a lot faster than a lot of people anticipated. This was an unforeseen thing, and of course we knew we were going to be impacted. But it was also important for us to remain open to the community if we could.
It certainly would have been easier to throw in the towel and sit on our hands, but that strategy doesn’t exactly help the livelihood of our employees, which I take extremely seriously.
Villager: How do you operate a business in this climate?
D’Argonne: It’s difficult, but you have to focus on the things you can control. My team members and myself have already placed flyers on doors and dropped off catering menus to local businesses.
I also think we have a responsibility to the community. I know that sounds weird, we make pizza. But people are at home, some are scared, and they want the comforts they’re used to. At a time when everyone is telling us to separate, when we really want to be together, those little comforts can go a long way.
Our motto is ‘People are the best thing that can happen to anyone.’ It’s important for us to rise to the occasion and remain a place of friendship, inclusiveness and optimism.
Villager: When this is all said and done, what kind of impact do you think it would have had on the industry?
D’Argonne: It’s a little scary. There’s still a lot that we don’t know, but we definitely see ourselves being here for the long haul. I love this community, and it’s always a blessing to be able to call on your friends and neighbors for support during uncertain times.
This is a special place with special people, and we ask your readers to do what they can to support us and other small businesses still trying to serve the community.
Is Medicare covering testing for the coronavirus? My husband and I are very nervous about this virus and would like to find out if or when we should get tested, and how Medicare manages it.
Yes! Medicare is indeed covering the cost of testing for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. But be aware that getting a test isn’t as simple as going to your local pharmacy or doctor’s office and asking for one. Here’s a breakdown of what Medicare is covering, along with how to get tested if you think you may have symptoms.
Medicare (Part B) will cover the lab test to see if you have coronavirus, but only when your doctor or other health care provider orders it. You will pay no out-of-pocket costs for these tests.
In addition, Medicare also covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
And while there’s currently no vaccine yet to protect against COVID-19, when one becomes available next year, it too will be covered by all Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D).
If you happen to get your Medicare benefits through a private Medicare Advantage plan, you will have access to these same benefits. In addition, many Advantage plans are also expanding coverage of telemedicine, which allows beneficiaries to consult with medical professionals without having to go to a doctor’s office. Check with your plan for coverage details.
When to Call Your Doctor
Older adults, age 60 and older (especially those in their 70s and 80s), and people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease are at a higher risk of serious illness if they contract the coronavirus. So, everyone in these categories need to be vigilant.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
If you develop any symptoms that are concerning, you should contact your primary-care provider by phone for guidance. If your doctor believes you need testing, he or she will instruct you on what to do. Unfortunately, there have been reports of test shortages across the country, so depending on where you live you may have to wait a few days.
To help you steer clear of COVID-19 the CDC recommends that you avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being out in public, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
To the extent possible, try to avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes. And avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places, like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, and handshaking with people. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
Also, clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces – tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and cell phones.
You should also avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
The CDC also recommends that seniors and high-risk individuals stock up on supplies, such as extra medications and groceries. And, if there is an outbreak in your community, remain at home as much as possible. They also discourage non-essential travel.
For more information on the COVID-19, visit Coronavirus.gov.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
Relationships come in many forms. There are family relationships, friendships, collegial relationships and romantic attachments. The closer we are to someone, the more vulnerable we become. Once we open ourselves to another person, we become more susceptible to rejection and abandonment which fuels our deepest insecurities. Those who have experienced adverse child experiences and trauma or acute dysfunction and instability in their family of origin experience insecurities that can lead to self-sabotaging behavior.
I recently experienced this with a close friend. He had a hard life being traumatized by an angry, even violent, father. He experienced emotional and physical abuse at the hands of a young father who probably experienced anger and rage from his father. Even though his mother divorced, the effects of childhood trauma was already present. Years ago, we did not know much about the effects of this abuse on adolescent brain architecture and behavior.
In high school he experimented with substances and other risk behaviors. Fast forward into his adulthood, he also experienced a painful divorce, rejected by the love of his life. He never remarried and experienced addictions, homelessness and continued his risky behaviors. After two motorcycle accidents, he decided to get some help. Soon after he relapsed into addictions with opioids claiming that he was in constant pain from all his injuries.
Just last month his younger brother told family members they needed to do an intervention. They went to my friend’s apartment and found him living in squalor unable to walk, crawling to the bathroom and crying out in pain. He was a hot mess. He was in a borderline diabetic coma, sweaty and clammy and was lashing out.
Getting him to the hospital, his family learned he had a ruptured lumbar disc which made him unable to walk. He had surgery and was doing better. Once thankful to his siblings for surrounding him with care and taking charge of his health, he started lashing out asking to be left alone. I explained to the family that he needed some understanding and grace as he is sabotaging his closest relationships because he does not feel like he deserves to be cared for and loved well.
Researchers describe this phenomenon as a trigger point. We may not recall early experiences in life, but our emotional memory triggers a deep sense of hurt and pain. Him lashing out, which may seem like an overreaction to others, is his way of dealing with his insecurities and lack of self-worth.
This sounds dire and depressing. Fortunately, even if we have experienced adverse childhood experiences, we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to become victims of the pain of the past or we can surround ourselves with healthy relationships and supportive connections so that we do not engage in self-sabotaging behaviors. Healthy close connections give us opportunities to heal from our past and work on ourselves, learning that we are enough, have self-worth and deserve to be cared for and loved well. Next week’s article will outline how to not sabotage your happiness and your relationships. email@example.com; www.myrelationship
Do kidney problems run in families? My mother died from kidney failure 10 years ago at age 74 but didn’t know she had a kidney problem until it was too late.
Just Turned 60
Anyone who has a family history of kidney disease, or who has high blood pressure or diabetes is at increased risk and needs to have their kidneys tested.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 37 million U.S adults have chronic kidney disease (when the kidneys can’t properly do their job of cleaning toxins and wastes from the blood), and millions more are at risk of developing it, yet most people don’t realize it. That’s because kidney disease develops very slowly over many years before any symptoms arise. But left untreated, the disease can eventually require people to spend hours hooked up to a dialysis machine or get a kidney transplant. Even mild kidney problems can double a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as causeanemia and bone disease.
The reason kidney disease has become so widespread today is because of the rise of obesity, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure which all strain the kidneys.
Another factor is the increasing number of people who take multiple medications, which can overtax the organs. People over age 60 are especially vulnerable both because they tend to take more drugs, and because kidney function normally declines somewhat with age.
Because kidney disease has no early symptoms, the only way to catch it before it advances is to have a simple blood and urine test by your doctor. So, anyone that has diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, a family history of kidney disease, or is age 60 or older needs to get tested. African, Hispanic, Asian and Indian Americans along with Pacific Islanders are also at increased risk.
If you’re diagnosed with kidney disease you need to know that there’s no cure, but there are steps you can taketo help contain the damage, including:
Control your blood pressure: If you have high blood pressure, get it under 130/80. If you need medication to do it, ACE inhibitors and ARBs are good choices because of their proven ability to protect the kidneys.
Control your diabetes: If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible.
Change your diet: This usually means reducing the amount of protein and phosphorus you eat and cutting back on sodium and possibly potassium. Your doctor can help you determine an appropriate eating plan, or you may want to talk to a dietitian.
Watch your meds: Dozens of commonly used drugs can damage the kidneys, especially when taken in high doses over long periods – most notably NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. Herbal supplements can also be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor about all the prescription, over the counter and herbal products you take to identify potential problems and find alternatives.
Exercise and lose weight: If you’re overweight and inactive, start an aerobic fitness routine (walk, swim, cycle, etc.) that gets your heart pumping. This will help lower blood pressure, control diabetes and help you lose excess weight all of which will help your kidneys.
Quit smoking: If you smoke, quit. Heart disease becomes a much greater risk to the kidneys if your smoke. Smoking also doubles the rate of progression to end-stage renal failure.
Limit alcohol intake: Drinking too much alcohol can worsen kidney disease too, so talk to your doctor to see if it’s safe for you to drink, and if so, limit yourself to no more than one drink per day.
What is on your “Bucket List” regarding the health of your relationships? You might say, I want more respect or romance, more meaningful communication and less conflict. These are common requests.
To grow in relationship, one needs to know what skills it takes to do so. Let’s start with the whole of who we are. We are just not physical beings. We are physical, of course, but also, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial beings capable of gathering resources to improve the quality of our lives. Here is a relationship enhancing activity. Gather 6 buckets. You could use big buckets or solo cups. Label each bucket with one of these categories; PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, SPIRITUAL, FINANCIAL.
Ask for what you need in each one of these buckets. In the Physical bucket, you could ask for hugs, meaningful, comforting touches, holding hands, pats on the back, massages, tender caresses, dancing or touching one’s face. The Intellectual bucket requests could be about learning new things together, creating a space for intellectual curiosity, exploration or discovery, reading a book together, discussing themes in a play, outlining the takeaways from a movie, enrolling in a class together and helping each other study. The Emotional bucket could be filled with creating safety to explore feelings which are not right or wrong. Feelings are feelings. No one has the right to apply motives to someone’s feelings or tell them they should feel a certain way. Sharing hopes and dreams, secrets, past hurts, fears, and being vulnerable certainly builds trust and closeness. The Social bucket could be filled by honoring one another’s personality. If someone is introverted, extroverted, detailed, compassionate, tender, bossy, talkative, friendly, resourceful or whatever, it is likely they fit into a certain personality category. At the Center for Relationship Education we utilize the Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver, personality profile. The take away from this assessment is discovering your personality and that of others. The goal is not trying to change others, but honoring how they do life. This creates safety and acceptance. The Social bucket can also mean that you have similar friends, enjoy similar social events like golf, theater, or travel. Filling one’s Spiritual bucket can be about having a similar faith walk, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, prayer, appreciation for creation and nature. Finally, filling up the Financial bucket is how each person in the relationship spends, saves or donates money. Do you live with an attitude of abundance or of scarcity? Also working together for the same financial goals builds financial intimacy. Even hosting a fund raiser for a charity, you both can enhance financial connectedness. Learning the language of building connectedness in these six categories will certainly create a new way to think about and express your “Bucket List” and letting your partner know how to fill your bucket when it is empty. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.myrelationshipcenter.org
Three candidates are vying for two seats on the board of directors for South Suburban Park and Recreation District. The District-wide polling place election will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The candidates submitted self-nomination and acceptance forms for inclusion on the ballot.
The order of names appearing on the ballot were selected by a lottery drawing on Tuesday, March 3 at the South Suburban Administration Building (6631 South University Blvd.). For information about the candidates, visit ssprd.org/board-election.
The ballot order is as follows:
The five-member board of directors is elected at large on a non-partisan basis. Two board positions will be filled for three-year terms each. Regular elections occur in May of even-numbered years. Beginning May 2023, all District regular elections will be held every two years.
The board of directors meets on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings of each month at Goodson Recreation Center. Additional study sessions or special meetings are called as needed.
The election will be a polling place election, with the option of obtaining an absentee ballot. This is a District regular election and will feature only the election of board of director’s candidates.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Locations include:
To request an absentee ballot, click here.
For questions about voter eligibility, send an email to email@example.com or call 303-483-7011. For election information visit ssprd.org/board-election.
Current board members are Scott LaBrash, Jim Taylor, Susan Pye, Pete Barrett and Dave Lawful. Scott LaBrash cannot seek re-election due to term limits, while Jim Taylor is seeking re-election for a second term.
The RidgeGate community in Lone Tree, announced March 3 that HealthONE has purchased a 10.75 acre parcel of land on RidgeGate’s West Side for the continued expansion of Sky Ridge Medical Center and to meet ongoing demand for new services and programs at the award winning hospital.
“We are pleased to have Health
ONE acquire additional land in RidgeGate for the continued growth of the Sky Ridge Medical Center, which was RidgeGate’s kick-off land sale in 2001, and a top area employer beginning in 2003 when it opened,” said Keith Simon, Executive Vice President and Director of Development for Coventry Development Corporation, the master developer for RidgeGate. “Sky Ridge Medical Center has transformed the quality of health care available to residents of the region and has grown to be one of the top medical centers in the entire Denver metro area and we are so very proud that they selected RidgeGate and the City of Lone Tree to locate within.”
The property is immediately south of the current Sky Ridge Medical Center Campus and is the second-to-last parcel for sale in RidgeGate’s West Village. Sky Ridge Medical Center will use the site for future growth opportunities.
“While there are no immediate development plans for this parcel, this purchase gives us the flexibility to grow with the community,” said Kirk McCarty, Sky Ridge Medical Center’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. “RidgeGate and the City of Lone Tree have been excellent partners, and we look forward to sharing our plans whey they are finalized.”
HealthONE is the largest healthcare system in the metro Denver area with more than 11,000 employees. As part of the HealthONE system of care, The Medical Center of Aurora, North Suburban Medical Center, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Rose Medical Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, and Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital work together to provide a higher level of care. In addition, our family of services includes eight hospital free-standing emergency departments and numerous ambulatory surgery centers, CareNow urgent care and occupational medicine clinics, physician practices, imaging centers, and AIRLIFE-DENVER, which provides critical care air and ground transportation across a 10-state region. And, as the #7 corporate philanthropist in the metro area, and the only hospital system in the top 10, HealthONE contributed more than $1.5 million in 2018 and supports more than 150 organizations through cash and in-kind donations.
RidgeGate is a mixed-use, master planned community in Lone Tree, Colorado that is currently home to 6,000 residents. The community began taking shape in 2003 with the Sky Ridge Medical Center and is nearly fully developed on the west side of I-25 with expansion now beginning on the east side of I-25. RidgeGate encompasses a total of 3,500 acres, or six square miles, and is designed to seamlessly integrate urban amenities and residential neighborhoods with beautiful natural open spaces, parks and trails. It is home to three light rail stations, dynamic shopping, dining and wellness as well as several large employment campuses, all joined by a highly connected and walkable UrbanScape®.
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