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Barbara Charlet, International Market Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), and renowned Oklahoma chef Kurt Fleischfresser were in Stuttgart, Germany for an in-store promotion at Feinkost Bohm. They are shown here in late September, demonstrating Oklahoma products.

A taste of Oklahoma made its way to the palates of shoppers in Germany during recent promotions in two cities.
The Southern United States Trade Association, which promotes the export of U.S. food and agricultural products, included Southern Okie’s line of fruit spreads, Suan’s line of Scotch Bonnet jellies and preserves and Pepper Creek Farms BBQ sauce in its mix for in-store promotions.
The first in-store promotion was held near the end of June at KaDeWe, a high-end upscale department store in Berlin. The latter was in late September to early October at Feinkost Bohm, a store with a deep history, located in the heart of Stuttgart.
Barbara Charlet, International Market Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), and renowned Oklahoma chef Kurt Fleischfresser were in Stuttgart for the in-store promotion from Sept. 20-27.
“A buying team from Germany traveled to Oklahoma and Texas in January of this year for the purpose of identifying and selecting products for the two-week in-store promotions,” Charlet said. “In Germany it takes a buyer and an importer combination. So the importer, Claudia Beckord, and the buyer or the retailer, Alexander Frank with KaDeWe, came over in January.”
Oklahoma products such as Griffin Foods, for more than 15 years, and Clements peanut butter, for at least five years, have been staples in Germany at certain retailers, according to Charlet.
However, these in-store promotions marked the German debut for the products of Southern Okie, Suan’s and Pepper Creek Farms. That makes it even more important that shoppers are given the pleasure of sampling the products, according to Charlet.
As added support, Fleischfresser made the trip to participate in the promotions at Stuttgart.
That opened another opportunity.
“The store in Stuttgart offers food only,” Charlet said. “In addition to being high-end deli, high-end cheese, at one end of the store they have just a lovely restaurant and at the other end of the store is a sushi bar and they are both packed. Knowing that Kurt was going to come and lend a little support to this in-store promotion, they asked him if he would design a Southern menu. So he designed two of them, one for each week of the promotion.
“So the week that we were there he worked with the chefs at this restaurant so that they would know how to prepare it. It was a pork chop with a nice sauce on it and a pumpkin dessert with pecans on it. Then he worked with them at the end of the week so that they knew what to do with the second menu.”
Charlet said the ability to export internationally is important for various reasons.
It is important to those companies that already have their products on the shelves in other countries.
“It’s also important for those wanting to expand their business,” she said. “So for example, Suan’s is doing well here in the United States, but it just gives her another opportunity to showcase her product to see if she can get additional sales.
“That’s our bottom line is just trying to make something happen for these companies so that they have another stream of income.”
For more information about pursuing international markets for your food and agricultural products, please contact, Barbara Charlet at ODAFF, Barbara.charlet@ag.ok.gov or (405) 522-6192.

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Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor

Nov 4/ Wednesday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Fowler Toyota – 4050 N. Interstate Dr.
Nov 5/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9:30 am – 4 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
Integris 3rd Age Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite100
Nov 7/ Saturday/ Chandler/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 258-5002/ Brase
First Methodist Church – 122 W. 10th
Nov 10/ Tuesday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Rose St – 6191 Tinker Diagonal, room 102
Nov 10/ Tuesday/ Yukon/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 350-7680/ Edwards
Dale Robertson Center – 1200 Lakeshore Dr.
Nov 12/ Thursday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 440-8802/ Palinsky
Norman Regional Hospital – 901 N. Porter Ave.
Nov 13/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 752-3600 or 478-4587/ Reffner Mercy Hospital – 4300 W. Memorial Rd.
Nov 21/ Saturday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 486-1385/ Edwards
Epworth Vila Retirement – 14901 N. Penn.

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to: johnpalinsky@sbcglobal.net

The Country Music Singers Association of Oklahoma, aka, The CMSA, was established in 1993 by Dan and Jan Barton and six friends. The motto of the group was to “Promote Oklahoma Grown Talent” by providing where entertainers and music lovers could enjoy Country, Gospel and Bluegrass music.Anyone was welcome to audition or participate as a member.
The love was obvious for all performers regardless of experience and ability.The purpose was to educate and encourage entertainers at every level,to develop every aspect of their performance in a safe,supportive and loving environment.Vice President,John Fisher started a CMSA Gospel Show which is free to the public and continues as a community service.
CMSA was granted 501-C3 status in 2009 expanding their ability to network with other non-profits. As a result CMSA partnered with The Toby Keith OK Kids Corral and The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
John Fisher became President and CEO in 2012 with Kevin Tatum as his Vice President. When John passed away after a long battle with Leukemia, Kevin Tatum assumed the position as President and CEO and continues to work to fulfill the vision of countless members and entertainers who have poured their hearts and lives into this great organization. The CMSA continues to offer free workshops,vocal clinics,and guitar lessons to the public.
CMSA is also proud to offer three scholarships every year to highly qualified students who are working toward a degree in some facet of the Country,Bluegrass, or Gospel Music industry. Whether their goal is performing, teaching,producing, or anything pertaining to keeping the music alive. That’s The CMSA of Oklahoma, that’s what we do.
CMSA also became part of the North America Country Music Assoc. International. Every March this NACMAI provides an international competition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at The Country Tonite Theater. Music industry professionals evaluate the performances of competitors from all over the U.S. and several other countries. It’s an opportunity to perform on a large stage in a professional setting and learn which aspects they need to improve. It’s an invaluable learning experience and a chance to to network with performers from other states and make lasting friends from all over this Country. The CMSA holds a State Competition every year with highly qualified judges to evaluate each performer to determine their readiness competition. An Awards Show is held to announce the results. CMSA of Oklahoma continues in our commitment to supporting, promoting and educating Oklahoma grown talent.

September 15, 2015—The 14th annual Oklahoma City Conference on Reformed Theology (OKCRT) presents a series on the “I am” Biblical texts focused on The Alpha and Omega, Gently and Lowly, and Light of the World. Keynote speaker-Carl Robbins, Woodruff Presbyterian Church senior pastor will speak 7:00PM-9:30PM on Friday, October 23th and 9:00AM -12Noon on Saturday, October 24th. Heritage Presbyterian Church 14500 N Western, Oklahoma City will host the event and free childcare is available with reservations. There is no charge for the event but registration is requested at www.OKCRT.com.
Robbins is an Oklahoma City native and a graduate of Crichton College and Covenant Theological Seminary. Having served as pastor in several churches, he is currently senior pastor at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Beyond local church ministry, he has served on the board of crisis pregnancy centers, Christian schools, and seminaries; as well as writing a weekly blog and training pastors in developing countries.
There is more information at www.OKCRT.com or contact 405.751.7681 or OKCRT405@gmail.com.

Dear Savvy Senior,

I need to find some help with selling my elderly mother’s house – where she’s lived for almost 50 years – and relocating her to an apartment or condo closer to where I live. Can you recommend any businesses or services that specialize in helping seniors relocate?

Dear Overwhelmed,
The process of selling a house and moving to a new home, or downsizing to a condo, apartment or senior housing facility is a big job for anyone. But it can be especially overwhelming for seniors who are moving from a long time residence filled with decade’s worth of stuff and a lifetime of memories. Fortunately, there are several specialized services available today that can help make your mom’s move a lot easier.
Real Estate Specialist
To get help selling your mom’s home and/or finding her a new one, you should look into hiring a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) or a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP). These are realtors that have received special training, making them better equipped to help seniors and their family members through the financial and often complex emotional issues that can come with selling a long time family home and relocating.
SRES and CSHP designees are educated and knowledgeable in such areas as downsizing, aging-in-place, senior housing options, reverse mortgages, as well as ways to use pensions, 401k accounts and IRAs in real estate transactions. And, if you need help from other professionals, a SRES and CSHP can put you in touch with qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs and other experts.
To learn more or to locate a professional in your area, contact the SRES Council (sres.org, 800-500-4564) which also offers a free “Moving On” guide that help seniors and their family members with the decisions and transitions that come with moving. And to find a CSHP see SeniorsRealEstateInstitute.com.
Moving Manager
To help your mom get packed up and move, you should consider hiring a “senior move manager.” These are organizers who assist older people with the challenges of relocating, and can minimize the stress of this major transition by doing most of the work for you.
They can help your mom pare down her belongings, decide what to take and what to dispose of, recommend charities for donations and help sell her unwanted items. They also get estimates from moving companies, oversee the movers, arrange the move date, supervise the packing and unpacking, have the house cleaned and just about anything you need related to her move.
Costs vary depending on the services and size of the move, but you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000, not including the cost of movers.
To locate a senior move manager visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers website at nasmm.org or call 877-606-2766. You can also search at Caring Transitions (caringtransitions.com), the largest senior relocation and transition services franchised company in the U.S.
But, before you hire one, be sure you ask for references from previous clients and check them. Also find out how many moves they have actually managed, and get a written list of services and fees. And make sure they’re insured and bonded.
If you can’t find a senior move manager in your area, another option is to hire a certified professional organizer who specializes in downsizing and relocating. To find one, check the National Association of Professional Organizers who has a searchable database on their website at napo.net.
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.

By Greg Schwem

“Celebrity Apprentice” fans, don’t despair. Yes, your favorite show might be on hiatus now that NBC has severed its relationship with Donald Trump. But, should the apocalypse occur and The Donald becomes our nation’s 45th chief executive, expect to see the program return … to the White House.
This seems like a natural move for Trump, who touts his deal-making and mediation skills as cornerstones of his candidacy. For years we have watched him assign tasks to teams of individuals with varying backgrounds, thought processes and talents. He sets deadlines, listens to the results, peppers the players with questions and then chooses whatever option he thinks is best.
Think about it: Isn’t that kind of what the president does when our nation faces a major crisis?
Since Trump is convinced he is going to be elected, I’m sure he has already laid the groundwork for season one of “Presidential Apprentice.” In January 2017, shortly after he takes the oath of office, expect a cast of political experts, innovative thinkers and celebrities to assemble in the newly-named TRUMP! Rose Garden and await their initial task.
“Welcome, everyone, to what I’m sure will be a very exciting season. You have been divided into two teams. I have chosen Spanish team names as part of my ongoing efforts to repair relationships with the Latino community. Egotista features Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ben Bernanke, Amy Schumer, Kanye West and Hillary Clinton. Hillary, nice to see you. No hard feelings, right?”
“Whatever.”
“Now meet your opponents, Pomposo, consisting of Colin Powell, Marco Rubio, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Gary Busey. Gary, great to have you back.”
“Pleased to be back, Mr. Trump, er, Mr. President, I mean, Your Royal Highness. I’m sorry, where am I and why am I here?”
“Great questions, Gary. Teams, as you know, there were feuds in the Middle East long before I made my first billion. Your task is to achieve peace. I’d do it myself – and I’m certain I could – but I’m spending the next few days balancing the budget. And believe me, when I’m done it will be the GREATEST, most SUCCESSFUL budget this nation has ever seen. So I’m entrusting you. My secretary of state, Ivanka, will update me on your progress. Now go back to the East Room and choose your project managers. I’ll see you in the Oval Office one week from today, where somebody will be fired.”
(ONE WEEK LATER)
“Ivanka, how did they do?”
“Well, Egotista chose Kanye West as project manager.”
“Ben Bernanke, do you think that was a good move?”
“From a fiscal standpoint, no. He demanded his own jet to fly to the West Bank. So we were over budget before negotiations even commenced.”
“Interesting. Pomposo chose Mark Zuckerberg. Elon Musk, why did you do that?”
“We chose Zuck because of his experience getting people to ‘like’ each other. Really, it was a no-brainer. Sort of like purchasing a Tesla if you’re serious about energy conservation.”
“Mark, how do you think you did?”
“Too early to tell, Mr. President. I’ve set up Facebook pages for the Israelis and the Palestinians, and encouraged both sides to hear each other out through blogs and targeted posts. I’ve also put Colin Powell in charge of moderating comments.”
“Excellent. Amy Schumer, how did you help your team?”
“I didn’t have a lot of time, Mr. President. I was busy appearing on the cover of, and being interviewed by, every magazine still in operation.”
“Neil DeGrasse Tyson, your thoughts?”
“I did even less work than Amy, Mr. President. But only because, as I tried to explain to Kanye, the moon, stars and other celestial bodies will never line up in such a way that makes peace in the Middle East possible. That’s a fact.”
“Estoy de acuerdo.”
“Excuse me, Marco?”
“That’s Spanish for ‘I agree.’”
“Good point. Egotista, you’ve left me in a tough predicament. Kanye, you showed zero leadership skills. And Amy, you were worthless. But I’m going with my gut here.
Hillary, you’re fired.”

Are you an older adult who wants to be stronger, more flexible and have better balance? Do you want to improve your ability to perform everyday activities safely and independently without excess fatigue?
Participation in the senior fitness testing program at INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center is an important first step in achieving these goals. The Senior Fitness Test measures the physical capacity of older adults to perform normal everyday activities necessary for independent living.
The Senior Fitness Test is designed to test individuals of varying abilities. You do not have to be physically fit to participate! The good news is that much of the usual age-related decline in physical fitness is preventable and even reversible through proper attention to physical activity and exercise levels.
Senior Fitness is a two part program: the initial testing on Oct. 28, after which you will be given test results and suggestions for improvement, and follow up testing on April 27, to help identify your progress and areas where you may need to continue to focus attention for improved functioning.
Testing will be held by appointment only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center, 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100. Before your appointment, an information packet will be mailed to you with more details about testing procedures.
Please take advantage of this health improvement opportunity. Call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277 by Oct. 14 to make an appointment for your Senior Fitness Test.

Merv Johnson, 79, has been a fixture of the Oklahoma Football Program for nearly four decades.

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by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

If you’ve been a fan of Oklahoma Football anytime during the last four decades you know the name Merv Johnson.
But what may be lost to you is how the 79-year-old has devoted the bulk of his life to not only building but sustaining football excellence at the University of Oklahoma.
Johnson has coached long enough to see the game change dramatically.
“Thirty to 40 years ago linemen couldn’t use their hands. They had to keep them at their chest,” Johnson recalls. “There was no chance of pass protection. Some think that’s the biggest change that’s ever occurred in the game.”
The hash marks have crept closer together, something that’s a staple in the pro game.
But Johnson doesn’t believe the NFL has really changed college ball much.
He still likes it for its purity, even though if he were coaching today he would be making millions of dollars.
Johnson admits the 80s were his time if he were going to pull the trigger to become a head coach.
“I felt like I (did try to become a head coach) but Oklahoma is a little bit of trap. You always have a chance to win big the next year,” he said.
In his 37th season at Oklahoma, Johnson now maintains dual titles at the university. He’s the director of football operations, a title Johnson admits is gracious at best. He handles some on-campus recruiting efforts and serves as the pro scout liaison.
Alumni love him and and request to see him. He’s a repository of all things associated with all that is good with Oklahoma football.
But Saturdays are when Johnson really shines – and it shows. He’s the radio color commentator next to Toby Rowland’s play-by-play.
While Rowland has become adept at telling Sooner fans what’s happening on the field, it’s Johnson’s wisdom and experience that unfold what is really happening.
For his efforts, Johnson was named the 2012 Bill Teegins Excellence in Sportscasting Award winner.
The Teegins Award honors late Oklahoma State announcer Bill Teegins, who died tragically in a 2001 plane crash, along with 10 OSU basketball players and support personnel.
Johnson is no stranger to tragedy. Oklahoma football has always been cathartic for him.
His youngest daughter, Jill Foster, died in a car accident at the age of 29.
Johnson was there for Oklahoma’s opener against UTEP less than one week later.
It was October of 2013, the morning of the TCU game, when Johnson’s wife, Cindy, was removed from life support after a stroke.
He was in the radio booth that evening. She died the next day.
Whenever life is profoundly confusing, the X’s and O’s always make sense for Johnson.
It’s how he feels his way through life.
On any given play Johnson can spot the weaknesses or failures – even if it’s a crowd-thrilling touchdown pass.
While 90,000 around him celebrate, Coach Johnson is logging mental notes.
In 1954 Johnson was graduating King City High School in Missouri. Just a few short years later he was an All-Big Seven tackle for Missouri and an academic all-conference selection.
He captained the prestigious Blue-Gray All-Star game and was named the league’s most outstanding student athlete.
“When I started coaching 100 years ago the old school coaches like (Robert) Neyland at Tennessee and (Bobby) Dodd at Georgia Tech and those gurus were defense,” Johnson said. “If you could punt the ball on the other side of the 50 when you turned it over to the other team they felt like the other team would not score more than one touchdown in a game.”
It was Barry Switzer that brought Johnson to Norman in 1979. It turned out to be the only place Johnson would ever go.
“The way he started off here you felt like you had a lot of chance of success,” Johnson said of Switzer.
In Johnson’s 20 years as an OU assistant coach, the Sooners amassed a 150-67-5 record, a national championship, six Big Eight Conference titles and seven bowl game victories.
He has produced 19 All-Americans and coached on staffs that have won four national championships (Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Arkansas).
He received the 2010 OU Regents Alumni Award, one of the highest honors given by the university.
He was an obvious choice when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002.
Johnson is also the first recipient of the National Football Foundation Integrity Award in 2003, an award that was subsequently named in his honor.
He received the All-American Football Foundation’s Mike Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Johnson still has a lot of family with two grown children and seven grandchildren.
Even though it pains him, he understands coming to work every single day won’t always be an option.
“I’ve thought about it a lot,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t be very happy sitting on the porch all day long.”
He admits that multiple decades of travel have gotten old, though he’d jump on a plane in a heartbeat to go see his kids and grandkids.”
So travel is out. But what else?
“I’d rather just go fish in a pond,” he says.
In short, Johnson is a lifer in this college town. And while he still maintains that he’s the lucky one to still be around Norman, the rest of the Sooner Nation is reaping the benefits more than he’ll ever know.

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Jo Wise, 62, says seniors can enjoy a volunteer role with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

Jo Wise’s background is in nonprofit management. Management at the American Heart Association, director positions at City Arts Center and the Paseo Arts District, Wise’s wheelhouse is helping organizations help others.
That’s her comfort zone. But after being one of 500 people laid off when the economy went south a few years back, Wise found herself in front of a class of wide-eyed third graders.
“I don’t have kids and I don’t know why they thought I would be a good third-grade teacher,” Wise said of a friend who introduced her to Junior Achievement Oklahoma. “They appealed to my sensitive side and talked me into it.
“I just loved it.”
It’s been a little over two years now since Wise became the regional director of Junior Achievement Oklahoma, an organization that focuses on our future with volunteers who go into classrooms and teach real-world skills.
Junior Achievement’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
With the help of more than 213,000 volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their economic success. The programs educate young people to value free enterprise, business and economics through the support of teachers, parents, and volunteers in the classroom.
“I got so much personal satisfaction from it,” Wise said of the time she spent in the classroom. “I felt like I had done something really important. I never dreamt I would be in the nonprofit education business but it’s just been great.”
“We teach very practical information the kids don’t get anywhere else,” Wise continued. “They learn how to balance checkbooks, buy a car and how to budget. They learn how to think about jobs they want when they’re little and what they need to be studying for those jobs as they get older.”
From resumes, mock interviews – even business and job shadows – Junior Achievement prepares students.
Wise says volunteers are encouraged to share their own experiences so lessons really hit home. After all, learning from someone else’s mistakes can seriously shorten a learning curve.
“We try to bring relativity to what they’re being taught in the classroom,” she said.
Last year, Junior Achievement had 700 volunteers in Oklahoma classrooms. This year the goal is 750 and Wise says anyone can help.
“I’m a senior myself and I was semi-retired whenever I found this job,” Wise said. “(Seniors) make some of the best volunteers that we have.”
Junior Achievement provides hands-on experiences to help young people understand how the real-world works.
In partnership with business and educators, Junior Achievement helps educate students in personal finance and practical workplace skills, preparing them to pursue their careers as well as their dreams.
During the 2013-2014 school year Junior Achievement of Oklahoma:
* Helped teach more than 51,500 students relevant concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
* Over 9,000 JA BizTown citizens
* Connected over 3,500 business & community volunteers to classrooms
* Awarded 6 scholarships to graduating JA students
* Over 1,100 students competed in the JA Investor Challenge
* Over 1,200 high school students learned work readiness skills through JA Job Shadow and JA Workplace Internships
Last year, Wise said more than 14,200 students were impacted. The goal is to reach 16,000 students this year.
Junior Achievement has a 79-percent return rate, meaning the vast majority of volunteers enjoy their experience and come back again.
“Most people aren’t teaching anything they don’t know about already themselves,” Wise said. “So it’s easy to incorporate their stories into it. It’s an extremely rewarding experience.”
And the majority of schools Junior Achievement works with are Title I schools, meaning a majority of the student population is on the free or reduced lunch program.
“They don’t have role models to look up to,” Wise said.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Wise directly at 405-235-3399 or go to www.jaok.org. Junior Achievement has offices in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“Once I taught that third-grade class I thought I had missed my calling,” Wise said. “I couldn’t believe I was the age I was an I had never taught. I didn’t even know I had the aptitude for it.”

Joyce Clark with Achievis Senior Living Associates, by a sign she came up with near the entrance at FountainBrook Assisted Living & Memory Support, in east MWC. mh

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

Aging in place is a buzzword these days. But what does it really mean?
Joyce Clark has devoted her life’s work to ensuring seniors feel comfortable in their surroundings, no matter where they are living.
Clark has made life a little brighter and a little better for literally thousands of seniors in Oklahoma.
As the founder and CEO of Achievis Senior Living Associates, Clark spends her time breathing life into senior communities. Whether it be a community that has faltered and needs to get back on track or a brand new building, Clark plays a vital role.
The 53-year-old understands the people she serves. She knows that when she’s called in as a consultant she’s doing more than just meeting a budget or a goal.
“I’m a pretty aggressive goal-setter,” Clark said. “The goal for me is to always position a community to where it has the best resident care and its services and amenities are competitive. Making a profit is vitally important of course but I find it comes much easier when you put residents and employees first.”
Clark’s current project is Whispering Creek, 5712 Goldfinger Road, on the border of south Oklahoma City and Mustang. It is an active adult retirement neighborhood with homes for lease. Whispering Creek is made up of 70 attractive duplex homes in a private, gated neighborhood that features a clubhouse, ponds with waterfalls, storm shelter, and walking trails. Friendly neighbors and premier amenities such as a fitness center and social events are steps away from your front door. All lawn care, maintenance, and property management is included so you can focus on fun and friends.
Scheduled events, organized by Whispering Creek staff and residents, include theme nights, holiday parties, and day trips to local attractions. Residents can be active in a variety of clubs that may include bridge, canasta, book of the month, poker, dinner club, and scrapbooking.
It’s these types of amenities that Clark makes sure she includes in all her properties.
But staying at home as long as possible is also the wish for many. Clark says there are things people need to consider to better age in place.
Clark is a proponent of making homes safer and easier to maintain. Reducing trip hazards and sharp corners is important. Grab bars, carefully placed furniture, non-slip flooring, and tucked away electric cords make a big difference.
Single-story homes without any steps are typically the best option. Doorways and halls should be at least 36 inches wide to incorporate wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices.
Oven knobs need to be on the front so that the cook does not have to reach over hot pans or a flame. Other suggestions are to ensure the microwave is at counter height and appliances have easy-to-read controls. Low-maintenance shrubs and plants are the best choice for foliage and decoration.
Clark is a leader of the senior housing industry. She’s been in the business long enough to see dramatic changes.
“I find that since the recession things are different,” Clark said. “People are waiting longer to make the move into assisted living. They’re more crisis driven. Sometimes their family is struggling financially and dependent on the senior’s income or housing”. Inter-generational living is coming back into the American lifestyle and Clark feels that can be rewarding for everyone.

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