The recent ice storms in the state have left a significant number of Oklahomans without power for hours and even days. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds those affected by a power outage to be mindful of safe practices to prevent illness and injury.
Food Safety
OSDH recommends the following guidelines for refrigerated and frozen foods to citizens or food establishments which have been without power for more than four hours: · Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. · Discard any potentially hazardous foods such as meats, eggs, dairy products and leftovers when the power has been off for more than four hours. When in doubt, throw it out. · Frozen foods in a freezer can normally be kept up to 48 hours without power. A frozen product that has thawed should not be refrozen—it should be used immediately or thrown away.
Water Safety: Residents in rural areas may also be without water during a power outage. If the safety of the water is not known, it is recommended to vigorously boil the water for at least one minute to prevent potential waterborne illnesses. Safe water would include store-bought bottled water, or uninterrupted city water. Untreated water should not be used to prepare foods, wash hands or brush teeth.
Heat Safety: It’s important to use caution when heating a home with a fireplace, space heater or wood stove, using them only when they are properly vented. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages or near windows. Don’t use gas appliances such as an oven, range or clothes dryer to heat your home. Improper use of such devices can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Supplements May Help Keep Sniffling, Sneezing Symptoms at Bay

by Naum Burman

Cold and flu season has arrived, which means the potential could be high for lots of sniffling co-workers and children who need to stay home from school.
Vaccinations help many people stave off the flu, but a number of Americans also try an alternative approach, using nutritional supplements in their efforts to stay healthy.
“Certain herbs, mushroom extracts and other natural compounds contain powerful antiviral properties,” says Naum Burman, the founder and researcher for BioLab Rx (, a dietary supplement company.
“Combine them together and you can get a natural boost to your immune system.”
Such over-the-counter products as BioLab Rx’s Immune Super Plus do that by increasing the body’s natural defense cells, which are crucial to the body’s defense against bacterial and viral infection.
“The body’s own immune system is probably our best defense,” Burman says. “But illness, stress, medical therapies, diet and lack of sleep can all compromise our immune system. That’s why it can help to give the immune system a boost.”
He notes that it’s always important to check the ingredients, instructions and warnings for any over-the-counter supplement. Immune Super Plus, for example, is only for adults 18 and older and shouldn’t be taken by pregnant or nursing women.
The flu season routinely takes a toll on Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
• The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.
• It’s estimated that each year an average of 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.
• Estimating the number of flu-related deaths can be difficult because death certificates don’t always specify flu as the cause. But there’s little doubt that flu seasons can be severe. The CDC, for example, reported that over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
In addition to vaccines, the CDC suggests several preventive measures, such as washing your hands frequently, keeping a distance from those who are ill and staying home yourself if possible when you are sick.
Burman says that supplements also provide an extra measure of prevention, and plenty of people apparently agree. The Nutrition Business Journal has reported that Americans spend well over $1 billion a year on supplements to help boost immunity and ward off cold and flu.
Burman, originally from Europe, essentially was born into his interest in maintaining health through nature. He grew up in a family where herbs and natural cures were common and knowledge of herbs and their use was the norm.
As an adult, Burman continued his research, traveling through Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries so he could gather herbal knowledge from cultures around the world.
Armed with that knowledge, he founded BioLab Rx, which also produces natural products for hair loss, joint pain, migraine headaches and other conditions or ailments.
“I thought this would be a good way to combine the wisdom of the ages with today’s newest technology,” he says.

Naum Burman is founder of and researcher for BioLab Rx (, a dietary supplement company. Burman, originally from Europe, grew up in a family where herbs and natural cures were usual and knowledge of herbs and their use was the norm. He also spent years traveling through Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries, gathering herbal knowledge.

Sunbeam Family Services and Catholic Charities Oklahoma City are partnering to bring A Very Giving Christmas, a Christmas store, for local families in need, December 16-20, 2015.
The store, St. Nick’s Shoppe, will be located at Catholic Charities, 1501 N. Classen Boulevard, directly across the street from Sunbeam Family Services. Individuals selected through Sunbeam Family Services and Catholic Charities will have the opportunity to shop for new items for their families at no cost. Donors and volunteers will create a warm shopping experience and extend the season’s joy and excitement to more than 500 families, families who otherwise would not be able buy presents for their children.
“We are thrilled to be partnering alongside Catholic Charities to provide hundreds of Oklahoma City families a holiday season filled with joy, lightening the financial burden often placed on them during the gift-giving season,” said Jim Priest, CEO of Sunbeam Family Services. “We can accomplish so much more when we work together as a community, and we’re thankful for the support of our volunteers and donors who will make St. Nick’s Shoppe come to life.”
Patrick J. Raglow, Catholic Charities Executive Director said, “Our partnership with Sunbeam Family Services reflects the partnership we foster among our donors, volunteers and clients. A Very Giving Christmas is about relationship and participating fully in the spirit of the season. Working with Sunbeam Family Services expands the impact and reach of this program across the board. It’s a great partnership for a great cause.”
The community can help by stocking the store by making a donation or by purchasing new gift items for children of all ages and their parents and delivering them unwrapped and with tags attached to Catholic Charities December 6-8. Visit the wish list at or call 405.609.8994.
Volunteer opportunities for individuals, families and groups are also available and will include decorating St. Nick’s Shoppe, greeting families, helping families select their gifts or wrapping gifts. Visit to sign up to volunteer, or call 405.609.1755.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn



Austin Adventures is a tour company offering a plethora of travel destinations and options. New to the 2016 line up is a trifecta of upscale accommodations and natural wonders with a partnership with Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the Broadmoor collection in Colorado Springs. Adventures mean many things to many people but this Colorado exploration offers soft to rugged outdoor activities, including horseback riding, zip lining, rope courses, and mild to extreme mountain hiking.
Home base is the Colorado Springs iconic Broadmoor hotel where you will check in and register with your experienced Austin Adventures guides for a night at the nine thousand feet Cloud Camp, two nights at the Emerald Valley Ranch and nights at the elegant and historic Broadmoor hotel. Austin Adventures welcomes adult and family groups for a prefixed itinerary, as well as the challenge of custom tours if requested.
My group numbered six diverse and congenial travelers who spanned a wide range of ages, interests and varying degrees of fitness. When living and exercising at these high elevations it should be noted that the effects of high altitude can sneak up on you. Preparations of drinking plenty of water, maybe an aspirin or two, is advised but may not quench that feeling of slight exhaustion. Seniors may be affected more than younger participants, and your Austin Adventure guides will take this into consideration for the enjoyment of all guests. This should not keep you from enjoying the log cabin elegance and gourmet food offered at every turn of your tour.
The adventure starts out with a quick exposure to the Garden of the Gods geological formation at the new visitor center, along with a mild hike through the rugged red stone formations. Then it is off to Cave of the Winds, where again your adjustment to altitude may be tested with trekking up and down through the sometimes narrow and claustrophobic tunnels. Then it’s off to your mountain cabin hideaway which is literally a “high” light of your Colorado adventure.
Broadmoor’s Cloud Camp is perched at an elevation of 9,000 feet of timbered adventure. As you are driven up on the Broadmoor shuttle, the many switchbacks let you know you are going somewhere special as you pass through a zoo and many private gates. Atop the mountain you view down upon many sections of Colorado Springs and at night it is like you are suspended over a scattering of shimmering diamonds. The upscale cabins most with a two bed room configuration, warmly welcomes you after a gourmet meal in the expansive and outdoor interior designed lodge which is in the shadow of a distant Pikes Peak.
With a lengthy hike up and down the mountain you arrive at Emerald Valley Ranch, or you may be shuttled in comfort, averting altitude stress. Emerald Valley Ranch, is a compound of super upscale log cabins around a tranquil lake and offers activities such as; horseback riding, zip lining, archery, fly fishing or just relaxing in an outdoor hot tub. Once again the congenial and ever present western attired staff is there to fill your requests, and serve another gourmet meal, sometimes providing exotic buffalo ribs, rocky mountain red trout accompanied by delicious comfort Baked Beans and sweet potato au gratin with pecans. After a long day of enjoyment the night and a roaring fire in your cabin will hypnotize you into dreamland. If your phone is off the hook service personal will gently knock on your cabin door to invite you to a hearty breakfast.
Austin Adventures likes to say the hardest thing about this trip is leaving. But when you are leaving the tranquilly of the private Emerald Valley Ranch you have the expansive and elegant European styled Broadmoor Hotel to embrace your reluctance. The Broadmoor is indeed the epitome of luxury accommodations. A meal and beverage at the many onsite venues is a sure winner as is their elegant Primrose Room, complete at times with live dance music and crystal chandeliers. The Primrose Room is Colorado’s only five star and five diamond award winner. For breakfast a casual awakening can be taken in at the Lake Terrace, where eggs benedict is a staple.
This new Colorado Adventure tour for 2016 is only one of the many destinations offered by Austin Adventures which may peak your adventure wanderlust. Explore Austin Adventures where, “Your toughest part is going home.”

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At 51, Christy Hadley, is stronger and has more confidence than she did in her 20s.

by Bobby Anderson
Staff Writer

In a world where seniors often decide it’s time to sit back and relax on a bench, 51-year-old Christy Hadley is working on improving how much she can bench.
During the day, Hadley works as an assistant secretary to the principal at Briarwood Elementary in Moore. But at night, a few mornings and nearly every weekend she’s running, lifting and having the time of her life.
“Age does not have to make you feel helpless,” Hadley said. “At 51 I think I feel fierce.”
The fierceness comes from Hadley’s five-year-love affair with Crossfit, a strength and conditioning program used by many police academies, tactical operations teams and even military special operations units.
Her husband, Rodney, doesn’t mind though. He does it right along with her as does son, Cody, and daughter, Cassidy.
Hadley became interested in Crossfit when her husband and son started at Crossfit Exile in Moore.
“The enthusiasm when you get there and the young people rallying around (is amazing),” Christy Hadley said. “I never felt like I was an outsider. I felt like they were pulling for me to reach the goals I set myself.”
Hadley admits it can be intimidating but the beauty of Crossfit training is that it meets each individual athlete where they are and builds from there.
Owner Andrew Nicholas meets with each new athlete and works out a progression plan. For many who walk into the gym it’s been quite some time since they last worked out.
But it’s the camaraderie of going through difficult things with others that hooked Hadley for life.
“It was the atmosphere and the support and cheering and rallying you get behind you,” Hadley said. “It was also coming to the realization that I’m getting ready to be in the prime of my life. This is what God has given me, now it’s up to me to see what I can do. It was pushing myself farther and seeing how much I could change myself.”
Last summer, Hadley let her husband post a picture of her in a bikini on Facebook for the first time. She’s also been known to rock the occasional miniskirt.
“I have more confidence at 51 than I ever had in my 20s or 30s,” Hadley said.
It’s that kind of confidence that Marcie Billen focuses on specifically with seniors at Exile’s sister gym, Norman Strength and Conditioning.
Her Silver Strength program is designed for ages 55 and up to improve energy levels, balance, flexibility, core strength, and quality of life. She has a passion for inspiring others to achieve their goals and extend their active years well into their 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond.
Growing up an only child, Billen said she formed a close bond with her grandparents. In college she volunteered at Full Circle Adult Day Care.
She became a personal trainer to focus on seniors.
Her first client was 69.
“In strength training they have more balance and it comes with the fact that lifting weights you have to be able to balance the weight and stand up straight,” Billen said.
And with weight training comes increased bone density, something she’s sure to point out to clients.
The statistics back up the case for weightlifting, particularly in females
Women ages 65–69 who break a hip are five times more likely to die within a year than women of the same age who don’t break a hip, according to a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
This paper breaks down death risk by age group. In addition to the finding for women ages 65–69, it finds that for women ages 70–79, a hip fracture doubles the risk of dying within a year. Most women 80 and older have the same risk of dying within a year whether they fracture their hip or not, but for women 80 and older who are in excellent health, a hip fracture nearly triples the risk of dying within a year.
Billen says clients most often remark about increased energy levels after working out.
“Some of the stuff I heard them say is ‘I can garden for five hours now without getting tired,’ or they’re doing races with their grandchildren,” Billen says. “They’re excited about these every day tasks.
“It’s just exciting for me to see people take back control of their lives when, before, they thought they were on a path to the grave,” she said.

A Salvation Army Volunteer puts the finishing touches on toys to be distributed last Christmas.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

The holidays are almost upon us. For many it’s a time of family, connections and spirit.
But some or all of that is lacking for many Oklahoma families.
That’s why Liz Banks, volunteer director at the Salvation Army, says now is the time to make your volunteer plans for the holidays.
The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command has a number of volunteer opportunities for the season as well as year-round.
“Volunteers are critical during the Christmas season with our Angel Tree program and Red Kettle campaign,” Banks said. “We treasure each and every individual who gives of their time throughout the year and are so grateful for their support.
Angels are also a priority as each Angel tag on the Angel Tree represents a child or senior who is in need in our community.
“Gift donations to the Angel Tree program not only provide tangible items for the Angels, they are gifts of hope, love and joy for that child or senior who otherwise would not have had a Christmas,” Banks said.
Angels can be adopted at Penn Square Mall or Quail Springs Mall beginning November 12 through December 10.
The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma is hosting a Thanksgiving Day Community Meal and all are welcome to join for food and fun. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Outside, families and individuals will be welcome to enjoy coffee, hot chocolate and donuts.
Individuals who are interested in volunteering may arrive at 9 a.m. at the north entrance of The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope, 1001 N. Pennsylvania. All who would like to volunteer are welcome and calling to sign up as a Thanksgiving Day Volunteer is not necessary.
Christmas is a season with lots of activities at the Salvation Army, none of which could be accomplished without an army of volunteers.
Opportunities include:
Christmas Distribution Center: Come help to prepare each Angel’s gifts at the distribution center. This is for ages 13 and up with dates running from December 2-14.
Angel Tree Family Gift Distribution: Be a guide for the Angel Tree families as they come to receive their gifts. For ages 13 and up. This is a great opportunity for corporations and businesses. Dates are December 15-18.
Ring the Bell: Invite family, friends and coworkers to adopt a red kettle location for four hours, a day or a week. This raises funds for The Salvation Army’s programs like the Client Choice Food Pantry, Senior Centers and Boys & Girls Club. Dates run from November 20 – December 24.
The Salvation Army runs on volunteers like Georgann who only knew about The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles when she first visited.
But since that visit four months ago, she has dedicated herself to serve families in need in our community, even though it means stepping out of her comfort zone.
“It really speaks to my heart. It is hard work but it’s very rewarding,” Georgann shared.
The Salvation Army food pantry has become her favorite place because of the people.
“I began helping a woman in the pantry one day and she shared with me that it was her prayer she receive leg of lamb during her visit,” she said. “As we approached the freezer to look at the meat selection, right on the bottom shelf was a leg of lamb for her to have! It was so neat!”
Though she may have been nervous as a first-time volunteer, Georgann has fallen in love with giving back to her community and sharing with others the work going on here.
“I just hope, as the opportunities come around, I can do more. The people that I visit with at church about The Salvation Army…they’re thinking it’s just the kettle or ringing bells. But, no, it’s a whole lot more than that. We’re just trying to help people.”
If individuals would like to give beyond volunteering or adopting an Angel, giving to the Red Kettle is always appreciated.
The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma is meeting the needs of our community 365 days a year. Donations to the red kettle provides shelter, groceries, utility bill assistance, disaster services and dinner for our community as well as a safe place for children and seniors year round. Donations can be made by visiting, mailing a check to The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma, Attn: Development Department, 1001 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73107 or dropping change in the red kettle beginning November 20.

Dear Savvy Senior,

My father died several years ago, at the age of 76, from a stomach aneurysm, which now has me wondering. What are my risk factors of getting this, and what can I do to protect myself, as I get older? Just Turned 60

Dear 60,
The process of selling a house and Stomach aneurysms, also known as “abdominal aortic aneurysms,” are very dangerous and the third leading cause of death in men over 60. They also tend to run in families, so having had a parent with this condition makes you much more vulnerable yourself.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (or AAA) is a weak area in the lower portion of the aorta, which is the major artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. As blood flows through the aorta, the weak area bulges like a balloon and can burst if it gets too big, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. In fact, nearly 80 percent of AAAs that rupture are fatal, but the good news is that more than nine out of 10 that are detected early are treatable.
Who’s At Risk?
Around 200,000 people are diagnosed with AAAs each year, but estimates suggest that another 2 million people may have it but not realize it. The factors that can put you at increased risk are:
· Smoking: Ninety percent of people with an AAA smoke or have smoked. This is the number one risk factor and one you can avoid.
·Age: Your risk of getting an AAA increases significantly after age 60 in men, and after age 70 in women.
·Family history: Having a parent or sibling who has had an AAA can increase your risk to around one in four.
·Gender: AAAs are five times more likely in men than in women.
·Health factors: Atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels also increase your risk.
Detection and Treatment
Because AAAs usually start small and enlarge slowly, they rarely show any symptoms, making them difficult to detect. However, large AAAs can sometimes cause a throbbing or pulsation in the abdomen, or cause abdominal or lower back pain.
The best way to detect an AAA is to get a simple, painless, 10-minute ultrasound screening test. All men over age 65 that have ever smoked, and anyone over 60 with a first-degree relative (father, mother or sibling) who has had an AAA should talk to their doctor getting screened.
You should also know that most health insurance plans cover AAA screenings, as does Medicare to beneficiaries with a family history of AAAs, and to men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their life.
If an AAA is detected during screening, how it’s treated will depend on its size, rate of growth and your general health. If caught in the early stages when the aneurysm is small, it can be monitored and treated with medication. But if it is large or enlarging rapidly, you’ll probably need surgery.
AAA Protection
While some risk factors like your age, gender and family history are uncontrollable, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from AAA. For starters, if you smoke, you need to quit – see or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help.
You also need to keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and if they are high you need to take steps to lower them through diet, exercise and if necessary, medication.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

By Greg Schwem

It’s high time we returned to a more primitive, cheaper and safer method of swapping sensitive information: the Post-it Note.
Originally, I thought of reverting to the “double swear” method as in, “Double swear that you’ll never tell anyone I wanted the footballs underinflated” or “Double swear that you won’t reveal our cell phone eavesdropping methods to foreign heads of state,” but I quickly reneged. Haven’t we all been burned by a supposed “friend” who violated the double swear oath? My fourth grade math partner, if you’re reading this, rest assured I have not forgotten how you threw me under the bus. I trusted you, man.
Instead we continue believing, erroneously, that our extramarital affairs via websites like Ashley Madison are immune from hackers. The website says its members are anonymous, after all. We naively think pressing the “delete” key on our electronic devices will do just that – send all those incriminating texts, home videos, naked selfies and classified emails into a bottomless pit of nothingness where they will remain ignored until the end of time. Sort of like Adam Sandler’s last three movies.
We never bother to Google “Can you really delete a text message forever?” If we did, we’d discover a treasure trove of procedures for retrieving stuff we wish could vanish forever; some of those methods even include helpful YouTube videos to aid the technologically challenged.
This means those 10,000-plus text messages between Tom Brady and the New England Patriots equipment staff never really went away, even after Brady’s cellphone ended up in the shredder. But … is that REALLY where the phone went?
I have taken numerous PCs and laptops to recycling centers, believing that once I say goodbye to my Windows XP-powered computer, it will meet a horrible death of steel blades, industrial sledgehammers and other weapons one wouldn’t even find in a Quentin Tarantino film. But I never actually see the demolition taking place. For all I know, the recycling center employees could be related to the “professional” parking garage attendants who promised to take care of Cameron Frye’s father’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If Tom Brady handed me his cell phone, I’d at the very least use every available method to get the private number of his supermodel wife. Only then would I send the phone to its demise.
This leads me back to my idea of using Post-it Notes to write down every piece of communication you don’t want to see regurgitated on social media or splashed on a website like Gawker.
Brady, next time you want a squishier football during a playoff game, simply peel off a note, grab a pen, write “remove half a pound” and walk it over to your equipment manager. He’ll take one look and know that you’re not referring to roast beef from the deli. Then he’ll tear the Post-it so vigorously that it could pass for confetti during your next Super Bowl victory parade (provided you are eligible to play in that game). Roger Goodell, good luck finding it.
Anthony Weiner, you might still have your congressional seat had you sketched your cloistered areas on Post-it Notes as opposed to pointing your cellphone camera south, taking a picture and attaching the result to what you thought was a private tweet. If a media representative found the Post-it and asked what was on it, you could have replied, “That’s a, uh, bullet train that may soon rumble through my district. I will work tirelessly to ensure those funds are available because transportation is important to especially my female constituents.”
So grab some Post-its, Hillary Clinton, Hulk Hogan, all of Edward Snowden’s superiors and anybody else whose supposedly private information is now public. They are easy to carry, easy to figure out and easy to destroy. Your secrets will remain safe forever.
I double swear.

(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad,” available at Visit Greg on the Web at (c) 2015 GREG SCHWEM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC

Robin Byford, CPA, 56, helps seniors manage their finances before and during retirement.

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

At 56, Robin L. Byford, CPA, CFP, is senior vice president – wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. in Oklahoma City.
She works with clients of all ages but seniors come to her with a variety of questions. She counsels seniors on making their resources last as long as possible and helps them decide what’s best for them.
A CPA for 34 years, Byford says her No. 1 piece of advice she would give to seniors is to be in the house they want and to have it paid off or almost paid off before going into retirement.
“What we have found just by observation in our practice is that you need to … start landing the plane at age 60,” Byford said. “Because every day after that is almost a gift.”
Byford said by this time the odds of either you or your spouse having a health event are drastically increasing. The odds increase exponentially if you are fortunate enough to have a living parent.
“All of those things will keep you from working full-time,” Byford said.”
About 90 percent of seniors plan to continue living in their own homes for the next five to 10 years, according to an AARP survey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define “aging in place” as being able to live in one’s home and community safely, independently and comfortably – regardless of age, income or ability level.
The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants recommends addressing four questions to make independent living a more workable reality.
Question No. 1: What really matters to you?
Don’t get hung up on the term “aging in place.” If you want to continue enjoying the people and activities you love, it may not be necessary to remain in the same residence. As a first step in your planning, list what’s important to you in your current lifestyle and the things you wouldn’t mind changing. While selling the family home can be an emotional decision, it may be the best choice if a smaller place is easier to maintain, closer to family and a money saver that could allow you to travel.
Question No. 2: Will your current home accommodate your needs?
It’s important to determine if your current home will still be a good fit if you have problems with mobility or health as you get older. Features that make homes more comfortable for older people include bedrooms and bathrooms that are located on the entry level; few, if any, steps in the doorways or throughout the home; and entryways that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. Conduct an informal assessment of your home to decide if it’s accessible now or if some remodeling projects could be in order.
Question No. 3: What would renovation cost?
If you don’t think your home will remain easily accessible as you age, consider potential renovation expenses. A MetLife study cited renovation costs at $800 to $1,200 for widening a doorway; roughly $500 for the installation of two bathroom grab bars; and $3,500 to $35,000 for a variety of bathroom improvements – including better lighting and handicap accessible showers, tub seats and sinks. If remodeling seems too costly or complicated, you can downsize homes or change to a location that’s easier to navigate and still remain independent. There may even be other benefits to moving into a different home or neighborhood. For example, a new place in a populous area may give you easier access to social activities.
Question No. 4: Do I have a good support system?
Either now or later, you may need to rely on others to care for you or help with everyday tasks. It will be easier to remain relatively independent if you live near family or friends, home health care providers, doctors and medical facilities. Your planning should include a local support system that meets your changing needs. As part of this effort, investigate local community and government resources, in addition to geriatric care managers. For more eldercare tips and locations, visit and read “Your 1st Step to Finding Resources for Older Adults.”

What was your  first job?  Rambling Oaks Assisted Living

“I lived on a dairy farm and my first job was milking cows.  I would get paid a quarter and I would go to a movie.” Julia Murray

“I lived in the country and my first job was a school teacher.  The school was small and was all 12 grades.” Paula Grove

“I worked at a Ford garage and was a parts man.” Paul  Bolles

“I was in 9th grade and worked at a drug store.  I did everything that I needed to do and even worked behind the fountain.” Chester Spears