04/01/19

Nancy Klepac, LPN, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Executive Director at Willowood at Mustang is making the senior residence outstanding in the Mustang Community.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Walking into Willowood you’re bound to see someone sitting at the piano playing a tune or relaxing on one of the couches in the grand entryway reading a book.
There’s a feeling of home inside Willowood that Executive Director Nancy Klepac, LPN, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and her staff work hard to foster.
Care and comfort combine at Willowood, which will undergo a facelift this year thanks to a new owner.
Klepac is excited about the plans guided by Heart Living Centers for the community that has enjoyed a long history in the wonderful and quaint city of Mustang.
“In the next few months I know Heart Living Centers will be diligently working to get our permits and reconstruction underway and I’m looking forward to the residents seeing the new construction and feeling the new construction,” Klepac said. “It will give everyone a breath of fresh air and give Willowood the distinction it deserves.”
Situated along State Highway 152 Willowood’s stately columns hint at what waits inside.
Details have been carefully thought out to meet resident needs.
Klepac has spent a quarter century caring for seniors and their details.
“We offer a variety of services and we have a very high bar of care that is exemplary for our residents that are living here,” said Klepac, whose innate calling has always been caring for elderly people.
Heart Living Centers represents new beginnings for Willowood with renovations and many updates to come.
Meeting with new ownership was a satisfying feeling for Klepac.
“It was very exciting,” Klepac said of partnering with Heart Living Centers. “This home has a long history and has been in need of a few things. It’s ready for its updates so it’s exciting to see what Heart Living Centers with their resources and progressive experience in the industry can do.”
Klepac’s experience with senior living runs the gamut from nursing to leadership.
From a very young age, Klepac began caring for family. She became a nurse aide at 14. “This is a calling for me,” Klepac said. “I knew that when I was six years old and so did my family that my innate calling was for the caring of elderly people. When I became a nurse I didn’t work in any other field other than long term care.”
She was eventually drawn to Willowood, starting as the director of wellness.
“I believe our care is something we do very well,” Klepac said. “We are also very respectful of residents and allowing our residents to do what they would like to do as long as it is same for them.”
“I’m very strong on residents making their own decisions about their care.”
That’s near and dear to Klepac’s nurse heart.
You’ll see her in scrubs on some days helping out where she is needed.
“Scrubs wash easily,” Klepac laughs, recounting the times she’s pitched in to help wherever a resident might need her.
“My nursing foundation is probably the most important thing to me in serving as the executive director,” she said. “And I do believe it’s a service. It allows me to look at things clinically as well as from the business aspect in the community.”
It’s also why she’s looking to help Willowood expand its reach to potential residents with chronic illnesses that are often underserved by traditional senior living communities.
In the coming months Klepac said you’ll see Willowood offer services for chronic disease management not typically seen.
And she won’t do it alone.
Her staff is her extension throughout the building.
“I have a very strong team here at Willowood. They care for our residents. They put our residents first, which in this day and time is a hard thing to find in our industry,” Klepac said. “They are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week without exceptions to all of our residents and their families.”
“All of of our residents have our personal telephone numbers, myself and all my department heads.”
That means availability for Willowood residents. Whether it’s something that doesn’t work in the middle of the night or the middle of the day, residents have the ability to reach out.
And even if they don’t need anything, Klepac and her staff are their to love on them.
“The care I see them provide to the residents and their families is just exemplary,” Klepac continued. “In this industry it can be draining to give all day long and then go home to their families, yet my team never seems to be short on the ability to give.”

Patti Neuhold will step into the role of president of the University of Central Oklahoma later this summer.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Like many people, Patti Neuhold never saw the next big thing in her life coming.
But as the dust began to settle and spring had finally sprung, Neuhold was getting her head wrapped around the fact later this summer she would become the next president of the 16,000-student University of Central Oklahoma.
“I’m excited about it. Every day I realize more is going to come my way and opportunities I’ll get to be a part of and it’s exciting,” said Neuhold.
Earlier this year, the Regional University System of Oklahoma announced Neuhold will become UCO’s 21st president following the June retirement of current President Don Betz.
Neuhold is the Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Central Oklahoma. She has a deep knowledge of UCO, having served in leadership in finance and budget, administrative and professional development departments, joining the university in 2007.
With two degrees earned and a third almost completed Neuhold is a proud product of education.
“I would not be where I’m at today without education and that’s a fact,” Neuhold said. “It is, in my opinion, a life changer. Education equals freedom for so many people. It can change the trajectory of an entire family for generations to come.”
“For me, to be able to open that door is so rewarding. I want to make sure other people have the opportunity to grow and shape their destiny the way I have.”
Neuhold balanced UCO’s $187 million budget through years of the most significant declines in state support and declining enrollment. She facilitated business process reviews that resulted in savings, higher retention of faculty and new leadership development opportunities.
“Patti Neuhold has the leadership experience, and vision for the university that will help prepare our students to contribute ideas, innovation and solutions to the marketplace,” said Mark Stansberry, RUSO regent chair. “Her blend of financial acumen, organizational development and understanding of what industry needs will help UCO continue to lead in education and workforce development.”
Neuhold was approved by the board of regents after a national search.
“This is not something I had been working towards,” Neuhold said. “This really wasn’t on my radar for some time.”
But when President Betz announced his retirement last year the wheels started turning. And Betz had already been preparing her.
“He was always very encouraging and helpful in helping me see the possibilities that were ahead of me,” she said.
These are challenging times for higher education in Oklahoma.
“It’s no secret the State of Oklahoma has withdrawn its financial support from higher education across our state,” Neuhold said. “I – like all the other presidents in the state – will be dealing with our allocation from the state and building a relationship with legislators where they understand where we are coming from and what we’re trying to do.”
“Society in general is pushing back against higher education and really forcing all of us to justify our existence, which seems counterintuitive for many of us. I think we’ll be dealing with changing our stories and making sure people understand what is going on behind the curtain and doing everything we can with what we have.”
From its main campus in Edmond and facilities throughout the metro area, UCO is recognized nationally as a military-friendly school and for its high student engagement through service-learning and volunteerism and its workplace environment.
“I hope that No. 1 we can pair our innovative thinking with innovative action. I really want to see UCO move ahead,” she said. “We have so many great problem solvers on our campus – so many innovative thinkers – and I would love to see all of that paired with action.”
“I want UCO to be marked by progress, and potential and possibility.”
She stood out in the selection process but Betz already knew she would.
“Patti has been a key member of the university cabinet for several years, and has exercised significant leadership on a number of highly relevant issues to the university,” Betz said. “I believe that Patti will serve the UCO community, the metro and the state with energy, insight and distinction. I will work closely with her throughout the transition. I am delighted, and I sincerely look forward to the successful future of the university under her leadership.”

Sisters (left to right) Cindy Milam, MS, RN, Kay Wetmore, RN and Robin McMurry, PhD, RN, are leaving a lasting legacy training tomorrow’s nurses at Oklahoma City Community College.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Go into any health care facility in the metro and you’re bound to find at least one or two nurses trained by a unique trio of sisters that have quietly been inspiring the next generation for more than a decade now.
The Archer sisters – married and known as Kay Wetmore, Robin McMurry and Cindy Milam – have always been close. They began working in the family office supply business early in their middle school years.
And as each grew up and found their own paths into the nursing profession none are surprised they’re working together again as faculty for the Oklahoma City Community College nursing program.
Wetmore and McMurry came to OCCC 12 years ago.
At the time, McMurry was the CNO at Moore Medical Center when it was sold to Norman Regional.
She had a five-year-old and decided teaching was a better schedule.
“You can only individually touch so many patients but as a teacher I think that number is exponential,” McMurry said. “We daily see people when we go into the hospital that we taught. I think that’s really rewarding when they graduate and go on to be caregivers.”
“I think one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done is teaching. It’s meaningful work.”
“Office supplies are good but when you go around in second grade and someone says ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ no one wants to sell office supplies.”
Both Wetmore and McMurry have backgrounds in OB.
Milam joined her sisters eight years ago and oversees the clinical skills lab.
“We’ve always worked together,” Milam said. “I like the fact we are affecting future nurses and caregivers and trying to set the standard as high as possible for good, quality nurses.”
Not only did they choose to become nursing professors but they chose to teach students in arguably the toughest program in the metro.
Baccalaureate to Associate Degree Nurse Accelerated Pathway – or BADNAP – takes students with existing bachelor’s degrees and compresses all of the nursing processes into 10 consecutive months.
“They’re coming back at a time in their life where they’ve probably stopped working so the stakes are very high for these students and so is the anxiety,” McMurry said. “Sometimes it’s more important for us to nurture than it is to teach.”
“We say everyone gets one good cry in BADNAP. But students need to feel like they’re in an environment where we care about them.”
“It’s the hardest way to get a nursing degree and there’s so much at stake when they come to us.”
BADNAP grad Nick Hargis remembers that initial meeting with the feisty McMurry.
“Robin walked up to me and said ‘I can turn you into a nurse in 10 months,’” remembers Hargis, now an ICU nurse at SSM Health St. Anthony. “I thought it was a nice offer, but it was actually a command.”
Graduate Emerson Oden said he was constantly amazed at how much the sisters would pour into students.
“Those sisters could be making way more money in nursing by doing other things, but they’ve decided to dedicate an incredible amount of their time, energy, and sanity towards making us into nurses,” he said. “(BADNAP) was equal parts caffeine, smarts, encouragement and butt whoopins.”
It’s how the Archer girls were raised.
After their father, Jim, passed last November, the sisters were instrumental in helping make sure future nursing students would always have help from their family at OCCC.
A scholarship was established by their mother, Judy Archer, and the four daughters. Sister Chris Eskew is a librarian at a Yukon elementary school.
OCCC Nursing students now benefit from the endowed Jim & Judy Archer and Ed & Eva Pope Nursing Scholarship, currently valued at more than $111,000.
There are eight nurses in the Archer family, and four of them started their training at OCCC. Those eight nurses have earned two master’s degrees, a PhD and one doctor of nursing practice degree.
Their specialties include labor and delivery, education, pediatrics, surgery, intensive care, emergency medicine, oncology, community health and adult and pediatric sexual assault forensic nursing.
Eskew, the librarian, also earned her master’s degree.
“It leaves a legacy,” Wetmore said. “It not only leaves a legacy in the healthcare profession by creating more nurses it also leaves a legacy within those individual families because we’re affecting their ability to support their families in a way that’s flexible and workable.”
“When you only have to do three 12’s a week you can be involved in your children’s lives.”

Mattie Jeffries pictured on her farm feeding cattle. Jeffries is being recognized as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma Agriculture.

by Betty Thompson

JAY—There’s no place like home.
Mattie Jeffries grew up on beans, cornbread, and hard work.
The second to youngest of eight children and raised by a single father, Jeffries was familiar with gender equality in their home. She chopped firewood, helped with outside chores, cooked, and cleaned alongside her four brothers and three sisters.
Though her mother was not around when she was growing up, Jeffries said she looked to her older sisters as an example of how to be a lady. Over the years, she changed from the little girl who just threw a cap and boots on.
“Just because I work like a man doesn’t mean I have to look like one,” Jeffries said. “My hands might be rough and calloused but at least my fingernails are pretty in pink. The old saying is true, ‘Even an old barn looks better with a new coat of paint.’”
Her father, Leslie Currey, was a welder by trade and taught Jeffries and her siblings to weld as well. Her four brothers are all welders today, and all eight children own their own businesses.
“Dad raised us to be independent,” Jeffries said. “I’ve heard the more you know the more you’ll have to do, but my philosophy is, the more you know the more you can do yourself.”
As a little girl, Jeffries dreamed of owning her own horse ranch.
“When I was little we didn’t have much, so we went to ride our neighbor’s horse,” Jeffries recalled. “I fell in love with horses and the freedom you feel when riding them.”
Eventually, she did get her own horse, and Dolly played a bigger role in Jeffries’ life than just being part of her horse farm dream.
She did not know Navada Jeffries well at the time, but she remembered the former athlete and fellow graduate of Jay High School who sold hay. And she needed hay for Dolly.
“I didn’t even pay attention to him in high school,” Jeffries laughed. “I was the country girl, and he was the preppy sports guy. He might have played football, but I never saw.”
The two hit it off after that hay delivery, and less than a year later, they were married.
While she did not wind up with the horse ranch she once dreamed of, Jeffries said she has something even better—a cattle ranch, with a few horses sprinkled in.
She and Navada built N & M Farms (named for Navada and Mattie) from the 100 cows Navada had when they began dating. When they first started the farm, they leased all of the land to run the cattle on.
“Together, with God, we grew what we have,” Jeffries said. “Neither my husband or I were given anything, we’ve had to work for everything.”
In the early years of their marriage, Jeffries was working at the bank in town and helping Navada with the farm in her spare time.
“I tagged along with him after hours and on the weekend,” Jeffries said. “He had a hired hand at the time to help him bale hay and work cattle and I told him, ‘Well I can do that!’ He told me I couldn’t, but I proved him wrong.”
Jeffries began working side-by-side with her husband on the tractor, mowing, raking, baling and hauling hay. She even helped him clean out chicken houses for fertilizer.
“I love being outside,” Jeffries said. “We work hard, and I don’t mind working hard.”
She worked at Navada’s side right up to the night before she had their first child, a daughter they named Dakota. She was back on the tractor just a little over a week later, loading up Dakota’s car seat and taking her anywhere from feeding stockers and baling hay, to working cattle and building fence.
Not much changed when their second daughter River came 13 months later, she just took both of them along in the cab of the tractor.
“I’ve raised two daughters in the tractor,” Jeffries said. “It was like having twins, the girls are 13 months apart.”
At the end of those long summer days in the hay field, Jeffries still made time to cook dinner for the family, and keep up with the other household chores, even if it was at 10 p.m.
“I’m a full-time farmer, full-time wife, and full-time mother,” Jeffries said.
While she admits those three jobs are very exhausting, she would not trade it for anything.
In 2003, eight years after beginning their farm, they were able to buy their first piece of property. Since then, they have continued to purchase more land and cattle.
“We think the same, and we have the same goal,” Jeffries said of working with her husband. “I believe it has strengthened our marriage being able to work together like this.”
Their third child came in 2009, a son named Navada Baler, who Jeffries describes as a “100% total farm boy.”
“He’s being raised in the tractor too,” Jeffries said. “He can already drive it.”
Over the years, hard manual labor took a toll on Jeffries back. In October 2015, an MRI revealed she had four ruptured discs and was on bed rest for an entire month. Friends and family told her she needed to quit working on the farm because they feared she would end up paralyzed.
“I didn’t want to have surgery but if that was what it was going to take for me to continue working on the farm then I was determined to do it.”
A friend told her about a spine specialist about an hour away in Owasso, and desperate for relief, Jeffries scheduled the first available appointment.
“I hadn’t been able to walk because of the pain,” Jeffries said. “He adjusted me and asked me to walk around the room. It was like flipping a switch on the pain. I’m not a crier, but I just started crying right then.”
It has been three years since that first doctor’s visit and Jeffries is back on her feet doing what she loves—working side-by-side with her husband and children. She said she cannot imagine doing anything else with her life.
“Owning a piece of our great nation is truly the American dream,” Jeffries said. “There is no place I’d rather be than in the tractor seat on a smooth piece of ground, on horseback gathering cattle, or being with my family on the farm making great memories. There isn’t any place like home.”

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn t4z@aol.com

Just mentioning Palm Springs brings up the cliché thoughts of well to do celebrities, escaping Hollywood to a retreat oasis out of the lime light and adoring fans, with incomparable warm weather never to disappoint. While that is true, today, Palm Springs is a tourist’s mecca with many festivals and events that may make the town over crowded where reservations for a mid-day lunch is mandatory.
I visited there for four short days in Mid-February in the midst of the popular mid century architectural festival. There seems to be something commercially happening in Palm Springs most weekends, if not at least once a month, making an enjoyable, leisure stay a challenge. With this information in hand you can find your way to the preferences that fulfills your holiday wish list.
Having visited Palm Springs off and on for over thirty years, I have seen it change and my preferences have also changed. I still like the romantic idea of passing by the places where celebrities lived, and the remains of their houses through a formalized celebrity house bus tour. This was accomplished surprising well with Celebrity Tours, with their office and pick up point in neighboring Cathedral City.
www.PalmSpringsCelebrityTours.com
Your bus driver narration is the key to your enjoyment and my Jeff, could not have been more informative or entertaining. Many of the houses in the Movie Colony Section are surrounded by high fences and vegetation, making it difficult to even get a peek at the property. The Las Palmas area houses are much easier to view. Some of the celebrity houses and stories that are seen and lives told about included celebrities of old: Liberace, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Hope among others, and contemporaries like Cher and Matt Damon. The brief history of some of these celebrities are told with humor, but the ending of their lives gives one pause with a touch of sadness. Many of the houses viewed today have fallen into disrepair or are smaller and less glamorous than you would expect.
The reason Palm Springs became a Hollywood oasis was during a time when the actors were under contract to movie studios. Back then using film, some of the scenes would need to be re shot on short notice to the actors. Their contract read that they must be able to show up on a twenty-four-hour notice, and Palms Springs was close enough to allow such.
After sightseeing or shopping your thoughts and stomach might turn to dining. I found all my pre-reserved dining options to surpass expectations. You might think in fine upscale dining establishment that you might want to order something experiential or exotic. I prefer to test restaurants with some of the staples of dining. If they can knock my socks off with comfort food, then they can do anything.
What’s more comforting than meatloaf, which happens to be the specialty of TRIO, https://triopalmsprings.com. I started with their batter artichoke hearts with Caper Aioli dipping sauce. The homemade meatloaf entree with red wine reduction and caramelized onions near sour cream mashed potatoes, was quickly served and the combinations of meat flavors were excellent, living up to its reputation. I ordered my traditional extra cold martini and it arrive so cold it was bubbling! Asked how this was accomplished was told there was a special machine that deep froze the bottom of the glass and when the Vodka was added, it bubbled like dry ice. The visual was stunning although it made the beverage a bit bitter – but enjoyable just the same. Located on the very popular Canyon Drive, it can often be over crowed and noisy, which might add to your celebrity watching.
Also on North Palm Canyon Drive, is Copley’s (https://www.copleyspalmsprings.com) with its welcomed Valet parking. It is situated in a long ranch house style compound once owned by Cary Grant. With expansive patio seating and fire pit prime for outdoor dining, I preferred inside from the cool night air where elegant tables invite you to step away from the intimate popular bar area and begin your culinary adventure. One of my comfort staples is a lemony Cesar Salad, which I ordered and was delighted to see it was served with smoked bacon, Padano cheese and roasted pineapple as a crouton substitute. Extraordinary as the citrus added that zest, I usually get with lemon. The dressing was just enough, and the diced lettuce easily satisfied. What goes well with Cesar but a prime grilled filet in port wine reduction, which I had prepared Medium Plus – another test for any fine dining establishment. Again perfection and with one more beverage with blue cheese olives for dessert, I topped off a posh evening.
If your appetite has been teased, be sure and see next months issue with more dining suggestions, as I end my Palm Springs comfort food foray. Until then check out, www.greaterpalmsprings.com.

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
http://realtraveladventures.com/author/zinn

Corporal Kim Lopez, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s dept. TRIAD with Eunice Khoury of Well Preserved and Elaine Dodd, oklahoma Bankers Association, trains oklahoma Bankers how to stop elder fraud.

JOIN US FOR SENIOR DAY AT CROSSINGS COMMUNITY CHURCH MAY 10TH

Key Note Speakers including Elaine Dodd, Oklahoma Banking Association and Berry Tramel, Sports Editor Daily Oklahoman PM. Do you understand Social Security or how to choose a retirement community? Have you researched Alzheimer’s’ caregivers, Veterans benefits, or the million-dollar business in Oklahoma called Medicare? Senior Day is designed for those who are interested in diving deeper into these specific issues. There will be a selection of break out classes with topics like these for attendees to select and a very special Key Note speaker at lunch, Sports Editor Berry Tramel with the Daily Oklahoman.
This year there will be a raffle for “DUDE’S NIGHT OUT WITH BERRY TRAMEL, the host will be Lance Ward Pastoral Staff Crossings. Raffle tickets will be available at registration. Elaine Dodd, Oklahoma Banking Association will also present on how to limit elder fraud. Elaine worked with the OSBI for over twenty years and is well trained on how to identify and stop bank fraud for Seniors. Kim Lopez, TRIAD Director Oklahoma County Sherriff’s Office, will share how to shop safely in a mall or grocery store. We have a new presentation this year- how to Use your I Phone! Mia Munnerlyn, Media Director for Well Preserved, will share some easy to follow tips for the I Phone. Ray Walker, Director Medicare Assistance Program will be thoroughly explaining Medicare. Jose’ Olivero, Public Affairs Specialist with Social Security, will share your options on Social Security.
We are very excited to have Blair Schoeb, Director of Area Wide Aging for Oklahoma, Canadian, Logan and Cleveland County. Area Wide serves over 25,000 seniors a year. Blair recently returned from the National Association of Area Agencies in Washington, DC. There will be classes on downsizing your home. Nikki Higgins Lifestyle Realty will conduct a panel for an easy transition for a Senior home owner. How to choose a retirement community, presented by Jill Huff with Spanish Cove. Who needs Memory Care? Presented by Keri Dennis with Stone Creek Assisted Living in Edmond. What is Adult day care? Presented by Brian Rush, Director of the Daily Living centers. Daily Living Centers have four locations in the metro and Edmond. Kathy Logsdon will share the amazing story of Epworth Villa. There will also be Vendor displays for attendees to find out information from business that support Seniors in the Metro Area.
Last year the Crossings 4th Quarter event donated $2900.00 to RSVP. RSVP is a volunteer organization that serves 130 nonprofits in the Metro. This year, proceeds will be donated to non-profits that serve seniors in the metro area. Our thanks to the Title Sponsors Quail Creek Bank, Epworth Villa, Lifestyle Realty, Spanish Cove & Well Preserved Advisory Group,
Those topics plus many more will be explained on May 10th. If you are a Senior and want to come and learn—- JOIN us for SENIOR DAY at Crossings Church, 14600 N Portland, OKC – on May 10, 2019. Registration will begin at 8:30AM. This will be an all day event and will finish at 4:30. Registration is only $12.00 and that includes lunch.
To register go to CROSSINGS.CHURCH/SENIOR-DAY or call 848-5790 for more information.

Did you know that Identity theft is an increasing threat to all Americans, including senior citizens? Unfortunately, the numbers of people that are victimized by identity theft continue to increase each year. Older adults are particularly vulnerable and deeply concerned about this threat to their financial assets.
Below is a summary of how Identity Theft happens, the warnings signs to watch out for, how to protect yourself and what to do in the event it happens to you.
How Does Identity Theft Happen?
* Opportunistic – e.g., stolen or lost wallets or purses, misappropriated credit or debit cards, re-approved credit applications that you’ve discarded
* Intentional schemes – e.g., asking for personal information in emails, calls or letters (called phishing), pretending to be you to use your benefits, applying for loans in your name
Warning Signs of Identity Theft
* ATM or bank withdrawals you didn’t make
* Credit card charges you don’t recognize
* Bills from medical offices you haven’t visited
* Mail you’re expecting that doesn’t arrive
* Calls from debt collectors
* Notices from the IRS about unreported income or multiple tax returns
Protect Your Identity
* Don’t share personal or account information on social media or emails
* Shred documents others could steal
* Check your credit reports routinely
* Report any suspicious financial transactions immediately to limit losses
What to Do If Your Identity Is Stolen
* Don’t be embarrassed—act!
* Call your bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can close your accounts
* Put a fraud alert on your credit reports to prevent opening of new accounts
* File reports with police and Federal Trade Commission
* Follow up with the IRS, Social Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service for theft of benefits
* Keep a record of who you contacted and when
For more information, visit aba.com/Seniors

 

What’s your favorite thing about spring? Emerald Square Assisted Living

Gardening and being outside. I like to help plant.

Jean Miller

Warm weather, the birds and the flowers.

Jean Sczerbacki

The thing I like about spring is it’s a new beginning for us all.

Leta Ringwald

I love the flowers, being outside and being able to wear shorts again.

Billy Stevenson

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of a nursing home in Moore, and a full-time writer.

I CAN SEE!

By Darlene Franklin

I can see close to twenty-twenty for the first time since I was a little girl. Cataract surgery has restored my sight to near perfect vision. New glasses will fix what remains unclear.
I can’t wait.
A couple of year ago I began to notice the middle of hymn pages faded out while I played the piano. No amount of blinking or leaning in closer brought them into focus. Since I know most hymns fairly well, I only stumbled for a few notes here and there.
At first, I blamed the situation on poorly reproduced copies. Although the print was small and the ink somewhat faded, I gradually realized it was my eyes. I couldn’t deny it when I had the same problems reading fine print or when working on my computer.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately fifty percent of all Americans have cataracts by age seventy-five. My mother’s experience had left me a little on edge. She had felt uncomfortable when she felt pressure on the eye. But when I asked the surgeon—especially when he talked about using knives—and he basically said I would be too out of it to notice.
Maybe not. But regardless, I wanted to see again.
I did feel the pressure, but it didn’t hurt at all. When he began cutting into my cornea, I saw pretty pink squares. The surgery itself took less than ten minutes per eye.
If you’re like me, you take your sight for granted. I know a few authors who are also blind. But since I’ve always had my sight, learning to function without it would be difficult beyond what I care to imagine. I am thankful for the surgery.
We’re all born with poor vision when it comes to spiritual things, and the older we get, it only worsens. At my salvation, God performed surgery, removed my dead eyes and replaced them with eyes that could take in more and more of his glory. My corrected “far vision” allows my breathless voice to break through in power when I sing, “This is how I fight my battles—I am surrounded by You.” It allows me write poems and books that praise God.
My near vision—other people—remains pretty dense. I frequently ask God to help me to see them as He does.
That requires me to truly look at them. The problem is, especially here at the nursing home, I expect them to look at me.
Sometimes I get it right. Recently, when a worker who’d always been kind and loving to me, gazed in the distance, her mind clearly on something else.
“You look like you’re having a bad day.
“How’d you know?” She asked. “Yes, I am. A terrible day.”
She didn’t tell me what was troubling her, and I didn’t ask. And I was tempted to leave it at that. Instead, I asked if she wanted to pray and, yes, she did.
“You don’t know how much that helped.”
The next day, she was doing much better
I wish I had that kind of sight all the time, to sense when people are in pain and simply need someone to care.
To my shame, often I’m grumpy because an aide has been inattentive or short with me, only to find out later they spent the night at the hospital with a sick baby. I overlook the fact they are first of all individuals dearly loved by God, and that they choose to work with me and for me.
Nurses, certified nurse’s aides, and other professionals in the nursing home environment often feel a strong calling for what they’re doing. They want to help people. For the Christian, that makes me not only their job, but also their ministry.
How easy that is to forget that when I am tired, sore, and I’ve been waiting for help.
Although God has given me new sight, I might not be following His aftercare instructions correctly. I may not be applying the ointment of His word to the area where I have the most vision problems. Perhaps my eyes are dry from spending too much staring at things of little or no value.
Please join me in praying that God will cause us to see the people around us as He does, and to act accordingly.
Darlene is a resident at Heritage Manor in Oklahoma City. Check out her other writing at https://www.darlenefranklinauthor.com/

by Sheryl Presley, TRIAD Coordinator for all of OKC Police Department

An event that our Police Department is proud to put on for our seniors is Informed Senior Seminar. Event will be on April 12th at 8:30am at OSU-OKC 900 N Portland student Center 3rd floor. Event is FREE. You do need to register by calling our City of OKC action Center at 297-2535 by April 5. Event will start at 8;30am. We start with a panel discussion and this year our panel discussion will be active incident. We will have MSGT.
Loruse and Captain Samuel from our agency Oklahoma City Police Department and 2 other officers from other agencies on the panel. You will be able to ask the officers anything related to this topic. Then we will provide 4 breakout sessions that will repeat after the 1st session on nutrition and fitness, scams, Medicare updates and transportation for seniors. We have a wonderful committee that works hard to provide different programs every year to educate and inform our seniors. OSU-OKC has been a great partner to allow us to have Informed Senior Seminar here for almost 17 years.
We look forward to having this event and providing resources for our seniors for FREE. Any questions please contact Sheryl Presley at 405-316-4336.
Spring has arrived and with it the scammers come out of the woodwork. Some of the most common scams are home repair frauds. This is the most common and costly of all property crimes. Some tips and red flags to protect yourself from becoming a victim. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER agree or engage the services of anyone who solicits door to door. If the contractor does not have a local address and arrived in the area following the disaster. If the contractor claims to have materials left over from a previous job and offers to use them on your project for a steep discount. The contractor does NOT use a written agreement for the project. Always get 3 estimates and check the company and or name of person representing the company. This can be done by going to your computer and typing in OSCN.NET and checking to see if the person or company has any claims or lawsuits against them. Also check the company name by contacting the better business bureau by calling 405-239-6081. If you are needing roof repair to make sure the contractor is registered with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board ( www.ok.gov/cib/ or 405-521-6550. Also avoid using workmen or services found in flyers delivered door to door or placed on your car in a parking lot. Ask for the business address and verify the address. Never pay upfront for services that have NOT been completed. Ask for references of other people that have used the business or person you are wanting to do the work. Deal with local contractors who have been in your community and have a good reputation. Make sure you have everything in writing that you are agreeing to have done and the exact amount it will cost. Never sign anything up front. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed or price is only good for TODAY only. If you are a person living alone if possible have someone with you when you have contractors out for estimates and then when you decide on having the work done. In today’s time you don’t want to let the worker or workers to know you live alone. You can also report and fraud to the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029. In Oklahoma we have had our share of disasters. Tornados and Ice storms have hit us hard over the years. Having a plan and knowing what to do will help you. In our local Triad meetings in the metro we discuss how to handle the storms and prepare. We have
speakers and information that we provide in the meetings. This information will help keep you from being a victim.

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