Still going strong at 63, Oklahoma Men’s Basketball Coach Lon Kruger continues to excel as a leader of young men.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

For nearly three decades now, Lon Kruger has been called on to be a change agent. It’s a role he’s filled well, and at 63, one he still has a passion and knack for.
With more than 500 career collegiate victories and as the only Division I coach to ever take five different schools to the NCAA Tournament, Lon Kruger has been leaving his trademark rebuilding stamp on college basketball programs as a head coach for 29 years.
In fact, he is perhaps the greatest change agent in the sport’s history.
Headed back from a coaches clinic in Kansas in August, Kruger shared some thoughts on his career, his stay in Norman and the season ahead.
Kruger admits this is his favorite time of the year.
“You’ve done it for a while but every year is different and unique,” Kruger said. “The start of the school year is always a little bit special. Football season is right there and there’s the start of school.”
Kruger welcomes five newcomers this fall including Oklahoma’s first seven-footer in nearly 15 years.
He subscribes to the philosophy that one of the best ways to stay young is to be around young people every day.
“I think there’s truth to that because of their energy, their enthusiasm and their stage in life,” Kruger said. “They’re all changing and developing at different rates. Hopefully we’re part of all of that and that’s the challenge, to help them continue maturing and developing in a good way and be ready when they leave Oklahoma to do whatever they want to do successfully.”
For Kruger, it’s always been about the people he’s coached. The things he is the most proud of are the people he’s seen grow and move on, even though it’s a bit humbling when they show back up toting grandchildren.
Now beginning his fifth season at the University of Oklahoma, Kruger’s reconstruction job with the Sooners has occurred faster than even some of the program’s most ardent fans imagined possible.
After inheriting a program that went 27-36 (.429) in the two seasons prior to his arrival, Kruger has coached the Sooners to a 82-49 (.625) record in his four years in Norman.
Kruger has led Oklahoma to three straight NCAA-tournament appearances.
The Sooners had not been to the postseason since 2009 when they advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.
Oklahoma is the fifth school Kruger has taken to the Big Dance. His collegiate teams have made postseason appearances in 20 of the last 25 years, and he has the storied OU program positioned for another long run of success.
He’s quick to point out that he hasn’t done it alone, with wife Barbara at his side every step of the way – even when he made the jump to coach in the NBA as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks.
“That’s huge,” Kruger said, noting his 40th wedding anniversary is coming up in December. “That’s the basis of everything. It’s a partnership and we’ve done all that together. At the heart of it is that relationship.”
What makes Kruger’s more-than-500 career wins and NCAA Tournament trips with five different programs even more impressive is the condition of the programs when they hired him and the rebuilding jobs he faced at each.
In the year before his arrival as head coach at Texas-Pan American, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV and Oklahoma, the schools combined for a 78-99 record (.441).
He directed all six programs to 20-win campaigns and took each of the last five to the NCAA Tournament or NIT by his second year.
In 2008, Kruger released his first book, “The Xs & Os of Success: A Playbook for Leaders in Business & Life.” The book, which highlights the parallels between coaching a sports team and leading others in non-sports settings, consists of 40, five-minute lessons conducive to leadership, life and teamwork.
It uses sports as a way to tell the story and a way to make things tangible. All proceeds earned by Kruger from the book went to charity.
Kruger admits the conversation with his wife about life after basketball has come up recently.
So when will that happen?
“That’s a good question,” Kruger said with a chuckle. “We actually started talking about it and that’s never happened before. Five, 10 years from now (the grandkids) will be active and doing their thing and we’ll be enjoying that for sure.”
Daughter Angie, an obstetrician, has given the Krugers a pair of grandchildren in Florida.
Son Kevin is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Northern Arizona University.
Between now and then another season, or two, or three awaits.
And however many remain, Lon and Barbara will tackle them together.

The great room, where groups or residents can meet and sit when the Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs is completed.

Story and photos by Vickie Jenkins

Meet Donna Bingham, Community Manager for the upcoming Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs apartments in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This brand new luxury apartment community is exclusively for active adults 55 and older and will be a spacious, gated and pet-friendly community, the perfect place to call home.
Avenida Senior Living LLC, in partnership with Black Oak Reality Fund of Oklahoma City is proud to unveil their newest development, located at 14101 North Kentucky Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK. The walkable location offers easy access to retail, entertainment, restaurants and medical facilities. This 140-unit community will feature state of the art amenities not previously available in Oklahoma City.
“I love what I do. I am proud of the community that Grand Tapestry is building. We are providing everything the 55 and better community loves to do under one roof with convenience, comfort and affordability,” Bingham states. Avenida Senior Living is dedicated to developing this new generation of active senior living communities intelligently and strategically located to meet the needs and preferences of today’s active and engaged senior. These age-restricted apartment communities are a ‘right at home fit’ for this stage of life, providing residents a safe and secure maintenance-free lifestyle with a full daily schedule of physically invigorating, emotionally engaging and socially stimulated activities. The senior tenant lives independently with a full amenity and activity package and shuttle transportation, which are all included at a comfortable, monthly rental cost that meets a senior’s budget. There are no buy-in or entrance fees. Additional services can be added by the tenant on a la carte basis, so that the senior pays only for the services needed.
The completion date for Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs is set for December 1, 2015. Designed in a resort-like, craftsman inspired architecture style Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs comes in a variety of one-and two-bedroom floor plans to meet your specific needs.
“It is rewarding to spend my days with my community. I get to hear their stories, understanding how they feel and what they want, but the best part is I get the biggest hugs,” Bingham says. “They know I am working alongside them to make this our community. They are my neighbors and my friends,” she adds.
“When I tell others about Grand Tapestry, I tell them about our fabulous apartments with granite kitchens, walk-in showers and lots of attention to detail in their homes. Then, I tell them about all of the amenities; the continental breakfast, the daily activities, the fabulous heated salt water pool, and then I tell them, think hotel, actually a 5-star hotel, that’s where you will be living,” Bingham explains.
“It is always exciting to move into a brand new home, even more so when you realize all of the fun community activities you get with it. We have several area chefs that are willing to come in and do food demonstrations. We have a fabulous 3-tier theater room for movies. We expect to have catered brunches available for the community and their families on Sundays, and we even have several meeting rooms that will not only be open to our community but to groups that belong to as well, free of charge. We have spoken to a Red Hatters group and a bunco group, we will have many fun activities going on, no matter what you like to do,” Bingham comments.
When asked about the area, Bingham replies, “The Quail Springs area is one of Oklahoma City’s most desirable neighborhoods. The area is home to one of the city’s major shopping malls and is a hub for all types of restaurants and retail options. World class health centers and churches are also close by.” “When I met with the management company for GREYSTAR and I was told about the community that they were building in Oklahoma City, I was so excited! Then they asked if I would be the manager, I look forward to it and am proud to get the opportunity. After meeting with the owners, developers and marketing people of Grand Tapestry of Quail Springs, I was ready to move immediately! It’s awesome to love what you do, love the people you do it with and the ones you do it for. What more could I ask for?” Bingham says with a smile.


Donna Bingham, Community Manager of the upcoming Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs apartments, Oklahoma City, OK shows a display of the different finishes that are in the common areas; the bistro and the great room.

Kris Judd, Senior Regional Property Manager of GREYSTAR in Irving, TX, Gail Peacock, Director of Sales and Marketing, Tulsa, Ok and Oklahoma City, Ok of Grand Tapestry
Kris Judd, Senior Regional Property Manager of GREYSTAR in Irving, TX, Gail Peacock, Director of Sales and Marketing, Tulsa, Ok and Oklahoma City, Ok of Grand Tapestry


Katrina Bright Cochran, Ph. D, 67, plans to get in front of as many people as she can over the next year to spread her message as the new Ms. Senior America Oklahoma. Photo provided by Melissa Cosper/DCmgmt Creative Consulting.

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

The last 10 years have been packed with life’s worst and best for Katrina Bright Cochran, Ph. D.
She’s fought Cancer twice.
She’s nearly lost her faith and turned around to find it stronger than ever.
In the meantime she’s found the love of her life – someone who finally values her for the person she is and the person she’s becoming.
And most recently, Katrina Cochran was blown away when she heard her name called as the 2015 Ms. Senior America Oklahoma winner.
“That was an absolutely huge and wonderful surprise,” Cochran said. “I was just blown away. I’m a very spiritually-based person and use a lot of spiritual language and in all reality the entire process was part of a divine plan of God.”
Looking back, Cochran admits seeing the hand of God during her life. She’s grown to realize that she has purpose beyond what she imagined.
Cochran accepted her crown as hundreds looked on at the Rose State Performing Arts Center earlier this summer.
It was a mix of emotions but gratitude was a big one. She saw it as yet another calling, and this one excited her.
Thryroid Cancer came calling in 2008. Breast Cancer found her in 2013.
Complications with Breast Cancer landed her in the hospital after her immune system was so compromised that bronchitis handed off to pneumonia.
With an oxygen saturation hovering around 85 percent her body was slowly being starved of air in January 2014.
“CJ Judd was the respiratory therapist on call that night,” Cochran remembers. “She came into the room and stood by my bed and worked on keeping me breathing and alive until four in the morning.”
Cue the divine intervention because Judd has directed the Ms. Senior America Oklahoma Pageant the past few years. She specializes in finding amazing women in the community and then convincing them to share their wisdom and inner beauty with the rest of the world.
“You’ve got to be part of our pageant and tell your story,’” Cochran remembered Judd saying. “I said to myself ‘how can I say No to someone who just saved my life.’”
So Cochran signed up for the pageant in 2014.
A severe reaction to surgery landed her in the hospital again on the eve of the pageant. Emergency surgery to stop a MRSA infection was the cause this time.
Cochran has been in the medical field with Mercy Health since 1988 when she joined as a clinical psychologist. She has stayed in private practice within the Mercy complex until today.
“I could have died twice in 2014,” Cochran said.“I decided God is not ready to call me home yet and he still has a plan for my life and I still have things to do.”
Plans with husband, Norman, whom she married nearly 12 years ago.
“He has just been incredibly supportive,” Cochran said. “He is truly my lifemate. It took me 55 years to grow up and mature enough to understand what it meant to be a wife. He is absolutely my rock and foundation.”
As a child of the 1940s, Cochran said the career path laid out for her by society was one of housewife. Getting a Ph. D and becoming the first woman to ever hold a hospital chair in her field was not a norm.
“Most of the men that were born in the 1940s found my professional and financial success pretty threatening,” she said. “My husband is a musician. He knows what it means to have a gig. He’s proud of me and says he feels enhanced.
“I was sold on that one.”
A partnership with the Salvation Army will keep her involved in the group’s women’s ministry will keep her in front of senior women at the organization’s meetings.
She’s consulted with the group for the past 12 years.
On a professional level, Cochran is in the middle of closing her practice which she hopes to have done by November 30.
Goal setting and living in the moment will be Cochran’s message as she travels the state this year to fulfill her duties.
The UCO graduate will be at the UCO Homecoming parade later this fall. Before that she will counsel parents of incoming UCO students.
And as she sees it, it’s all part of a great big plan that she’s learned to hang on to.

Anna Diaz, Administrator of Noble Health Care Center, Noble, OK and Lois Lenz, resident for 4 years, share a hug.

by Vickie Jenkins

Anna Diaz is the Administrator of Noble Health Care Center in Noble, OK. The city of Noble declared July 22nd as Noble Health Care Center Day in recognition of the staff and employee’s loyalty, hard work and devotion to the elderly of their community and achievement in the Best Practices and Administrator of the Year awards.
Today, celebrating Noble Health Care Center Day, representatives from local hospices, dental agencies, retirements centers, etc. are on hand for the big event. The celebration is open to all. Balloons are hung, music is playing and plenty of food is being served. The music is provided by the Tinker Flying High Band and even ‘Elvis’ will be making an appearance, singing songs along with his famous dance moves.
Diaz has been at Noble Health Care Center for 21 years. “I just love these people so much,” she says. “It’s so easy to get attached to them because there is such a strong bond between us. I always remember why I am here; to touch lives. We have a very caring staff and I feel like they give their all to our residents. It’s like we are one big happy family, “ Diaz adds. “Some of our residents have lived here for a long time and I can’t tell you how close we become to that person and their families. We receive thank-you cards all the time from family members. It is so touching to be a part of this extended family.”
Asking Diaz what her greatest asset is, she replies. “I believe in longevity and a caring staff. We care for each other and we definitely work as a team. We laugh and we smile and we care for each other.”
Diaz thinks that Noble Health Care Center is the best nursing home around. “I think it is because of the tender loving care that each employee and each staff member share with the residents. It’s the caring that makes a difference, making our facility stand out from the rest. Love is present throughout the home and I think we all feel it; the residents and the staff. We are happy and positive and it shows each time we are with our residents. It’s not about the building where these residents live, but it’s about each individual and the strong foundation of the people on the inside that make up this home.”
When asking Diaz what her most rewarding thing about her job was, she answered. “Oh, it’s definitely the hugs from the residents. I usually can’t get down the hallway without someone giving me a hug or me taking the time to stop and chat for a minute. I love the people here. I feel so good about knowing how I am touching another person’s life in the smallest way. Sometimes, a smile, a hug, a kind gesture is all it takes. I know it is a true blessing because it is the residents that touch my life. To tell you the truth, we need each other.”
“What do you think is your biggest challenge here at the facility?” I ask. “I think it is the fact that I want to make sure everyone is happy. I can always tell if someone is having a bad day. We try to have good times, staying positive in every way. I realize that whatever I do is going to reflect back on me so I need to be the best I can be.”
“There are many activities offered to the residents here. We play board games, and listen to music. There are entertainers that come to the facility. We have different people come in with their music and the residents enjoy that so much. We have arts and crafts for the residents and church services. We have a good time,” Diaz says.
Asking Diaz if she had any words of wisdom or words to live by, she replied, “Yes, I live an Ephesians 3:20 life which is from Journey Church.”
‘God can do anything you know, far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His spirit deeply and gently within us.’

Lois Butler has seen a lot in the last 100 years. And the Heritage Point resident intends to see a lot more after celebrating her 100th birthday recently.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

One hundred years can go by in the blink of an eye, but Lois Butler doesn’t plan on missing another second after celebrating her 100th birthday recently.
Butler lives at Heritage Point, located at 12000 N MacArthur Blvd, in Oklahoma City.
And she positively radiates to anyone who meets her.
“It’s pretty amazing that she is able to get around quickly at her age,” said Billie Upshaw, R.N. at Heritage Point. “She is very with it, too. All who are around her know her kindness and benefit from her wisdom.”
Butler was born and raised in Cheney, Kansas – a city in Sedgwick County with a population now of just over 2,000.
Her intention was to always live there after working a career as a telephone operator before becoming a homemaker before the birth of her first child.
Her and her husband raised three daughters.
“My mother is a very kind, generous and loving person,” said Rochelle Rayburn, Butler’s daughter. “Mother was always busy with her family. She loved to entertain and was a wonderful cook and hostess. She always made sure she was available as a mother. I have so many memories of coming home from school and smelling chocolate chip cookies just coming out of the oven.”
Butler and her sisters grew up with a mother who was very active.
Butler was very active in the Order of the Eastern Star, a Freemasonic appendant body open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a noted Freemason.
The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs.
Butler advanced to the position of worthy matron, the highest and presiding officer of the 18-office chapter.
She was also active in P.E.O, which was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
This circle of kindred spirits – bonded by their enthusiasm for women’s opportunities – eventually expanded to include women off campus, as well. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to nearly a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
Her mother was always active at school and church and served on the hospitality board at The Golden Age Home in her 80’s and 90’s.
Visiting every Sunday, The Golden Age Home was what Butler chose as her personal ministry.
Butler was an integral part of the family wheat farming business. She would drive the wheat truck during harvest when needed.
When she wasn’t behind the wheel she was cooking for the hired hands and taking lunch to the field.
Butler credits her positive attitude and great emotional strength for much of her longevity and she’s quickly become a staff favorite at Heritage Point, which opened earlier this year.
“She is an absolute sweetheart and I like spending as much time talking with her as I possibly can,” staff member Charlie Brittain said.

Robin Williams once called legendary Oklahoma comedian Argus Hamilton “The Will Rogers of the Baby Boom.”
Now the Hollywood-based comic will be welcomed back to Oklahoma City in a comedy dinner show at The Will Rogers Theater.
Hamilton, the host comedian at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, Calif. and syndicated newspaper humor columnist, will star in “Argus at the Will.” a show that also features local comedians Kelly “Dr. K” Flanagan, Stan Silliman and Brett James, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21.
Tickets for the show are $55 general admission and $65 VIP when ordered in advance at TicketStorm.com or by calling 866-966-1777. The theater’s Classic Americana Buffet is included in the price of the ticket. There will be a cash bar featuring noted mixologist JoDaniel Johnson, who was recognized by The Oklahoma Gazette as one of the top bartenders in Oklahoma City.
Hamilton was delighted at the title and location of the show because Robin Williams and Hamilton’s timeless wit are not the only links he has to Will Rogers. His grandfather, Argus James Hamilton Sr., was a college friend of Rogers and officiated at the classic comedian’s funeral.
Hamilton’s resume includes four decades of comedy. After working as a writer for the television series “Laugh In,” he was one of the pioneer comedians of the 1980s comedy boom, making several appearances on the “Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” In 2007, former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry named Hamilton the Official Comedian of the Centennial, honoring the state’s 100th anniversary.
Dr. K will be opening and hosting the show. The former journalist and college professor is a 10-year veteran of comedy and brings a unique mixture of one-liners and analogies to the stage
Also featured is author/comedian Stan Silliman, who has written for feature and headlining comics nationwide, cartoonists, roasts and special assignments. His cartoon-humorous poetry book “The News in Double Dactyls” was named Oklahoma Best Book of Poetry in 2002.
Also performing in the show is Brett James, who has taken the Oklahoma comedy scene by force in the past two years. James is a two-time qualifier for the World Series of Comedy. A master sergeant and budget analyst in the U.S. Air Force for almost 20 years, James is also touring the country as part of the Veterans of Comedy Tour.
The doors will open at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.

Dr  K

Brett James

Keith Dobbs is President and CEO of CARE Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare. He is the voice for seniors throughout Oklahoma, making a difference in their lives.

by Vickie Jenkins

Meet Mr. Keith Dobbs, President and CEO of CARE, Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare. This organization was established in 2004 to advocate on behalf of the long-term care community and the frail, elderly and disabled residents which they serve. With a mission to advance the value of long-term health care in Oklahoma, CARE achieves this by sharing the passion and joy of those in the profession through effective education and marketing. Dobbs has been President and CEO of CARE for 2 1/2 years. “My goal with CARE is to understand what is going on in the health care facilities and be a resource as an advocate for the seniors, being their voice and passing it on to our legislatures,” Dobbs states.
Dobbs has worked in several different states, working with hospitals, physicians and long-term health care facilities for quite a few years. “In the past, I have worked in Dallas, California and New York including Long Island. I was traveling all over and seeing up to 4000 physicians. That’s when there was an opportunity to work in Oklahoma. Since I am originally from Oklahoma and have an appreciate for the people here, I decided to move back. I have an understanding with marketing and communication skills and I feel like I can relate and talk to the seniors. Now, I travel all over Oklahoma, visiting every nursing home and health care facility that I am able to; from the big cities to the small rural towns. I talk to the elderly, listen to their stories and become their voice. Presently, I am the only advocate for seniors and their caregivers in Oklahoma. I guess you could say that I am a professional senior storyteller, speaking out for seniors. We have seen some very positive results,” Dobbs comments.
“What is the oldest senior that you have talked with as you travel to the different health care facilities?” I ask Dobbs. “The oldest person that I have talked with is a little lady at Heritage Villa Nursing Home in Bartlesville, OK. She is 108 and is such a delight. She is so sharp and cute,” Dobbs laughs. “She got her driver’s license at the age of 65. How many people can say that? Her name is Mittie Dailey and she has quite a legacy. She has 6 children, 21 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren, 78 great, great grandchildren, and 14 great, great, great grandchildren. Now that is one large family get-together and she loves on every single one of them.”
Asking Dobbs what his biggest challenge in his job is, he replies, “The biggest challenge I see is when the resident is in a nursing home and their family is not as involved as they should be. That can be so sad. That is when I am glad that the caregivers are there for them.”
Over the years, Dobbs has visited over 300 facilities, seeing 600-800 people. Each trip is different and unique. “I really get attached to these older people,” Dobbs says. “When I do visit them, I am usually there for quite a while because they have so much they want to say. They tell me all sorts of stories, some funny and some sad. I feel like if I make that person feel like the most important person in the world that day, I have done my job. Helping these seniors is the most rewarding job for me.”
“What is your biggest asset?” I ask Dobbs. “I would have to say the fact that I am given the opportunity to know that I can talk to this person, take one moment in time and bring happiness to them. Sometimes, it can be a bouquet of flowers, or hundreds of birthday cards (1500) with the help of social media to the senior that thought no one would remember. It could be singing a song or doing a little dance with the senior that thought no one would join in. It’s watching the senior glow with delight. It’s making their wish come true. Yes, I am a senior storyteller and I will continue to be the voice of the elderly people, making a difference in their lives, along with mine,” Dobbs says.

Seniors can stay connected to their loves ones without worrying about learning a new technology.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

Between Facebook timelines, Twitter feeds and Instagram posts there’s a million ways for people to stay “connected” in this busy world.
But not everyone can keep up with the latest communication fad.
And even if you have mastered your Facebook page that doesn’t mean your kids or your grandkids haven’t moved on to something else.
That was the problem that Keith Kocho, founder and CEO of bloom decided to tackle.
With a diabetic father in Ontario who suffered a stroke alone at home, Kocho understands better than most the sheer practical importance of staying in touch.
But he wanted something more than just a way to monitor his dad’s health.
“Between us, my father and I had lots of technology — computers, tablets, smartphones, social networks, and video conferencing apps. But when I wanted to connect him with the kids, there were challenges,” Kocho said. “Then it struck me that the right approach was to start from scratch and build something integrated and intuitive with a splash of humanity.
Doing his research, Kocho determined the market was saturated with devices that were designed to monitor someone’s physical health or safety in the home. But there wasn’t anything that made it effortless to stay in touch with loved ones.
The bloom product has three distinct yet integrated components: the bloomview display, the bloomband wearable, and a bloomapp available for iOS and Android. Family members share photos and videos through the bloomapp that appear on the bloomview, a stylish, portable display that looks at home in the kitchen or living room. By wearing the bloomband and approaching the bloomview, grandparents automatically trigger those shared moments to appear on the display.
If something piques their interest, they can then initiate video calls with family members right from the bloomview. During these video calls, bloom helps keep conversations rich and current by showing the most recent shared images, ensuring families always have something to talk about.
Heritage Point Senior Living Services Executive Director Melva Noakes is a National Certified Dementia Care Manager who applauds technology like bloom.
“I think this is fantastic for our seniors and their families,” said Noakes, who oversees the Oklahoma City community that specializes in Alzheimer’s and memory care services. “We as families live a busy schedule and this would make us feel a vital part of our seniors’ life.”
Bloom also removes technical barriers to communication, never asking about confusing updates or login credentials. The bloomview makes use of customers’ home Wi-Fi, so users can just plug it in and instantly begin viewing content shared by family members.
“It’s a powerful, but elegant piece of technology in their homes,” Kocho said. “The proactive part is if you’re talking to someone on a regular basis and sharing with them you’re in a much better position to know if they are having health or social issues.
“So it’s a better model than putting a panic button on them and waiting for them to fall down.”
Backed by Google Ventures and FKA, bloom connects families across generations and geographies.
“bloom is a great example of the type of high tech, high touch technology that has huge potential to impact the quality of life of older adults and their families,” said Katie Fike, PhD Gerontologist and co-founder of Aging 2.0. “The contextual awareness and ultra simple interface facilitates family communication in a way that feels magical and seamless instead of frustrating and overtly technical.”
The bloomband wearable also includes additional health and safety features, like activity tracking and emergency support. It’s a wearable that enriches all aspects of a user’s everyday life — from emotional to physical wellness.
Noakes said as long as the technology barrier is low then the results can be amazing for all involved. “It allows both family and seniors to see the things as they happen,” Noakes said. “It also helps with depression and the quality of life for our seniors. We have even found that the resident feels a burst of excitement when talking about his family which enhances their memory and communication.”
Kocho is happy with the outcome and is now taking orders for holiday season delivery.
“We’re looking to bring families closer together and provide them with peace of mind knowing their loved ones are safe, easy to reach, and not missing out on memorable moments,” Kocho said.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  t4z@aol.comDSC_0151

When you think of visiting Georgia you may only think of the big towns like Atlanta or Augusta, but there are other fascinating towns if you can make the time to travel by car which produces your own unique road trip.
Atlanta does have a lot to offer and I have to say I am impressed with my overnight stay at the Westin Peach Tree Plaza Hotel (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/atlpl-the-westin-peachtree-plaza-atlanta/), with its downtown location, comfy rooms and an impressive observation deck on the 73 floor, capped off with a cocktail lounge and The Sundial Restaurant on adjoining floors. During the cocktail hour I enjoyed their Bar 73 New Georgia Peach Martini ($14) of Grey Goose, Peach Schnapps and Amaretto, to accompany a small Caesar salad ($9). The rotating cocktail lounge is a combination of exhilaration and relaxation with incomparable views of Atlanta.
Augusta (http://www.visitaugusta.com/) offers the historic yet quirky Partridge Inn which was the center of tourist attention of 1889 to 1930. After a recent renovation following many more previous additions, the Partridge Inn sits on “the hill,” as a testament to time and travelers of all seasons. A cocktail or light supper out on the verandah offers a tranquil and southern elegant evening. And while Augusta’s funky, The Bees Knees Restaurant is known for its variety of Tapas, I delighted in my first chicken and waffles. Among many attractions, Augusta offers for your education and enjoyment; the Canal National Heritage area, the Museum of History with a special exhibit of home town musician, James Brown, and an historic downtown with its Haunted Pillar. Touching or moving it may result in a death.
Escape to Statesboro (www.visitstatesboroga.com) where you will find a banquet size meal served in family style elegance complete with ghosts stories in the Historic Beaver House Restaurant (http://www.thebeaverhouserestaurant.com) at 121 South Main Street.
The home dates back to 1911 and has an antebellum charm but in a real family residence, where room sizes are small but portions are large. The Traditional Boarding House Dinner served on Friday and Saturdays offers exceptional Prime Rib and Fried Fantail Shrimp which is served along with a plethora of homemade sides. And if you need a sweet desert or more, try the Cotton Patch Bakery and Deli for more homemade madness. If you are in a shopping mode on certain days take in the Main Street Farmers market and the nearby comic memorabilia shop, that brings out the kid in us all.
Statesboro is also home of legendary entertainer Emma Kelly. She was called by song writer Johnny Mercer as the lady of ten thousand songs, She is featured in a chapter in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and I was privilege to have sat in on a couple of her cocktail lounge performances in Savanah in past years. It was a life affirming joy to see that Statesboro renamed a theater in her honor before she past. (http://www.averittcenterforthearts.org)
You may think you are in Europe when you stay at the Hotel Indigo in Athens, Georgia. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities, and light switches that may take a little exploration for you to work. This modern design and the hotel’s LEED Gold Certified property of sustainability, fits perfectly with Athens being the host to the University of Georgia.
As one might expect of a university town, Athens has upscale dining as I experienced at The Five & Ten Restaurant where I had a pre fix dinner of Smoked Kielbasa with artichokes, radicchio, fermented sunchoke, sorghum gastrique with sunflower seeds, and an entrée of Glazed Lamb Shoulder with pickled blueberries, hakurei turnips, fennel, smoked pecans and onion broth. A red wine of Minerviois, Chateau D’Oupia, from Languedoc, France 2012 accompanied the meal before the desert of Panna Cotta with pecan sandie thumbprint and pickled peaches. All was impeccably served and while the Lamb was delicious the Panna Cotta was ecstasy! And the true test of fine dining is a properly prepared Martini, which Five & Ten poured to my satisfaction.
Besides the Georgia Museum of Art, artistic delights should be consumed at a number of other eateries, including The Place, Creature Comforts Brewery and the roof top of the Georgia Theatre at Phickles Pickles serving Fried Chicken Skins and Pimento Cheese made with goat cheese. Yum!
Albany, Georgia (http://www.albany.ga.us) has the Ray Charles Plaza complete with a bronze of the entertainer and his piano at Riverfront Park, the Welcome Center in the old bridge house of the Flint River, the Civil Rights Institute and the new Flint River Aquarium. Albany is home to eight golf course and a number of entertainers including, Ray Stevens, Luke Bryan and American Idol Winner, Phillip Phillips. To round out your road trip a stop in Washington (www.historyofwilkes.org) will be a surprise you will not forget with its quaint town square, row upon row of architectural house gems, and the Washington Historical Museum in a home built in 1835, and today serves as a reminder of the past to understand the future of Wilkes County.
When in Georgia think about taking in one of these under sung locales.

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association