Featured Stories
Couple’s pets bring comfort to those in need Enjoy summer bounty at local farmers markets Netherlands offers world-class charm and culture Flutie over 50 Chair yoga instructor helps seniors with physical and emotional balance Physician Focus: A cancer that can be prevented Retirees find meaning volunteering for Habitat for Humanity Athlete, musician and broadcaster reflects on achieving goals
 

Couple’s pets bring comfort to those in need

Westborough – Many people in their 70s take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy their golden years. Not Tania and Bob Pano. Thanks to this special couple and their dog and two cats, countless people, young and especially older, have found a gentle and comforting peace when they needed it most. About six years ago, Bob, who is a retired teacher, was volunteering as a dog walker at the Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, Inc., when he first met Cassie, a beautiful Golden Retriever who had been turned in that day by her previous family. His bond with Cassie was immediate, Bob said, and after consulting with Tania, the dog came home to Westborough with them.

Enjoy summer bounty at local farmers markets

The Maynard Farmers Market is held Saturdays, June 25-Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill Pond parking lot, Clock Tower Place, Main Street. This market features produce, dairy, meats, baked goods, honey and cut flowers. The market also offers educational and cultural events and information about the town’s civic groups. Free parking. Rain or shine.

Netherlands offers world-class charm and culture

World-class museums stand shoulder-to-shoulder with flower markets festooned by rainbows of color. People crowded into cafes and pubs chat, sip coffee and other beverages and watch the passing traffic, which consists of as many bicycles as automobiles. This is the setting in one of the greatest small cities in the world, which is the capital of one of the smallest countries in Europe. But anything that the Netherlands may lack in dimension – it’s about twice the size of Massachusetts – it more than makes up in diversity.

Flutie over 50

Region – Although Doug Flutie retired from football 10 years ago, he still appears fit enough to take on the demanding challenges of the National Football League. While that is not on his agenda, the 53-year-old Flutie is staying active, always searching for new ways to keep not only in physical shape but mentally as well. “For me the number one thing was that I never stopped,” Flutie said of his time since ending his 21 year professional football career. “Once you stop it's a lot harder to get started again.”

Chair yoga instructor helps seniors with physical and emotional balance

Nearly 10 years ago, Joanne Laubacher was at a crossroads of sorts. Like many women, she was juggling a career while taking care of her family which included her three children and her mother, who was facing serious medical challenges. As she visited her mother in the different facilities where she was being treated, Laubacher was struck, she said, by many of the other seniors she met who were “vibrant, eager to learn something new and very funny.”

Physician Focus: A cancer that can be prevented

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death and the third most common cancer for both men and women in the United States. The disease claims more than 50,000 lives each year; only lung cancer causes more deaths from cancer. Many of the deaths from colorectal cancer, however, are needless. Unlike other cancers, such as breast cancer or prostate cancer, screening for colorectal cancer can save lives by actually preventing the cancer from occurring. But 23 million American adults – about one in three – do not get screened as recommended. As a result, according to the American Cancer Society, more than 135,000 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed every year, a far great number than cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, or other organs of the digestive system.

Retirees find meaning volunteering for Habitat for Humanity

Region - When Lee Cooprider of Stow became part of the “Thursday Regulars,” he knew that he had found a good place to volunteer. Usually with eight others – mostly men – Cooprider spends most Thursdays building houses for Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts. “Zero, zip, nada, squadoosh,” is he how he described his construction experience before volunteering for Habitat 10 years ago. He said that he’s learned a lot of skills along the way, but always needs direction.

Athlete, musician and broadcaster reflects on achieving goals

Worcester resident Marty Ayotte, age 62, has become known as a multitalented athlete, musician and radio broadcaster. Being an incomplete paraplegic doesn’t slow his pace as he pedals a handcycle around the city at least three days a week. He has completed 11 marathons, five half-marathons and one 10K.

Can a reverse mortgage solve the world’s problems?

28 July 2016

Things that keep us up at night The ramifications on the world economy of Britain leaving the European Union, increasing tensions between China and Russia, a contentious Presidential election, terrorism, the ongoing Middle East crisis, and the global warming debate. All are examples of events that we have little control over but are causing tremendous concerns.

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Posted in Finance, Reverse Mortgage0 Comments

Is discretion truly the better part of valor?

28 July 2016

I sat down recently with four card players. It turns out, only one was still driving. There seemed to be a common thread among the others – in all three cases, it seemed like they all had stories where driving had been taken away from them in a seemingly underhanded fashion. One lady recently moved back to Massachusetts from Florida. Her son told her to sell her car and they’d find her one up here. Well, conveniently, finding a new car has not become a priority.

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Posted in Caregiving Tips, Housing Options0 Comments

Questions your doctor forgot to ask

28 July 2016

A few days ago, as I was leaving my doctor’s office, I saw an older woman sitting just outside the front glass doors of the medical center, holding her cane in front of her. She looked like she was waiting for a ride. It was a hot day, and she appeared to have been sitting there for a while. “Are you ok?” I asked her. “Is someone coming to pick you up?” She looked up at me. “Are you going to the [name of assisted living facility]?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “It’s a little off my drive home, but can I give you a lift?” I introduced myself, we shook hands. She told me her name was Susan.

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One likely cause of memory impairment that’s rarely suspected

28 July 2016

When life’s challenges include memory loss or dementia, your perceptions, relationships, and priorities inevitably shift. Changes to our sleep patterns naturally occur with aging, but scientists are finding links between changes to sleep and senior memory impairment, cognitive decline, and even dementia. When we get older, we begin to forget things. That’s the common wisdom, anyway, and it’s not far from the truth. It’s long been known that sleep plays a strong role in memory consolidation, but now, research is showing that age-related changes to the sleeping brain disrupt the normal pathways to memory formation, leading to that forgetfulness we associate with growing older.

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Ahead of my time: it’s my bag

28 July 2016

I’m no visionary, but in one way I’ve been way ahead of my time. In the vanguard. One of the first. An innovator. That is in the realm of reusable shopping bags. Thirty or thirty-five years ago, the Vermont Country Store, one of my favorite catalog companies, sold canvas shopping bags. I was tired of accumulating all those paper grocery bags and I bought two VCS bags.

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Recommendations from the Elder Economic Index Report

28 June 2016

It’s no surprise that the older adult population in Massachusetts is increasing rapidly. In 2010, those aged 65 and older accounted for 14 percent of the state’s population. However, by 2030, that figure will grow to 21 percent. To be economically secure at any age, one’s income must cover basic living expenses. If housing, health care, food, transportation and other incremental expenses are not sufficiently covered by household income, we must support effective strategies to fill the gap or the household will suffer severe economic hardship in retirement.

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