Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan February 2021 - 28-02
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Page 14 Senior Times - February 2021
                                                                                      200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450
  Kinship Korner
Practical Ways to Care for Your Heart
By: Liz Lawson Young, Marketing Specialist, CareWell Services SW
 Family Enrichment Center Regional Resource 3 Team 415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Sharon Dewey
Foster Care Navigator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
 February is the month of Valentines Day; a time for con- nections with family and friends and that special person.
As seniors, it can also be a difficult time; a reminder that we are more alone than ever. Some of us have lost that spe- cial someone or, because of COVID, are isolated from fam- ily and friends. As caregivers of children, who are also isolated from school, friends, and their parents, we have even more stress and responsibilities.
I am encouraging you to reach out to the community in new ways. Be creative in end- ing the stress of isolation. If you have a dog, visit our new dog park at Bailey Park. Use your mask, social distance, and do not forget your frisbee. Do not have a dog? Arrange to borrow one from a friend or neighbor. They would probably appreci- ate the offer. Every day make the effort to greet a neighbor, even if it’s just to wave hello. Remember, they are isolated also.
Take the kids to Frederick Meijers Garden in Grand Rapids. There is something about lots of room to run that lightens the mood for children and adults. It’s a great place
to visit, as they are very careful about masks and social distancing.
We are offering a time at Howard’s Ceramics, 1512 E. Columbia Ave., on the third Tuesday of the month, 9-noon, starting in February. Bring your drinks and snacks. We can help with pieces and paint, if needed. Masks and social distancing is required but the place will be reserved just for us. And sani- tizer will be available.
Also, please remember, we are here to help you with rais- ing your family’s children. We have emergency supplies and a listening ear. Please call Sharon Dewey at (269) 274-4077 for reservations or needs. God bless and stay safe.
 Thanks to Valentine’s Day, February tends to be all about matters of the heart. While
you may be celebrating your significant other, the love of friends or family, or cherishing the memories of a lost love, this month is also a good time to pay attention to your heart muscle and make sure you’re doing what you can to take care of it.
  One of the most important ways to care for your heart
is with the things you eat. I
don’t know about you, but as much as I love to cook, I don’t always have the time, energy, or resources to make complicated, super healthy meals. When I need simple, realistic, and proven ways to increase the nutritional value of my meals, I turn to my good friend Bethany for advice. Bethany is a Registered Dietitian and the brains behind the Kansas City Dietitian. I spoke with Bethany this month to get some practical tips to help us keep our hearts beating healthier. Here’s what she said:
2. Look for less processed foods. Higher processed foods have more sodium, because salt is what’s used in processing. Higher sodium intake can have a negative effect on your blood pressure. Try cooked chicken breast or low sodium lunch meat on your sandwiches instead of regular deli meat. Munch on nuts instead of pretzels for your afternoon snack. Cook some quinoa instead of white rice as a side dish for your dinner. Satisfy your sweet tooth by drizzling some dark chocolate over fruit instead of reaching for a cookie. These small choices will reduce your sodium intake and can help
lower your blood pressure.
3. Focus on quality carbs. When it comes to cholesterol, not all carbs are created equal. Quality carbs help lower cholesterol and have the added bonus of keeping you feeling fuller longer because of the extra fiber. Great examples of quality carbs include fruits, whole grains, beans, and starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, and potatoes.
Choosing heart-healthy foods doesn’t have to be complicated. Try incorporating these simple tips to support your heart this month, and don’t forget to add activities like walking and balance exercises if you’re able!
 1. Aim to eat two-to-three vegetables a day. To keep it simple, try for one per meal. Frozen and canned vegetables count too! Just be sure to rinse off your canned veggies before you eat them, which reduces the sodium by about 40%!
  Assistive Technology to Help You Care for Your Pet
By: Carolyn Boyle, Assistive Technology Coordinator
about caring for it, there are devices available to assist you
in independently caring for your pet. Foam grips that are often used on utensils can also be used on cat toys, fish nets, and pet brushes. Puffy paint or bump
dots can be used on items to distinguish between foods such as cat food vs. dog food. Reminder clocks and apps can be used to alert you when to feed or walk your pet. Airtight or clear cereal containers can hold pet food that can be kept in an easy to reach place. There are also automatic feeders, waterers, and even litter pans.
 There are many physical, social, and mental health benefits of pet ownership. Animals have been known to reduce stress
and tension. Caring for a pet
also increases feelings of social support and care.
Raised food and water bowls and long handled waste scoops are helpful for pet owners with mobility barriers. Ramps and stairs can be used for animals to get into a car or on the furniture or bed. This saves you from bending over or lifting your pet, which can throw you off balance.
 A person with a beloved
pet is more apt to take care of themselves which builds their self-esteem. Confidence can increase as well. Owning a pet also helps reduce feelings of isolation. If your pet is a dog or a cat, they will not let you go long without attention.
If you are interested in learning about the differences between companion animals, Emotional Support Animals or Service Animals, contact Carolyn Boyle, LLMSW, Assistive Tech- nology Coordinator and Certified ADA Coordinator at CareWell Services (269) 986-4280.
 If you are interested in getting a pet, but are concerned

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