Aging with Grace Newsletter
Monthly Observances

Alzheimer's Awareness Month

National Caregiver Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month

Veterans Day Nov. 11

Great American Smokeout Nov. 18th

In This Issue
Veteran Corner
Caregiver Awareness
Celebrate our Veterans
Alzheimer's Awareness
Diabetes Awareness
Great American Smokeout
Energize your Aging!
Book of the Month
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Patricia Grace
National Senior Care Examiner

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 The road to Alzheimer's disease might start with diabetes


Connect with others who like you, are faced with the challenges of elder caregiving.

Rita Files
Veteran Claims Agent


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        Veteran's Corner

What do you do when a Veteran is physically unable to sign documents?

VA Accredited Maryland Elder Law Attorney David Wingate of Senior Life Care Planning, LLC answers questions for Veterans & their families related to Veteran Benefits and other Elder Issues.

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Are you retired or nearing retirement? Are your health care, insurance, and/or income benefits changing?

Click here to find out what your options and next steps are.  

Every year, many Medicare coverage deductibles and co-insurance amounts change. Many currently enrolled Medicare participants take advantage of health plans designed to fill "gaps" in coverage, but participants have a limited window to understand these changes and make adjustments before they take effect for the following year. This period is known as the Annual Election Period and runs from November 15th until December 31st 2010.

Important Facts regarding Annual Election Period:

November 15 - December 31, 2010

*You may be able to add, drop, or change your prescription drug coverage

*You may be able to select a health plan for your 2011 coverage

How are changes made? Contact Medicare MarketPlace®
Note:  All plan changes take effect January 1st, 2011

New organization for seniors and Americans age 50+
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Dispelling Hospice Myths
In-Home Support Technology

Keep your loved one safe at home
Learn about programs available with exclusive Aging with Grace Member Pricing.
Organized Wisdom

Organized Wisdom

   Volume 3 Issue: #11
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National Caregiver Awareness Month

NFCM Maria Shriver, First Lady of California and an Alzheimer's caregiver for her father Sargent Shriver, recently published, The 2010 Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's. In her report, she confirms that woman are providing close to 22 hours a week of care giving assistance in addition to working and caring for their immediate family. It's no wonder that more and more caregivers are experiencing stress related illnesses such as depression, anxiety and migraines.

Common signs of caregiver stress include the following:

    * Feeling sad or moody and crying more often
    * Having low energy level
    * Feeling like you don't have any time to yourself

    * Having trouble sleeping or not wanting to get out of bed
    * Having trouble eating, or eating too much
    * Seeing friends or relatives less often
    * Losing interest in your hobbies or the things you used to do
    * Feeling angry at the person you are caring for or at other people

Please do not expect to hear "thank you". This may only add to your feelings of stress and frustration.

Remember caregiving is the absence of self. You become something bigger than celebrate it and embrace it.

Honor Vets by being informed this Veterans Day
Man Amer FlagBy: Rita Files


This Veterans Day, it is important to show up to a parade, applaud our veterans, and to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  But there is something more you can do to help honor veterans:  become informed about veterans benefits.  Too often, veterans go without services they need simply because they are unaware of the benefits they earned through their service.

Consider the "Aid and Attendance" benefit, which helps veterans and surviving spouses pay for assisted living care in the home, nursing home, or assisted living facility. Millions of veterans and their families are failing to take advantage of this benefit. According to recent reports, approximately 105,000 veterans were using this benefit last year. Yet the pool for recipients could be much higher: there are 2.3 million World War II vets still living, along with 2.6 million living Korean War vets and 7.7 million Vietnam vets.

The benefit is significant. It pays up to $1,949 per month to provide care for single or married veterans, or their surviving spouses.  Applicants must meet certain medical and financial thresholds, but eligibility it is not dependent on service-related injuries, or even overseas service.   Too many veterans and their families are simply unaware of this benefit, or may assume they are ineligible.

It doesn't have to be this way. By becoming informed citizens and neighbors, we can make sure our elderly veterans are getting the care they deserve.  It doesn't take long. Start with a trusted and informative site, such The Department of Veterans Affairs' recently launched website,  In addition, offers independent and updated information on veteran's benefits, including a news feed on veterans' issues.

Here's another reason to become informed: elderly vets often fall prey to "experts" offering free seminars on veterans' benefits.   Such seminars frequently pitch financial products that do not take into account a veteran's full financial picture, and such as Medicaid eligibility. Left to go it alone with the "experts", veterans and their families can actually end up worse off.

Seeking expert advice can help veterans make the most of their benefits - just be sure the advice is from an Accredited Individual, which include attorneys, claims agents and veteran service representatives..  Accredited individuals have passed VA-administered exams and character checks that ensure veterans get qualified assistance in presenting their claims. And by law, accredited individuals do not charge a fee for their claims services. To find an Accredited Claims Agent or to check accreditation, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched several initiatives to encourage veterans to take advantage of the services and benefits they earned. But it is up to all of us as citizens to be informed about veterans' benefits.  Informed, neighbor-to-neighbor outreach can help a struggling veteran and their families get the help they deserve.

Alzheimer's Awareness Month
handsNovember is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years. Starting on January 1, 2011, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds. Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer's research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year.

For every person with Alzheimer's there is often at least one other person who directly cares for them and a host of healthcare professionals, advocates, volunteers and support workers in the background. With so many people directly or indirectly affected by Alzheimer's it is good that a time of year is set aside to promote awareness.

Diabetes Basics

DiabetesDiabetes mellitus(MEL-ih-tus), or simply, diabetes, is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.


Not sure what that means? The American Diabetes Association has all of the basics covered and you'll find plenty of links to more in-depth information on a variety of topics and issues.

Is there a link between diabetes and other health problems affecting the elderly? Yes, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) research has confirmed that elevated blood glucose levels can damage small blood vessels in the ears and head. Diminished blood flow contributes to vascular dementia and hearing loss.

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.             
Diabetes RiskClick the here to answer a few questions to determine your risk

Need another reason to stop smoking?
no smoking Researchers followed 21,000 patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system for more than 20 years and found those who smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day in middle age had a 157% greater risk of developing Alzheimer's compared with nonsmokers. In addition, they had a 172% greater risk of vascular dementia, the second-most common form of dementia and one that is associated with stroke and other conditions affecting blood supply to the brain.


Energize your Aging! with Dr. Wayne Phillips

Dr.Wayne Phillips, Ph.D. FACSM, Intrinsic Coach®

Aging with Grace is pleased to announce that Dr. Wayne Phillips, internationally recognized expert on aging, wellness, strength, and behavior change will be providing news and information in a new monthly column ... "Energize your Aging!"

Premier Article: The Lifestyle Habits of Successful Aging

Back in 2004 the then Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Richard Cardoma was quoted as saying

"In the next 10 years one of the major issues in Health Care will be moving from receiving health care to embracing health prevention and wellness."

More relevant to the topic of this article he also said

"Being physically active with a good diet and an active healthy lifestyle will not only do us good as individuals but will also dramatically reduce health care costs."

These statements, while undeniably true, await more action and commitment from both government and population for their full benefits to be gained, perhaps in part because words like 'action' and 'commitment' sound like they are hard to do. Whatever the real reasons, the fact is that most seniors - just like other segments of the population - are relatively inactive. The good news, however - and contrary to conventional wisdom - is that adopting a more active, healthy lifestyle does not have to be hard, and is within the grasp of virtually anyone, as I will explain.  Read more...

Wayne T. Phillips, PhD, FACSM, Intrinsic Coach®, is an internationally recognized author, consultant and speaker in the field of active aging, strength and health-related behavior change. A member of the Aging with Grace Expert Panel, Dr. Phillips is co-founder and chair of The STRIVE Wellness Corporation, a company whose mission is to improve the functional independence, health and quality of life of older adults. For more information about STRIVE visit For more information about Dr. Phillips' work and research visit Have a question on this article, or a wellness topic you would like Dr. Phillips to write about in the column? Email him.

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 Book of the Month
Island Girl

Island Girl -  a novel by Lynda Simmons

There are people who try hard to forget their problems. All Ruby wants to do is remember...

Ruby Donaldson has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and she'll be damned if she won't straighten out her troubled family before she no longer knows how.

Ruby spent years fighting to hold on to the home her grandmother built on Ward's Island. The only way she can ensure that her younger, mentally scarred daughter Grace can live there for the rest of her life is to convince her older daughter, Liz, to sober up and come home.

Ruby always thought she'd have a lifetime to make things right, but suddenly time is running out. She has to put her broken family back together quickly while searching for a way to deal with the inevitable- and do it with all the grit, stubbornness, and unstoppable determination that makes Ruby who she is...until she's Ruby no longer.

"This soon to be released novel touches on all of the emotions most families endure...anger, jealously, love and forgiveness. This riveting story chronicles the struggles that Ruby Donaldson, a 53 yr old mother with early onset Alzheimer's disease, must face in trying to help her daughter Liz take her place as head of the family."  Patricia Grace

Patricia's radio Interview with Lynda                                                        Click here to Pre-order

     BTR Icon                                                       Pre-order                                           Click here to listen                                                            

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