May 2012

Volume 5 Issue: #5


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In This Issue 

National Senior Health & Fitness Day
History of Memorial Day
Arthritis Hurts
National Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Provider Profile
Book of the Month

This Month 

May 1 - 31
Arthritis Awareness

May 1 - 31
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month

May 1 - 31
Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®

May 1 - 31
National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

May 1-31
Older Americans Month

May 14
National Women's Check-Up Day

May 28
Memorial Day

May 30
National Senior Health & Fitness Day®

Connect With Us 

Join Our
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AWG Care Connection Blog

Are you a caregiver? Join the conversation and connect with others who are facing similar challenges. This popular blog won the 2011 "Top 100 Senior & Boomer Blogs & Websites" award.


AWG Online
Talk Show

Join host Patricia Grace Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. EST.


National Senior Care Examiner 

AWG Founder Patricia Grace writes a column on aging topics. This month's topic:"Social networking growing at a fast rate among seniors"


VA Aid & Attendance Self-Help Guide

The "Cliffs Notes" for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit Process


Aging in Place Support Systems

Learn about programs to keep your loved one safe at home. Special AWG member pricing.


American Seniors Association  

Learn how it provides seniors with the choices, information and services they need to live healthier, wealthier lives.


SGIA Retiree Support Center

The Medicare pages on this insurance company website provide a clear summary of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D.

 VITAS Innovative Hospice Care

Learn how it provides end-of-life care for adult and pediatric patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Books & Videos 

Beyond Driving with Dignity

A workbook by Matt Gurwell for the families of older drivers. Special AWG member pricing.


Hospice Myths

A free video from VITAS Innovative Hospice Care that you can view online.


Thinking Well: Drawing on Thoughts that Change Behaviors

A book by aging and wellness expert Dr. Wayne T. Phillips. You can read a sample and buy it online.

Message from Patricia ...  


Patricia Grace, Founder

May is Older Americans Month, and this provides the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. The nation has been observing Older Americans Month since 1963 - a proud tradition that shows our nation's commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans.


This year's theme is "Never Too Old to Play." So, grab the kids and grandkids and go Wii bowling, play a board game, a card game or charades. Take them to a museum or just walk in the park.


As we continue to grow our membership nationally, we welcome our newest corporate client, Senior Independent Lifestyles.


May 28 is Memorial Day. Remember our fallen military men and women with a moment of silence or prayer.



May 30 is National Senior
Health & Fitness Day®

More than 100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the United States on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 as we celebrate the 19th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day. The common goal for this day is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. Always the last Wednesday in May, National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the nation's largest annual health promotion event for older adults.


National Senior Health & Fitness Day is organized as a public-private partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national information clearinghouse for the older adult market.    

History of Memorial Day

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.

During the first national celebration, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there. This event was inspired by local observances that had taken place in towns throughout America in the three years after the Civil War. By the late 1800s, many more cities and communities had begun to observe Memorial Day, and after World War I, it became an occasion for honoring those who had died in all America's wars.

Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Arthritis hurts ...

Arthritis pain can rob people of their quality of life - causing them to lose muscle strength, sleep poorly and even sink into depression.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is not a normal part of aging. Inflammation in the joint tissues causes pain when you bend or move.

Managing the pain is possible
The best way to beat pain is to stop it before it starts. Here are several ways to get started:
  • Pace yourself - Switch between heavier and lighter tasks. Balance activity with planned rest breaks, and don't overdo it.
  • Protect your joints - Avoid activities that stress your joints. Use splints, braces and assistive devices if needed, and practice good posture.
  • Control your weight - Losing just one pound of body weight will take four pounds of pressure off your knees. Shedding extra weight reduces pain and improves function. The best way to lose weight is physical activity combined with a healthy diet.
  • Increase physical activity - Being physically active is the best thing you can do for pain. But it's important to move safely and wisely. Talk to your doctor about types and amounts of activity that can help you build strength, increase endurance and maintain flexibility.
  • Get a good night's sleep - Better sleep equals less pain. To improve your sleep, get regular physical activity, avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening, go to bed and get up at the same time every day and avoid stress before bedtime.
When you need relief now
A combination of prevention and pain relief strategies works best for most people. When you need relief right away, try heat and cold treatments, relaxation techniques and massage. Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and topical treatments also can help. Remember to tell your doctor how much pain you have and share your goals for pain control.

National Skin Cancer/Melanoma
Awareness Month  

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, with more than one million people diagnosed each year!

Fast facts about skin cancer:
  • Skin cancer and melanoma account for about 50% of all types of cancers diagnosed.
  • Skin cancer is one of the more preventable types of cancer.
  • More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to the sun.
  • Each hour, one person dies from skin cancer.
Skin cancer is divided into two categories: melanoma and non-melanoma. There are two common types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  Although serious, non-melanomas are much less life threatening and easier to treat.

Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer and accounts for 4% of skin cancer cases diagnosed. It is estimated that more than 8,000 Americans die each year from melanoma.

Six tips to avoid skin cancer
  1. Reduce sun exposure - Limit time in the sun, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are the strongest or when the UV index is 3 or more.
  2. Shade your skin - Seek shade under trees, or create your own shade with a hat, shirt or umbrella. Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
  3. Beware of clouds - Up to 80% of the sun's rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog. You can still get sunburned on a cloudy day.
  4. Remember reflection - Water, sand, snow and concrete can reflect up to 80% of the sun's damaging rays.
  5. Slather on the sunscreen - Use sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or more that contain both UVA and UVB protection. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours (more often when working, playing or swimming).
  6. Protect your Eyes - Radiation from the sun can damage cells in the structures of your eyes. UV radiation from the sun may increase the risk of developing cataracts later in life. UV radiation can also contribute to the development of skin cancer on the eyelid or on the surface of the eye. This damage can be prevented by protecting your eyes with sunglasses that protect against 100% UVA and UVB rays. Wear a hat with a wide brim all the way around when out in the sun. Legionnaire style caps (caps with a back flap) are also recommended to help protect the neck, ears and face.
  7. Spot check your moles - Examine your moles and freckles every month to check for any changes. See your health care provider immediately if you notice:
    • a mole or discoloration that appears suddenly or begins to change
    • a sore that does not heal
    • areas of skin that are red and bumpy, bleed or are itchy

Provider Profile - VRI

Aging with Grace is pleased to partner with VRI, a leading home health care company monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons. Its monitoring solutions include: monitored medication dispensers, fall monitors, cellular solutions, Digi Pal (a medical alert unit that is compatible to VoIP/cable TV telephone systems), and vitals monitoring.

Today, VRI serves more than 70,000 members and has become a leading provider of medical-only monitoring services in the industry. We believe the secret to their continued success is their focus on providing excellent care and service, an approach established by the founders 20 years ago.

Aging with Grace members receive exclusive pricing. Click here to learn more.

Book of the Month

The Curious Upside of Growing Older   


Author: Caroline Anaya, M.S. 


"Her stories are interesting, providing a common sense view of growing older. All of us baby boomers can relate to the uncertainty of moving toward our senior future."     

- Patricia Grace