The 5 exercises you should do every day

Improve your range of motion and balance in less than 10 minutes

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

Balance and mobility training can benefit us at any age, but it becomes more important as you reach and pass the age of 50.

Maintaining joint range of motion allows you to move naturally and helps to combat the postural problems that cause neck, back, shoulder and hip pain.

Far from only preventing stumbles and falls, balance training is extremely important for everyone because it makes us better at every physical thing we do. Having a keen sense of proprioception (the sense of where your body is in space) makes all movement more efficient. When combined with fluid joints that allow for a full range of motion, this puts you at your functional best.

Here’s a short sequence of five exercises you can do every day to improve and maintain your balance and mobility. Done in a slow, controlled fashion, you can finish the whole workout in under 10 minutes:

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Art is Ageless® winners announced

People's Choice and Quilting winner "Heart in the Middle" by Shirley Fair.

People’s Choice and Quilting winner “Heart in the Middle” by Shirley Fair.

Sterling Presbyterian Manor recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Cindy Moore, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners in the Sterling Presbyterian Manor Art is Ageless juried competition were:

Judges Choice: “Red Rock Country” Kay Johnson
People’s Choice:  “Heart in the Middle” Shirley Fair
Mixed Media/Crafts (professional or amateur): “2 Squirrels” Robert Enders
Painting (professional or amateur):  A-“Joy” Linda Skinner; P- “Untitled” Don Caviness
Quilting (professional or amateur): “Heart in the Middle” Shirley Fair
Sculpture/3-D (professional or amateur): “Looking for Lunch” Robert Enders
Needlework (professional or amateur): “Autumn in New England” Kay Johnson

Local competition winners will join winners from 16 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities to be judged at the masterpiece level. Winning entries at the masterpiece level may be selected for publication in PMMA’s annual Art is Ageless calendar and note cards.

Art is Ageless is a copyrighted program of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. For the competition, works must have been completed in the past five years. Started in 1980, Art is Ageless is an extension of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s wellness programs, which focus on mental, physical, social and spiritual health.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Art is Ageless program encourages Sterling Presbyterian Manor residents and other area seniors to express their creativity through its annual competition, as well as art classes, musical and dramatic events, educational opportunities and current events discussions throughout the year.

For more information about Sterling Presbyterian Manor, 204 W. Washington, Sterling, contact Moore at 620-278-3651 or

Fitness Spotlight: Residents gain balance and strength through physical therapy

Left to Right: Hailey Ruder, PTA; Julie Miller, director of rehabilitation, and Teasha Choitz, OTA.

Left to Right: Hailey Ruder, PTA; Julie Miller, director of rehabilitation, and Teasha Choitz, OTA.

In October 2016, Sterling Presbyterian Manor welcomed an addition to the community in the form of five feisty and fit females who are keeping their residents on their toes. The team includes Physical Therapy Assistant Hailey Ruder, Occupational Therapy Assistant Teasha Choitz, Physical Therapist Patty, Occupational Therapist Cathy, and Speech Therapist Allison. While the three therapists travel to different communities, assistants Hailey and Teasha work solely at the Sterling community.

Hailey took time to tell us about her experience over these first seven months.

As our physical therapy assistant, Hailey enjoys helping residents work on their balance, maneuvering obstacles, and community integration outside on nice days. “The community feel is the best thing about being here. Everyone knows everyone. Staff encourages the residents. Residents encourage each other,” she said. “We can be walking down the hall and the client we are working with will get cheers of ‘good job,’ ‘looking good’ and ‘way to go’ from other residents.

“This is a small town, and many grew up together, and you can feel it in the tight-knit atmosphere. Often when we have multiple residents in the therapy room, they will carry on conversations about the past. Listening to their stories and seeing their friendships with one another just makes your heart smile.”

Hailey’s proudest moments have come from watching someone advance from needing a lot of help to being able to go home and be successful in the community again. “One resident who has progressed enough to go back home now is working out at the Wellness Center weekly, determined to keep himself moving. Another who moved in shortly after we started was unable to stand. We worked with him for two months and watched him leave here and go home to his wife able to complete all his transfers by himself and able to walk 10 to 15 feet. I felt even more proud of him and personally blessed when he told me that he hadn’t walked any in two years, and he thanked us for adding some quality back to his life.”

The community atmosphere sets Sterling Manor apart from other facilities, Hailey said. “We are able to build better relationships with the residents because we learn so much about their lives from hearing them open up to their friends. Teasha and I specifically get the opportunity to build better relationships with them since we are based out of Sterling Manor and they know us personally as well. They know what to expect with us and that makes them feel better and less anxious about therapies.”
For example, one resident was opposed to using a walker when she began therapy, although she really needed one to stay safe. “

Once we were around enough to be a familiar face, and after seeing her friends be successful with us, she finally gave in and is buzzing around with her walker looking steady and safe and having cheers from others when she passes them in the hall,” Hailey said.

“Outside of therapy, I think Sterling Manor sets itself apart with their concentration on resident-centered care. The eating accommodations here are unlike any I have seen. The walk to dine, the various dining locations, the adaptability to meet the desires of the resident to eat where and with whom they want are incredible and I believe keep them happy, which helps them perform better throughout their day.”

The Aegis team tries to maintain and support a consistent 50 percent of the Presbyterian Manor population at all times. They are active in resident care planning, keeping up with residents even after they have left therapy, and screening residents as needed to keep them active and strong, and continuing on regular fitness routines.

Chaplain: Pastor Ken Connor’s corner

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“A gentle answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1

Two thoughts come to mind as I look at this proverb. First, it is easier said than done. Second, we have really missed the point God was trying to make with this verse.

We have always looked at, and taught, that this means if you give a gentle answer, it will stop the other person from being mad at us. That may work once in a great while. I really think that what God is trying to get us to understand is that when we give a gentle answer, it keeps ME from getting caught up in the emotion of the moment. It turns my wrath aside, so that I can keep calm and not add to the destruction that always accompanies angry outbursts.

Finding love in a senior living community

Add romance to what single older adults look for when seeking housing

By Kimberley Fowler for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

There are many reasons older adults move into a senior living community, but is looking for love one of them?

Burdett Stilwell has been working with older adults for many years and, and as sales and marketing director of Somerby of Mobile,  she has had the pleasure of developing friendships with the many residents of this Somerby Senior Living home in Alabama. She’s up-to-date on who is dating whom. When it comes to relationships, Stilwell says, the Somerby people she knows fall into two categories: those who are interested and those who have “been there, done that.”

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Don’t ignore these facts about sunscreen

5 ways to apply it right and help avoid skin cancer

By Sheryl Kraft for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

The sun’s power is undeniable: The largest object in our solar system, it contains approximately 99.9 percent of the total solar system mass. Its interior could hold more than 1.3 million Earths. The sun provides for our very life. But this 4.5 billion-year-old star also has the power to kill.

Melanoma, the most dangerous and potentially lethal form of skin cancer, is caused most often by intense UV rays of the sun, and its rates have been rising for at least 30 years. About 73,870 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the U.S in 2015, and approximately 9,940 people are expected to die, according to the American Cancer Society.

The typical victim? On average, a person is 62 when the cancer appears. The risk of melanoma increases as we age.

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The health benefits of pets for older adults

They reduce blood pressure, help us get exercise and brighten our outlook

By Ronni Gordon for Next Avenue

Caption: Bridget Irving and her Yorkshire Terrier, Ben

When Lynette Whiteman’s youngest child went to college, Whiteman went out and got a second dog that she calls “my empty nest dog.” She wanted someone else to care for, “who loves me non-judgmentally and doesn’t mind if I’m gaining weight or getting gray.”

Whiteman may get home from work tired, but the 60-year-old resident of Toms River, N.J., says the dogs stare at her until she puts their leashes on. She walks them and always feels good afterwards.

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10 ways to turn your finances around in 2017

How advisers say you can do it without a lot of effort

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

Did you resolve to save more for retirement this year, become debt-free or put cash aside for a bucket-list trip? We’re more than a month into the new year, but there’s still plenty of time to turn your finances around in 2017.

Next Avenue spoke with a few noted money experts for their suggestions. Here are 10 recommendations:

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5 tips for disorganized taxpayers

How experts say you can avoid the mad scramble at tax time

By Rosie Wolf Williams for Next Avenue


Tax season is here and it may be causing you agita. Rifling through drawers for your 2016 tax paperwork; sorting a flood of receipts to qualify for write-offs; printing out assorted bank, brokerage and mutual fund statements and on and on.

Don’t hide under the covers. Instead, follow these five organization strategies from tax advisers to get your taxes together once and for all:

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4 money moves for a happier retirement

Advice from a writer who just combed through the latest retirement surveys

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

How do pre-retirees and retirees feel about retirement these days? Glad you asked.

Since this is “National Retirement Planning Week” (dreamed up by 40-odd financial industry and advocacy groups), a passel of retirement surveys have just been released. I’ve read them — so you don’t have to — and here are the highlights and four action steps to take based on the findings.

Interestingly, the results are somewhat contradictory.

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