The Senior Section: A Resource Guide For Senior Adults

Holiday events for Heights seniors and families

Many local businesses and religious organizations offer fun social and cultural activities for the holidays—most are open to all; some are for seniors and, in some cases, their families. Events listed below are free, unless otherwise noted. Be sure to call ahead to confirm times, make reservations, if required, and inquire about handicapped accessibility if needed.

On Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Church of the Saviour will hold its annual Advent Festival, featuring fair-trade items and holiday greenery for sale, a silent auction, homemade donuts, a cookie walk, and live music. (2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-321-8880)

The 23rd annual Holiday CircleFest will be held in University Circle on Dec. 4. More than a dozen museums, gardens, galleries, churches and schools will open their doors to provide activities, music, food, fun and shopping, 1–5:30 p.m. Ice skating, ice-carving demonstrations and horse carriage rides will be available at the Rink at Wade Oval from noon to 7 p.m. (weather permitting). The festivities will conclude with a Winter Lights Lantern Procession at The Cleveland Museum of Art, 5:30–6 p.m. (10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-791-3900)

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:56 AM, 11.29.2016

Retirement can be a new beginning for professional artists

Reaching retirement age does not necessarily mean you want to stop working. This is especially true if your work is also your passion. The Life Reimagined Institute, a division of AARP (, helps working seniors feel more rewarded and fulfilled by their careers. The institute’s mission is to help seniors rediscover what truly matters and focus on what they really want to do with the next chapter of their lives.

For creative seniors who are passionate about art, retirement offers advantages and opportunities to pursue their passions.

The Heights is home to many professional artists who also happen to be seniors. Among them is Mona Kolesar, a professional artist for more than 40 years. 

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:34 PM, 11.01.2016

How to decide when itís the right time to move

As time goes on, lifestyles naturally change. Kids move out, we retire, we take on new hobbies, our income level and our health changes. It’s a good idea to occasionally reassess whether one’s current home is supporting one’s current lifestyle, or hindering it.

Many continue to live in their homes out of habit or nostalgia—it’s the home they bought when they got married, it’s where they raised their kids, it’s the place where they have lots of memories, and it’s where all of their personal possessions are kept.

As time passes, homeowners should ask themselves the following questions: Does taking care of your home leave you enough time to pursue your current hobbies and interests? Are you sure that your home will not need costly or complicated repairs in the future? Do you still use all of the rooms in your house on a regular basis? Is it still easy for you to go up and down stairs? Are you able to maintain your yard and clear snow by yourself? Is it convenient for you to visit family and friends from where you live now?

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:30 PM, 09.30.2016

Donít let the bedbugs bite

Bedbugs are small insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals, and cause an itchy reaction. They travel on clothes to other rooms, and to places outside of the home. One can unknowingly pick up a bedbug at an infested location and bring it home, or they can be brought into one’s home on the clothing of people who visit.

Bedbug infestations are spreading rapidly throughout the United States. Removal can be costly, and many seniors are unable to afford the extermination fees.

The best way to deal with bedbugs is to do just as the rhyme suggests—don’t let them bite. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that the best way to prevent bedbugs is to regularly inspect one’s home for signs of an infestation.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:55 AM, 09.01.2016

Taking moral inventory

Retirement is often the time when people look back on their lives and record their personal history, often in the form of a memoir. While these are useful tools for recording the things one has done during a lifetime, they don’t often reflect who the person was—his or her character.

Taking stock of one’s values and beliefs is an insightful way to define a person and, more importantly, why the person is that way. Writing an ethical will is a great way to do this. An ethical will is not a legal document. It is, instead, an informal document that one writes to bequeath to one’s family and friends the principles he or she holds dear.

Many people choose to share an ethical will with family and friends well before they die, as a tool for deeper understanding. Barry K. Baines, author of Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper, defines ethical wills as “a way to share your values, blessings, life’s lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, love, and forgiveness with your family, friends, and community.”

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 5:15 PM, 07.29.2016

Develop your artistic ability

Retirement brings with it an increase in one of life’s most precious commodities—spare time. If you enjoy art, and wonder whether you might have artistic ability, taking an art class can be a great way to spend your time. It can also be good for your health.

Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology reported last year that people who engaged in artistic activities such as painting, drawing and sculpting were 73 percent less likely to develop memory and thinking problems that lead to dementia.

The study also concluded that the social aspect of taking a class can also increase brain health. Socializing with others made participants 55 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:55 PM, 07.01.2016

Create an exciting and fulfilling retirement

Many seniors have untapped energy, ideas and interests during retirement. Starting a business or volunteering for a worthy cause are two stimulating and gratifying ways to keep the body, mind and spirit active in retirement.

The Encore Entrepreneurs Series, a partnership between The Cleveland Foundation and the Cuyahoga County Public Library, provides programs to help seniors start and grow a business. These include free workshops, coaching sessions, and events focused on business development and networking.

Visit or call 216-398-1800 to learn more.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.30.2016

Local author offers advice for family caregivers

Harriet Tramer is no stranger to the stress that can come with caring for an aging family member. The Cleveland Heights resident has written a book about the experiences she went through while caring for her aging mother.

Tramer wrote Growing Up as She Grows Old to offer advice and helpful resources to others who are caring for aging family members. She hopes that reading about her experiences and the lessons she learned will help make the process easier for readers.

Citing statistics from The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), Tramer said she was prompted to write the book “because this issue is so pervasive.” The FCA stated last year that approximately 34.2 million Americans had provided unpaid care to at least one adult age 50 or older in the preceding 12 months, and 82 percent of them provided care for two adults.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:45 AM, 04.30.2016

Living with computers

Computers are an integral part of daily life. They are useful and efficient tools for finding information, accomplishing tasks and connecting with family and friends. It can be confusing and frustrating, though, to learn how to use and maintain a computer, and to repair one when it breaks.

The computer lab at the Lee Road Library (216-932-3600) offers ongoing free classes that provide instruction on how to use a computer.

The classes range from basic lessons on using a keyboard and a mouse, to more advanced instruction on Word and Excel programs, and Facebook. The library also offers individual tutorial sessions for those with specific questions or issues.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:33 PM, 03.28.2016

Pets provide benefits beyond companionship

Pets do more for us than just keep us company. They also provide us with many health benefits. According to The Centers for Disease Control, regular walking or playing with pets can decrease stress, and lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The companionship that pets provide also can help manage loneliness and depression.

Mayo Clinic studies have found that pets help reduce stress and anxiety in medical patients, increase the survival rate for heart attack victims, and help increase the appetite of underweight elderly patients.

Dr. Julie Sheil of Cleveland Veterinary Acupuncture in Cleveland Heights (216-630-1450) noted that having a pet helps increase the quality of life for her senior clients who live alone or have chronic health issues.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 03.01.2016

Ensure good physical health in retirement

For baby boomers who are planning to retire in the near future, good physical health is essential for being able to fully enjoy this next phase of life. Being proactive about maintaining good health can help us thrive in our “golden years.”

The Mayo Clinic recommends that we educate ourselves about the natural changes that are common during this period of our lives, and be as proactive as possible in preventing changes we may prefer not to go through. Preventing these changes will help enable us to continue living independently at home, continue driving safely, and reduce the risk of dangerous falls.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 5:28 PM, 01.31.2016

Resolve to stop resolving

The beginning of a new year is a natural time to take stock of our lives and resolve to make positive changes. However, many of us fall short of achieving those changes, and the resolutions just get added to our list again next year.

According to Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor, we fail to achieve our resolutions because we tend to set unreasonable goals for ourselves, thereby setting ourselves up for failure.

The Mayo Clinic advises that, in order to be successful in achieving our goals, we need to make a specific plan for achieving them.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:54 AM, 12.31.2015

Holiday events for Heights senior adults and their families

Local businesses and organizations are offering fun holiday social and cultural activities for Heights seniors and their families. Events are free, unless otherwise noted. Please call ahead to confirm times, make reservations and inquire about handicapped accessibility if needed.

Happy holidays to all of our readers, and best wishes for a wonderful new year!          

McGregor will present several holiday events: a Holiday Christmas Concert with the Hillcrest Band on Dec. 2, 7 p.m.; Music for Sam Fosh on Dec. 5, 2:30 p.m.; a Winter Choir Concert on Dec. 6, 2:30 p.m., a Market Bazaar offering holiday gifts, keepsakes and baked goods on Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and a performance by the McGregor Pace Choir on Dec. 22, 11:30 a.m. (14900 Private Drive, Cleveland, 216-851-8200)

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 11:35 AM, 12.02.2015

Plan ahead for stressful situations

Most of us understand the importance of planning ahead and researching options for things such as vacations, major purchases and retirement. However, not many of us plan ahead for the stressful situations that naturally come with aging.

Everyone faces the stress of aging, and most of the stress is caused by loss. As time goes on, spouses, friends and pets pass away. As our abilities decline, we lose mobility, independence and options. These losses often bring with them stressful feelings of grief, loneliness, fear, resentment and isolation that have effects not only on the senior, but on the whole family.

Just as we plan ahead for other major life events, so should we plan ahead for the normal stresses of aging. “The key is purposeful planning and educating ourselves about the options before there is a crisis,” said Beth Shapiro, a clinical social worker with a private practice in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:36 PM, 10.30.2015

Changing your Medicare coverage during open enrollment

Medicare insurance is health insurance that is provided by the federal government for people who are age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease.

Medicare plans are divided into four parts. Part A covers hospital insurance, Part B covers medical insurance, Part C is a subset of Parts A and B and allows private companies to provide subscribers with Medicare insurance, and Part D covers prescription drug insurance. Parts A and B are called “Basic” or “Original” Medicare, and Part C is called “Medicare Advantage.” There are also Medicare Supplement Insurance plans available, called “MediGap,” that help pay healthcare costs that Parts A and B don’t cover.

You can apply for Medicare coverage whenever you become eligible, regardless of the time of year.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 6:22 PM, 09.30.2015

Osteoporosis affects both men and women

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones porous, which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Often a person has no symptoms or pain, so the disease may not discovered until a bone breaks.

Osteoporosis is a natural part of the aging process. Throughout our lifetime, our bodies naturally replace old bone mass with new. When we are young, bone growth exceeds loss. New bone production slows as we age, however, and by the time we reach our late 20s, loss begins to exceed growth.

Loss of bone mass is accelerated in women when they reach menopause. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. It is often thought of as a “woman’s disease.” However, at around age 65, men and women begin to lose bone mass at the same rate.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:04 PM, 08.31.2015

Tips for avoiding scams

It’s a good idea for people of all ages to be aware of potential scams and cons, but senior adults can be especially vulnerable. Because many seniors own their homes and have accumulated retirement savings, they are a popular target for con artists. Older adults also grew up in a time when people were more trusting, considerate and polite. Con artists, also known as “scammers,” attempt to take advantage of these traits to scam seniors out of their money.

Scams are perpetrated by phone, mail, e-mail, text message, social media and door-to-door contact. Scammers are very good at making their targets feel guilty about saying no. They typically act very friendly, call you by your first name and pretend to care about your family and your health situation, while making you feel guilty for not trusting them.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:26 AM, 07.31.2015

Free healthcare screenings for seniors

Taking advantage of free healthcare screenings is a smart and affordable way to keep track of your health and detect potential problems early. The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC), located in the Community Center at 1 Monticello Blvd., offers several free screenings throughout the year, including vision screenings on July 14, conducted by Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute. There is no cost, but appointments are necessary.

Other screenings to be offered at the SAC include bi-monthly blood pressure checks administered by Case Western Reserve University medical students; vision, hearing and balance screenings administered by Cleveland Clinic; and flu shots administered by Rite Aid and Walgreens. The SAC also hosts an annual health fair that includes screenings for glucose, cholesterol and body mass index.

For a schedule of SAC screenings, to schedule an appointment, and to arrange for low-cost transportation to the screenings, call 216-691-7377.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.01.2015

Healthy eating on a budget

Healthy eating is important for maintaining good physical health at all stages of life. However, healthy fresh foods can often cost more than less-healthy processed foods. The following tips can help stretch your healthy eating budget.

Shopping at farmers markets can be less expensive than the grocery store. Locally grown seasonal produce is often cheaper than produce shipped from out-of-state farms. Many farm stands will also offer discounts toward the end of the day, so plan to shop during the last hour of the market.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 4:07 PM, 05.28.2015

Getting a good nightís sleep as we age

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for good health. According to Mayo Clinic, adults need to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimum health. Although some may claim to feel rested on less sleep, studies show that people who regularly sleep less than seven hours per night do not perform as well on mental tasks as those who do. They also tend to have a higher mortality rate.

Sleeping patterns change as people age, and this can make it more difficult to sleep through the night. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans, go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, and often nap more during the day, which can make it harder to fall asleep at night. They may also be less physically and socially active, both of which contribute to more napping. As people age, they also tend to spend less time in natural deep-sleep stages, making them lighter sleepers.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 5:44 PM, 04.30.2015

Taking the embarrassment out of using a hearing aid

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that 30 million Americans age 12 and older have some level of hearing loss in both ears. As age increases, so do the percentages of people with hearing loss: 33 percent of those age 60 and older, and 50 percent of those age 85 and older, have some degree of hearing loss.

Symptoms of hearing loss include having trouble hearing on the phone, not being able to focus on a single conversation in a noisy room, frequently misunderstanding what people are saying, and needing to turn up the volume to hear the television. Hearing loss often occurs gradually, making it hard to notice the difference from one day to the next.

Among adults age 70 and older who could benefit from using a hearing aid, fewer than one in three has ever used them. The Hopkins Hearing Center at Johns Hopkins University speculates that older adults may feel embarrassed about not being able to understand conversations.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:36 AM, 03.31.2015

Is a reverse mortgage right for you?

A reverse mortgage is a home loan that you do not need to pay back until you move from your home, no matter how far in the future that may be. You may use the proceeds from the loan for anything you choose, such as daily living expenses, home improvements, paying off debts or traveling. The amount you can borrow from a reverse mortgage depends on several factors, including the value of your home, the equity you have in it, the type of reverse mortgage you choose and the interest rate.

To be eligible for a reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 years old, own the home, and the home must be your primary residence.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:46 AM, 02.27.2015

Some doctors still make house calls

The idea of medical house calls conjures up images of bygone days when the local “healthcare system” was a doctor with a satchel who knew each patient by name and visited their homes when they were ill. The healthcare system as we know it today is very different. However, it’s comforting to know that there are still certain cases when doctors and other medical professionals will call on patients when needed.

MD2U (216-502-3220) is a national medical house call company that serves those who are homebound, disabled, or have difficulty getting out of their homes. Natalie Barbastefano, a clinical nurse practitioner, opened the MD2U’s Cleveland office last year. “I saw the need in my community and wanted to help the seniors and disabled people here.” she said. “The goal is to help people live independently for as long as possible.”

University Hospitals Case Western Reserve House Call Program (216-464-6210) offers a similar service, with the goal of providing comprehensive primary care to help clients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:40 PM, 01.29.2015

Aging dogs and cats need special care

Dogs and cats sometimes need extra help as they age. Like people, older pets can develop health issues such as arthritis, poor eyesight, hearing loss, diabetes and cancer. Some even develop a cognitive condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease. With a little extra attention, we can help our furry friends live as comfortably and normally as possible.

“Pets age faster than we do,” said Dr. Nanette Kleinman of Heights Animal Hospital (216-371-1400, owned by Judith Wolf). “People often don’t realize how fast their pets are aging.” Kleinman suggests getting annual checkups for aging pets, so that health issues can be discovered and treated early. Pets with diseases or illnesses should be checked more frequently.

Pets’ survival instincts will often cause them to hide their symptoms. Checkups are sometimes the only way to find out if something is wrong.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:55 AM, 01.05.2015

Local holiday events for senior adults and their families

Many local businesses and religious organizations are offering fun social and cultural activities for Heights seniors and their families during the holiday season. Events are free, unless otherwise noted. Please call ahead to confirm times, make reservations or inquire about handicapped accessibility, if needed.

Happy holidays to all of our readers, and best wishes for a wonderful new year!

Dobama Theatre will present “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration” Dec. 5 through Jan. 4. This musical, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, combines historic characters, story lines, spirituals and carols. Admission for the preview show on Dec. 4 is $10. The Dec. 7 show offers “pay what you can” admission. The senior admission price for all other shows ranges from $23–$26. (2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-932-3396)

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 1:55 PM, 12.01.2014

How to keep the 'old ticker' ticking

Statistics show that the chance of suffering a heart attack greatly increases over the age of 55, for both men and women. Fortunately, there are some simple things one can do to limit, and even prevent, the chances of having a heart attack.

A heart attack happens when a part of the heart muscle dies or becomes damaged due to reduced or blocked blood supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk factors for having a heart attack include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, and a family history of stroke, obesity or diabetes.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 4:43 PM, 10.30.2014

Seek out fun and educational bus tours this fall

The cooler temperatures of fall make this a great time of year to get outdoors and do some exploring. Bus tours are a wonderful way to see new places without the concern of driving or parking. You can even go with a group of friends for a fun outing together.

The SELREC (South Euclid-Lyndhurst Recreation) Program offers two interesting fall tours for active older adults: an Act Like a Kid Again tour on Oct. 24, which includes stops at an ice cream factory, candy store, fruit farm and a glass-blowing factory; and a trip to the Hartville Flea Market on Nov. 14. Trips depart from the Hillcrest and Warrensville YMCAs. For more information, call 216-382-4300.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:08 AM, 09.30.2014

Seniors are eligible for special discounts

One of the perks of becoming a senior adult is that one becomes eligible for special discounts offered by many local businesses and organizations.

The Ohio Department of Aging administers the Golden Buckeye program, giving seniors access to discounts at more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state. Seniors age 60 or older, and any disabled adult over the age of 18, is eligible for this free program.

State residents who hold a current Ohio driver’s license or state ID card automatically receive a Golden Buckeye card the month of their 60th birthday. Other eligible residents may apply for the card at any CH-UH library or at the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:57 AM, 08.29.2014

Correction to Senior Scene column

In last month's Senior Scene column, the executive director of The Homewood Residence at Rockefeller Gardens should have been listed as Cheryl Walker. As a matter of clarification, Kensington Place, The Concord and Huntington Green are "all-ages" apartment buildings; the first two offer the convenience of an elevator for seniors, and the latter offers special activities for seniors. Warrensville Community Apartments is home to a branch of the Jewish Community Center. In addition, the Superior Schoolhouse is used for occasional events by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 2:17 PM, 07.31.2014

Hot weather safety tips for seniors

Warm temperatures are a welcome relief from the frigid weather we had last winter. Hot and humid weather, however, can bring challenges and dangers for seniors. Here are some tips to help keep you safe during the summer.

Keep cool. When body temperature rises, our body naturally sends more blood to circulate through our skin. This leaves less blood for our muscles, which in turn increases our heart rate. The body faces additional stress when humidity is high, because sweat cannot readily evaporate through the skin to cool us.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 2:15 PM, 07.31.2014

Plentiful options for senior living communities in the Heights

The Heights offers many options for seniors considering downsizing or needing additional assistance.

Built in 1923, The Alcazar, on Derbyshire Road in Cleveland Heights, is a beautiful Spanish-Moroccan building offering independent senior apartments. All apartments have full kitchens and some have balconies overlooking courtyard gardens. Breakfast is served daily in the dining room, and educational and cultural events are plentiful. The elegant ballroom hosts many special events. The Alcazar also offers bed and breakfast rooms, and extended-stay suites that cater to out-of-state and international visitors. As one resident said, “The world comes to The Alcazar.”

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 6:28 PM, 07.01.2014

An architectural tour of the Heights

Cleveland and its eastern suburbs are home to many beautiful buildings, and some interesting architectural developments occurred here between the mid-1800s and the 1920s. Many local seniors recall their parents talking about life in the Heights during that time of transition, and some are fortunate enough to have witnessed firsthand the later years of this period of development.

The Superior Schoolhouse, located at the corner of Superior Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, is believed to date to 1859. It was used as a schoolhouse for approximately 65 years. When the farmland around it began to be developed for residential use, new larger schools were built.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:32 AM, 06.02.2014

Tips for aging gracefully

We have all heard of “aging gracefully,” but how do we actually do that? Aging gracefully involves taking an active approach to the aging process. Rather than waiting for aging to take its effect on us, we can make lifestyle choices that postpone or eliminate some of those effects. By taking a proactive role in our own well-being we can age as gracefully as possible.

Keeping our brains healthy is critical to healthy aging. According to Cleveland Clinic, normal cognitive decline starts around age 60, and the most common change is a decrease in the speed of processing information. The Clinic contends that keeping your body healthy is essential to keeping your brain healthy, and it recommends following a Mediterranean-style diet, getting regular exercise and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 7:12 PM, 05.01.2014

Healthy cooking for older adults

Older couples and single people living on their own often have trouble making nutritious meals for themselves. Understanding nurtritional needs and appropriate calorie intake can be confusing. Fresh ingredients are frequently sold in packages that are too large to finish before they go bad. Eating healthfully can also cost more, and the time required to cook sometimes doesn’t seem worth the effort. Following are some tips to help you eat in a healthy way without a lot of effort.

In 2011, the USDA updated the Food Pyramid of healthy eating guidelines and created a new initiative called Healthy Plate. The guidelines are based on the USDA publication “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans” (DGA), and have been revised to make it easier to make better food choices. The guidelines suggest how to balance calories; add more healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to your diet; and decrease the amount of unhealthy foods, such as those with high-sugar and high-sodium ingredients.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:25 AM, 03.31.2014

Finding the needle in the haystack of senior support services

As our needs change due to age, illness or injury, it can be difficult to sort through the myriad support services available. Choosing one that best meets our needs is a daunting and sometimes confusing task. Fortunately, there are local resources to help us to make a well-informed decision. 

The estate and life-care-planning firm of Bartimole-Greene, located in Beachwood, is one such resource. The firm helps clients with legal and financial services. Kelsey Loushin, the on-staff care coordinator, assists clients with all aging-related needs. A well-respected veteran in the senior care field, she has an extensive inventory of local services, programs and products at her fingertips. “Our clients tell us what their goals are and then we do everything in our power to help them meet their goals," said Loushin.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 4:04 PM, 02.27.2014

Facts about diabetes

According to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control, 10.9 million people aged 65 or older have diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to convert food into energy. Insulin is a hormone the body manufactures to convert food into the glucose that our bodies need.

People with diabetes get too much glucose in their blood because their body may not make enough insulin, may not use insulin in the right way, or both. This can lead to complications, such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, circulation problems and a higher-than-normal risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 2:51 PM, 01.30.2014

Local in-home services for seniors

During the winter many people find it difficult to get out of the house to do errands and socialize with friends. Those with limited mobility are unable to get out any time of the year. Fortunately, there are local companies that bring their services to people’s homes.

Amy Roth, a Heights-area dressmaker and tailor, will come to your home to pick up your mending and tailoring. With more than 40 years of couture experience, Roth can alter your clothing to make garments easier to put on and take off. “It’s called adaptive sewing,” said Roth. “I can replace buttons with snaps or Velcro.” Roth also makes comfort and convenience items for seniors, such as wedge pillows for back pain, and privacy curtains to create a sleeping area on the first floor of your house. Call Amy Roth at 216-904-1786. 

Spa On Wheels For Seniors is a mobile service caring for feet and nails. Owner Wanda Ragins is a licensed manicurist and pedicurist with nine years of experience.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:29 PM, 01.02.2014

Local Heights holiday events for senior adults and their families

Many local businesses and religious organizations are offering enjoyable social and cultural activities for Heights seniors and their families.

Events are free, unless otherwise noted. Please call ahead to confirm times, make reservations or learn about handicapped accessibility, if needed.

Happy holidays to all of our readers, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

On Dec. 3 the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) will host a breakfast and a concert featuring a trio from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Breakfast begins at 10 a.m. and the concert begins at 11 a.m. (One Monticello Blvd, Cleveland Heights, 216-691-7377)

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.26.2013

Fraud prevention: keeping your savings and identity safe

Because many older adults own their homes outright, have retirement savings, and were taught by their parents to be trusting and polite, they are often targeted by unscrupulous people looking for easy money. According to the FBI, “con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say no.”

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 11:58 AM, 10.31.2013

Stroke: recognizing the symptoms and providing aftercare

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted after a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. According to the National Stroke Association, when brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities might include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 6:39 PM, 10.01.2013

Ways to preserve memory as we age

Although memory loss can be a normal part of the aging process, it is a cause for concern to many older adults. While normal age-related memory loss is common and natural, it can be slowed and even prevented through diet and certain activities.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a fairly common part of aging.” Normal memory loss can include occasionally misplacing your glasses or car keys, forgetting a person's name, or not being able to remember a word that is “right on the tip of your tongue.”

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 2:20 PM, 08.30.2013

Fitness and exercise recommendations for Heights seniors

The National Senior Games held in Cleveland last month brought attention to the importance of physical fitness for older adults. The games, held in a different city each year, promote healthy and active lifestyles for athletes age 50 and older. 

While most of us may not consider ourselves athletes, the games, and the presentations held during the games, educate seniors at all levels of ability about the importance of physical activity and staying healthy.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 3:16 PM, 07.31.2013

How home care can help

As we age it is natural to lose some of our strength and ability. Daily tasks become harder to do and we also may not have as much stamina and endurance as we used to. Sometimes we forget important things, or we may be recovering at home from a fall or an illness and be unable to care for ourselves independently. Home care companies can be a good solution to provide help at times like these.

Home care workers, also called caregivers, will come into the home and help with chores such as cleaning, cooking, laundry and pet care. Caregivers can also provide companionship—playing board games, reading aloud and providing medication reminders. If necessary, they can also help with personal care tasks, such as bathing and dressing.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 10:11 AM, 07.02.2013

Baby boomers are 'redefining' retirement

The baby boomer generation is changing the way people experience their retirement years With a longer life expectancy, a greater interest in physical fitness, and uncertain economic times, boomers are living their golden years in ways that are different from those of past generations.

Baby boomer is the term used to describe those born between 1946 and 1964, during the post-World War II economic boom. The Huffington Post estimates that approximately 78 million Americans fit this definition, and they are “changing the face of aging.”

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:42 PM, 05.30.2013

Oh that explains it! The causes of age-related changes

Most of us know that our physical and mental abilities change as we age, but not many of us know exactly why. The short explanation is that, just like a car, parts naturally wear out over time. The longer explanation is an interesting look at human biology.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 4:50 PM, 04.30.2013

Containers are an easier way to garden

Recent signs of spring are causing many of us to start thinking about gardening. In-ground gardens can be hard on aging backs and knees, though, because of the stooping and kneeling required to plant and maintain them. Container gardens are a great alternative for those who love gardens but find them hard to keep up.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 11:08 AM, 03.28.2013

Fire safety tips for senior adults

According to the office of the Ohio State Fire Marshall, a fire occurs in an Ohio residence every 30 minutes. The fire marshall’s office reports that one-third of those who die in Ohio fires are aged 60 and over. 

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 11:51 AM, 02.28.2013

Ideas for keeping busy and active in retirement

There are many opportunities for Heights seniors to keep active. Volunteering is an option that can benefit both your neighbors and your community. Learn about local opportunities by contacting the Heights Emergency Food Center at 216-381-0707, Meals on Wheels at 216-291-2737, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging Senior Companion Program at 216-391-9500, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at 800-942-2677, HandsOn Northeast Ohio at 216-432-9390 and many local churches and synagogues.

Seniors Helping Seniors, an in-home care company, hires seniors to work with others seniors who are in need of help. The caregivers are paid for their services, and assist with a variety of tasks to help keep their peers living independently in their homes. No previous experience is necessary, and caregivers in the Heights area are needed. Call 440-759-0319 for information.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 1:03 PM, 01.31.2013

Staying safe in cold weather

The cold temperatures and slippery conditions that accompany our Cleveland winters can create many dangers for senior adults. Taking precautions to stay safe in cold weather can help prevent weather-related accidents and health problems.

Hypothermia and frostbite can occur from overexposure, both indoors and out. To prevent this, the National Institute on Aging recommends dressing warmly. Indoors, wear thermal underwear, socks, slippers and a nightcap, and use plenty of blankets when sleeping. Outdoors, wear loose, layered clothing: a hat, scarf, gloves, thick socks, warm boots and a waterproof coat. Keep your face and neck covered.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 11:21 PM, 12.27.2012

Fun holiday activities for seniors and their families

December holidays bring many fun social and cultural activities for Heights seniors and their families. Many are listed here. Call ahead to check if reservations are required, and to confirm handicapped accessibility, if needed. Events are free, unless otherwise noted.

A Market Bazaar will be held at McGregor on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday gifts, keepsakes and baked goods will be for sale. McGregor will also host Holiday Storytelling with Zeta Phi Beta on Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. (14900 Private Drive, Cleveland, 216-851-8200.)

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:02 AM, 11.30.2012

November Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings are sponsored by the City of University Heights. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 1:08 PM, 10.31.2012

Staying safe at home: tips to reduce the risk of falls

According to the AARP, around 71 percent of people over the age of 45 prefer to stay in their homes as they age rather than moving to long-term care. As we age, however, it is common to experience declines in our physical abilities. This can result in falls and possibly severe or fatal injuries. Taking precautions to reduce the risk of falls will increase one’s ability to remain at home.

In general, move furniture to create clear walking paths; remove clutter from stairs and landings; repair broken, uneven steps, and loose handrails; keep exterior stairs and walkways clear; keep rock salt by each door to remove winter ice; install a shelf and hooks inside the door for keys, coats, handbags, and other items.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 1:05 PM, 10.31.2012

October Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings are sponsored by the City of University Heights. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library.

Oct. 4: Wesley Walker, senior repair specialist for the Home Repair Resource Center, discusses the center's new and expanded services for senior citizens in communities beyond Cleveland Heights.

Oct. 11: Chris Thompson, director of regional engagement of the Fund for Our Economic Future, talks about recruiting key partners and mapping strategies to strengthen the region’s economic competitiveness with world markets.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 12:02 PM, 10.03.2012

Financial assistance for senior veterans and their families

The federal government offers several forms of financial assistance to military veterans and their families through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Programs include disability compensation, pension plans and burial benefits.

Disability compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran due to an injury sustained or disease acquired while on active duty, or aggravated by military service. The amount of compensation depends on the severity of the condition, and whether the veteran is married or has dependents.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 11:54 AM, 10.03.2012

Maintaining optimism as we age

Aging brings with it some good changes—developing values, building friendships, establishing careers and raising families. Aging can also bring difficult changes—forgetfulness, decrease in strength and energy, illness and injury, and the deaths of loved ones.

It is common for these changes to cause feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and helplessness. Following is a list of tools that people of any age can use to stay peaceful and happy amid whatever loss they may be facing:

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 9:41 AM, 09.03.2012

Exercise programs for older adults with arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic, often painful disease that affects the joints of the body. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, but according to the Arthritis Foundation (AF) the two most common among older adults are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

OA is a characterized by a breakdown of cartilage that protects the bones. The bones then begin to rub against each other, causing stiffness and pain. RA is an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective membrane that lines the joints. Fluid then builds up in the joints, causing inflammation and pain. OA affects one or more joints in the body, while RA affects the entire body, as well as the internal organs.

The AF states that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Sixty-five percent of Americans with arthritis are over the age of 65. Of those, 60 percent are women. There are nearly 1.5 million people living with arthritis in Northeast Ohio. 

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 11:23 AM, 08.06.2012

Reporting elder abuse: protecting our vulnerable neighbors

According to the Department of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS), the provider of Adult Protective Services (APS) for Cuyahoga County, there were 3,426 cases of alleged elder abuse reported last year. The problem, however, may be even larger than that. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) estimates that 84% of incidents are not reported to authorities.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 2:33 PM, 07.05.2012

Person-centered careóa holistic approach to retirement living

Person-centered care is a method of retirement home management that nurtures the physical, mental and emotional needs of the residents. It focuses on enhancing the quality of life, and empowering residents by involving them in almost every aspect of decision making about their care.

According to The Ohio Person-Centered Care Coalition in Columbus, “Person-centered care is a relationship-based approach to care that honors and respects the voice of elders and those working closest with them. It involves a continuing process of listening and changing things in an effort to individualize care.”

The purpose of person-centered care is to make life for the residents less institutional and more home-like. This applies not only to the personal care of the residents, but also to the meal service methods and atmosphere, the number and type of recreational activities, and even the design of the buildings themselves. 

The Person-Centered Way: Revolutionizing the Quality of Life in Long-Term Care, a book by Ohio gerontologist Dr. James H. Collins, gives examples of approaches to person-centered care. These include allowing residents to wake up at whatever time is most comfortable for them; to eat when they are hungry, rather than at prescribed mealtimes; and to eat what they want to eat, rather than having to choose from a set menu. Collins describes person-centered care as offering “privacy, dignity, autonomy, and self-worth” to the residents.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:48 AM, 05.30.2012

Heights Senior Citizen Receives Art Award

Cleveland Heights resident Elaine Wolk takes art classes at the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center. She won an award for her outstanding artwork at the Lee Road Library Senior Art Show. Wolk will have additional work on display at the library during the month of June.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:54 AM, 05.30.2012

Facts about hospice care

Hospice care provides support for terminally ill people and their families. There are several misconceptions about hospice, due to misunderstandings about what hospice is and a common reluctance to think about end-of-life realities. Clearing up these misunderstandings can help families better decide if, how and when to incorporate hospice into the care plan for a loved one.

Hospice care consists of a team of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual counselors, companionship volunteers and bereavement specialists.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:29 AM, 05.02.2012