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By Mark Brownstein, 8:47 pm on April 15, 2014

More than 50 million Americans don’t get enough sleep.  For seniors this can be fatal because lack of sleep disrupts the body’s functions.  Motor movements, hormone production and brain function can be strained to critical levels.  A good night’s sleep will keep the mind sharp, lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce chronic fatigue, help keep skin youthful and even help prevent weight gain. Fortunately, there are many foods that can actually promote  sleep.  They contain such components as amino acids, vitamins and hormones with soothing qualities.  By incorporating them into your diet, slumber will come faster and be undisturbed. Whole grains and almonds (magnesium) Rich in magnesium, these foods make sleep possible.  They also help the body maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping and help slow…

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By Mark Brownstein, 4:55 pm on March 31, 2014

Most seniors have spent much of their lives helping friends, neighbors and organizations—whether as a parent, scout leader, church committee member or serving in other volunteer roles. So it’s natural for seniors to continue to serve and at the same time know that they are still appreciated. There are always abundant volunteer opportunities in the Fort Worth/Grapevine/Mid Cities area, as the needs of our communities grow. Volunteering on a regular basis—several days a week or as schedules or transportation permit—can keep seniors in an active, positive state of mind that is good for their mental well-being and retaining their independence. It can help them make new friends, learn new skills (such as how to speak a new language when working with refugees) or hone current skills (such as mentoring those…

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By Mark Brownstein, 9:00 am on March 14, 2014

Few areas sparkle with so much radiant color as the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, close to some of the city’s most intriguing cultural attractions. For seniors, the Botanic Garden offers sensory pleasures, both visual and fragrant.  Best of all, it is very inexpensive for a memorable outing in almost any season. The garden, the oldest botanic garden in Texas (established 1934), features 2,501 species of native and exotic plants in 21 specialty gardens.  The most popular garden is the Fort Worth Japanese Garden, which boasts 7 acres of calming foliage and paths with highlights such as a pagoda, meditation garden, three koi ponds, bridges and waterfalls. What better excuse to linger for hours at some of the other major gardens, which bloom with colors that change with each passing month. …

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By Mark Brownstein, 3:58 pm on March 1, 2014

So Many Benefits to Drinking Water As people age, the lack of water can adversely affect important body functions.  The body requires water to lubricate joints and the lungs, and to hydrate blood and tissues. Water helps with digestion and hydrates the skin.  Water can help decrease the urge for sweets, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even minimize pain with arthritis and migraines in addition to helping with digestion. Negative Consequences of not Drinking Water If the body’s electrolyte and fluid balances are disrupted, the activity of the heart and brain can be diminished.  Other effects from inadequate water intake include heavier breathing, arthritis from poor joint lubrication, muscle soreness and higher body temperature. Seniors typically do not drink enough water.  For one thing, they aren’t as thirsty as…

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By Mark Brownstein, 5:39 am on February 13, 2014

The Fort Worth/Grapevine area is one of the best places to treat the seniors in your life to something sweet and special.  Valentine’s Day and all year round, delicious temptations await at a variety of area establishments.  From cupcakes and confections to cakes and ice cream, here are some irresistibly good suggestions for the young at heart. Dude, Sweet Chocolate Few chocolatiers can match the always-inventive Dude, Sweet Chocolate, with many creative takes on dark chocolate.  Signature offerings include Albatross (fudge made with bleu cheese and dark chocolate), chocolate “salami” (made with dates, dried figs and marzipan with Valrhona cocoa nibs) and Tub of Love spread (made with Italian pure hazelnut, cane syrup, sweetened condensed milk and Luckar 85% Tumaco chocolate).  It’s the closest thing to Willy Wonka you’ll find!…

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By Mark Brownstein, 8:14 am on January 31, 2014

When a senior is discharged from the hospital and returns to his or her home, it can be comforting to be back in familiar surroundings.  However, it can also be extremely challenging if plans have not be made to ensure there is a smooth transition.  Patients who have inadequate care waiting for them at home often return to the hospital more frequently.  They may not be sick enough to be in rehabilitation, but they are also not well enough to be on their own.  In many cases, someone needs to be there to check on them, to assist in any way and to be with them at this time of potential anxiety.  Health professionals often believe there is plenty of support at home, but this is often not the case….

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By Mark Brownstein, 4:29 pm on January 20, 2014

  One of the art world’s major treasures is as close as Fort Worth, and it is the ideal place to take the seniors in your life for a leisurely day.  The Kimbell Art Museum is home to an incomparable array of masterpieces in its permanent collection and featured exhibitions.  Some of the renowned works include one of Picasso’s boldest paintings, an exceptional Cezanne landscape and Michelangelo’s The Torment of Saint Anthony, which is believed to be the artist’s first known painting.  In addition, seniors will marvel at the Kimbell’s vast Pre-Columbian, African, Asian and Antiquities collections.   Of particular interest to seniors who appreciate fine art is the current exhibition, The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago, now through February 16. When…

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By Mark Brownstein, 4:28 pm on January 16, 2014

There are many great reasons for senior citizens to go to college either to earn a degree or for their own personal enjoyment.  Going back to school allows you to stay active in the community and keeps your mind challenged. The National Institute on Aging sites several factors that show an apparent link between how an active brain can help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s. Mentally stimulating activities such as playing games, reading, and going to lectures and museums are linked to keeping your mind sharp. So, what better way to challenge your mind than going back to school? Some colleges are recognizing the benefits of having different perspectives in the classroom and are encouraging seniors to join in the discussions by offering low cost or no cost tuition options. The…

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By Mark Brownstein, 8:00 am on December 31, 2013

Senior citizens are often fortunate enough to have the time to visit new places and open their minds to new experiences. Those living in Tarrant County have the opportunity to explore a number of museums, including the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth.  This January the museum has a special public program designed for adults with Alzheimer’s. “Sharing the Past through Art” is an interactive tour that gives adults with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers the opportunity to discuss artists and current exhibitions. The program uses artwork to connect to past experiences.  The next tour is scheduled for January 9, 2014 from 10:30am – 11:45. No reservations are required. If you’ve lived in the area for a long time, you may still think of the Amon Carter as a Western art…

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By Mark Brownstein, 10:48 pm on December 22, 2013

  Once the decision has been made that you or a family member needs In Home Care Assistance, what is the next step? Finding Local Home Care Agencies Ask your doctor, family, friends, clergy or co-workers for referrals. Check with your employer or insurance company to see if they have referrals. Use the internet or phone book and begin researching options in your community Visit local senior centers for referrals. Look for homecare agencies that are active in the community.   Determine Your Budget Consider the amount of time you will need in home care. Do you need hourly care or full time care? Look for assistance on costs if available. Many home care agencies offer a discounted rate for full time care. Some long term care insurance or Health…

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