Chaplain: Mary’s Musings

shutterstock_345685955 By Mary Bridges, Salina Presbyterian Manor chaplain

Welcome to November! I don’t know about you but I am more than ready to turn the calendar to the 11th month of this year, and specifically I’m ready to check the eighth day off and be finished with the election. I am weary of the neverending political chaos. How did elections come to this? Our constitution guarantees free speech, and everyone who has an opinion is speaking freely and loudly. Social media and a 24-hour news cycle add fuel to the fire.

I personally vow to respect each of you, regardless of whom you choose to support in this election. I won’t unfriend you on Facebook because of your political views. I believe that degrades democracy and free thinking. While 9/11 brought us together as a country, it also brought fear to our front door. We have become especially fearful of those who think or look different from us, and this fear seems to have infected our political process. The late Shimon Peres said, “Human beings should be filled not with fear but with hope.”

What happens after the election is even more important. I believe if we are to survive as a nation, we must somehow, some way once again come together and work together—really work together—to respect our newly elected officials and use Ephesians 4:3 as our guide. “Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

I would like to suggest that we adopt a new practice of greeting one another as a reminder of this verse in Ephesians, and we begin today. The practice is called Namaste, pronounced “nah-mah-STAY.” It is both a Hindi and a Nepali word. It is said in India and Nepal as a salutation, just as we would say “hello” or “goodbye” in the United Sates. The word “namaste” is Sanskrit. The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit (known as Vedic Sanskrit) dates back to as early as 1500 BC.

Namaste is typically said with the hands pressed together and held near the heart. Some translations are: “I honor the place in you which is of love, truth, light, and peace” and “I honor the sacredness and equality in us all.” And my personal favorite: “The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.”

More brain games planned

shutterstock_476870080 By Cathy Boos, Salina Presbyterian Manor life enrichment director

After attending the Kansas Activities Directors Association conference in September, it became apparent it was essential to add more brain games to our activities. A study cited in the New England Journal of Medicine found individuals who played board games often had a substantially reduced risk of developing dementia than those who played games less often.

Math was also seen to be an effective intervention for restoring cognitive function in people with dementia. Thus you will begin to see more critical thinking games, science lab experiments, card games and baking classes, as well as music sing-alongs to rekindle the spirit of songs long ago.

Computer use also helps the brain stay strong. Classes for basic computer skills will be held in the library beginning in November. Children beware! Your parents may be asking for iPads for Christmas.

Upcoming events and activities for November include:

• Nov. 2: ROMEO Breakfast Club – Corkies, downtown Salina

• Nov. 10: Cowboy Serenade – Ivory Keys Café

• Nov. 10: Travel & Taste – Cow Town Corral, Abilene

• Nov. 11: Veterans Day Celebration – Ivory Keys Café

• Nov. 15: Let’s Give Thanks Pot Luck – Lower Level

• Nov. 19: Carolyn Zimmerman Piano Concert: Beethoven’s “Tempest Sonata”

• TBD: Road Trip to Strataca, the underground salt museum in Hutchinson

Anyone wishing to come to Presbyterian Manor to entertain or present an educational program to the residents may call Cathy Boos at 785-825-1366, ext. 1140. We love to explore and try new options.


How to save money when you travel in retirement

The ‘Vagabonding Through Retirement’ authors offer practical ideas

By Bill and Ina Garrison Mahoney for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

(Bill and Ina Garrison Mahoney are a globetrotting couple who recently wrote Vagabonding through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far From Our Paris Houseboat.)

To save on expenses when you travel in retirement, it helps to first ask yourself a few questions: What are your travel goals? Do you want to be a passive observer or an active participant? Are you on a quest for information about the country and its people or is your interest in visiting museums and seeing tourist attractions?

Once you’ve determined your reasons for traveling, you can then decide on a destination and begin employing some of our suggestions below for ways to save.

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An invitation to dump your obligations

If you’re feeling overbooked, this simple anti-time management tool can set you free

By Achim Nowak for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

It seems like the impossible dream: To carve out unobligated time.

We often complain that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we wish to do. For many of us, it’s a true statement. We truly don’t have enough time. We ardently desire a “time out” from our obligations.

Some call this time out “me time.” A faintly derogatory term. It smacks of self-indulgence and narcissism. I feel queasy when I hear these descriptors because I don’t wish to be thought of having either of those traits.

The moment we claim a slice of “me time,” we instantly obligate this time. We get the spa treatment we have postponed for months. The facial that is overdue. We finally play squash with our buddy Raul. Go to see the French movie with our friend Lori that she has raved about. All cool things, I know. Still obligated time.

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Why smart people fall for investment scams

The authors of ‘Financial Serial Killers’ explain how not to get duped

By Tom Ajamie and Bruce Kelly for Next Avenue


(This article is adapted from the book, Financial Serial Killers: Inside the World of Wall Street Money Hustlers, Swindlers, and Con Men by Tom Ajamie and Bruce Kelly.)

There are many reasons why we fall for investment scams. As we understand and realize these factors, we are less likely to fall prey to investment scamsters — who we call “financial serial killers.”

Robert Cialdini, formerly Regents’ Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, says the root cause of people falling victim to a financial fraud is their uncertainty about the details of the financial environment. When people feel uncertain about financial decisions, he notes, they look outside themselves, and this sets them up for the fraud.

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Did you know arts can lower your blood pressure?

The arts offer real health benefits as people age

By Heidi Raschke for Next Avenue


I don’t know whether New York Times columnist Jane Brody is a soprano, a mezzo or an alto. But I do know that I’m glad to add her voice to the chorus of those noticing the connection between arts and vitality.

In her March 7, 2016 column for the Times’ Well section, Using the Arts to Promote Healthy Aging, the respected health writer mentioned several studies and programs familiar to those who’ve been following Next Avenue’s Artful Aging special report to demonstrate how “the arts in their myriad forms are enhancing the lives and health of older people.”

Among her examples of the health benefits of the arts, Brody touted the work of the Music and Memory project, which promotes the power of music to bring someone with  dementia back to life.

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Why working longer is good for your health

Here’s how recent studies upend conventional wisdom

By Chris Farrell for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Retirement didn’t sit with Lee Humphrey when she tried it about a decade ago, at 62. About a year after leaving her St. Paul, Minn. job at the Department of Employment and Economic Development, she unretired and began creating indexes for books after taking an online course on this. She wanted to work longer. “As pleasant as that first year of retirement was — reading, gardening, walking, some volunteering but generally relaxing — I came to realize that, for me, it was very important to add something in my life that was more mentally taxing,” says Humphrey. “I found myself feeling a bit sluggish, mostly mentally sluggish, and that was way out of keeping with my entire life.”

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The surprising secrets of successful retirees

What ‘The Retiree Next Door’ author learned by surveying them

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


If you’re in your 40s, 50s or early 60s, odds are you’d like to know what it takes to have a happy and successful retirement. To find out, a few authors — such as Wes Moss (You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think) and Bob Lowry (Living a Satisfying Retirement) — have surveyed retirees.

And now Marc Diana, the Los-Angeles-based CEO of the new personal-finance site site, has surveyed 510 retirees to learn the magic elixir. He published the findings in the free e-book, The Retiree Next Door: Successful Seniors’ Surprising Secrets (you can download it at the MoneyTips site).

I spoke with Diana, a serial entrepreneur who also founded, to find out what those surprising secrets were and what pre-retirees should do now if they want to join the club. I confess that the results did, indeed, surprise me.

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Where Clinton and Trump stand on caregiving and long-term care

What the candidates have said, or not said, on these vital topics

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue


Credit: Instagram Caption: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

(This is the fourth in a series of Next Avenue’s Election 2016 blog posts on where presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on key issues of interest to Americans over 50. The first article was about where they stand on Social Security. The second article was about health care and Medicare. The third article explored their views and policies on retirement security.)

Considering that Americans 65 and older are the demographic group most likely to vote, it is astounding how little the major parties’ presidential candidates have talked about two issues that loom so large in older adults’ lives: caregiving and long-term care.

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Don’t miss the annual Soup Supper


The 36th annual Soup Supper is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 21. Tickets are $8 in advance and $9 at the door. Proceeds from the supper will benefit the Good Samaritan program, which serves an important aspect of our mission: to ensure that residents continue to have a home here even if they deplete their funds through no fault of their own.

Oct. 21 is also the date of the annual Salina South-Salina Central football game. Let us prepare your tailgate food! Chili and chicken noodle soup are served with crackers and a slice of pie of your choice. Serving hours are:

• Dine-in: 4:30-7:30 p.m.

• Carry-out: 4-7 p.m., perfect for tailgating.

At the supper we also have a baked goods and craft sale, a silent auction and prize drawings. Health Care residents have tested recipes all year and will have a new cookbook of family favorites, “Love Chocolate!” for sale for $8. Drawing ticket sales and silent auction bids will end at 6:45 p.m. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m.