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10 ways for seniors to keep busy

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Regardless of your interests, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your days this summer. Here are 10 suggestions to get you started.

1. Get back to nature
The thing about the outdoors is that there are many ways to enjoy it. Birdwatch in your backyard, stroll through the woods or bike around the countryside. Alternatively, enjoy a picnic in the park or pack your fishing rod and spend a weekend camping by the lake.

2. Host a game night
Your options are as numerous as they are varied. Keep your mind sharp as you roll the dice, shuffle the cards or test your trivia knowledge. You can teach your grandchildren a game that’s new to them or organize a regular board game night with friends.

3. Move your body
From golfing to gardening, opportunities to engage in physical activity during the summer are plentiful. You can also join a walking club or sign up for a yoga, tai chi or water aerobics class. Often, these group courses are offered outside when the weather’s nice and can be adapted if you have reduced mobility.

4. Plan a cultural outing
Treat yourself to a night out at the theater or take in a concert. If you want to spend an afternoon with your grandkids, head to the movies or visit a museum. Remember, summer is a prime time for all sorts of festivals and local events.

5. Explore your artistic side
Whether you prefer painting, photography, knitting, or playing a musical instrument, there are numerous ways to get creative. Activities like scrapbooking and sculpting sandcastles allow you to combine creativity and spending time with your family.

6. Play outdoor games
If you enjoy activities that allow you to socialize and take advantage of a sunny day, there are many backyard games to choose from including horseshoes, bocce ball, ladder toss and croquet.

7. Enjoy your own company
Spending quiet time alone can be the perfect way to recharge. Curl up on the couch with a crossword puzzle, retreat to the porch swing with a good book or simply relax while listening to music. On a rainy day, try your hand at a jigsaw puzzle or catch up on your favorite TV shows.

8. Indulge in local fare
Take advantage of the summer weather to discover new flavors in your region. Sample the menu at a local bistro, savor a cone at the ice cream parlor or enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. If you don’t feel like going out, you can teach your grandchildren a family recipe or host a potluck with loved ones.

9. Test your luck
There’s no harm in playing games of chance on occasion, so try your luck at bingo or head to the casino for an evening of fun and excitement.

10. Go shopping
Support independent retailers and local artisans, or check out a few garage sales in your area. If you just want to window shop at the mall, this activity is suitable in all types of weather.

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Mature Living

How to help a loved one who’s suffered a stroke

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Has a loved one of yours suffered a stroke? You may feel at a loss for how to support their rehabilitation. Here are some suggestions for helping them regain their autonomy.

Learn about strokes
Document the physical and emotional changes that may be affecting your loved one so you can better understand their needs. It’s possible they may suffer subsequent strokes. Therefore, knowing how to intervene quickly will help both of you. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms, like speech difficulties or weakness on one side of the body, so you’ll be prepared if the need arises.

Go with them to rehab
Your loved one’s rehabilitation begins as soon as their condition becomes sufficiently stable. It includes tasks and exercises recommended by the various healthcare professionals overseeing their recovery. Join in on those activities to make it a little more fun and keep your loved one motivated.

Take care of yourself
Helping a stroke survivor can take its toll on your well-being. It may even become a physical, emotional, and financial burden. Although your role in your loved one’s rehabilitation is essential, it’s also crucial that you not neglect yourself. You can unburden yourself of some worries simply by confiding in a friend. Seek extra help from another family member or community organization. Even spending time on a hobby can be restorative.

Visit heart.org to learn more about stroke, join a support group for caregivers and get more self-care tips.

 

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Mature Living

Audiobooks: Rediscover the pleasure of storytelling

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Have you always loved reading but now find it difficult to see the words on the page? Do you find it hard to hold heavy books? Regardless of whether your reading ability has diminished, you can still experience the magic of audiobooks.

What’s an audiobook?
An audiobook is a publication — be it a crime novel, fantasy series, or biography — recorded in an audible medium. The reader may be a volunteer, celebrity, professional reader, or the book’s author. The intonations may enhance your listening experience in the reader’s voice or whether the recording includes sound effects.

What does it look like?
The audiobook may be in the form of a digital file or a compact disk. You may need to download it to a device to enjoy it if it’s a digital file. A simple internet connection may work as well.

How do you listen to an audiobook?
If the audiobook is on a compact disk, insert it directly into an appropriate reader and press play. It may take a few steps to listen online or via an app downloaded to your tablet or smartphone for a digital file.

Where do you get them?
Digital audiobooks are available on several online platforms, like online libraries or e-reader businesses. You can get compact disks from your local library. A library is a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Whatever format you select, make sure you choose one compatible with your device.

Happy listening!

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Health

Four tips to help seniors stay warm in winter

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Seniors are sensitive to the cold due to metabolic changes that make it difficult for them to generate enough heat. Here are four tips for staying warm this winter.

1. Adjust the heat
Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature. If you want to keep your electricity bill down, increase the heat in rooms you frequently use and lower it everywhere else.

2. Dress appropriately
Wear wool clothing as much as possible. This material keeps you warmer than fabrics like cotton and polyester. Don’t forget to keep your hands, feet, and head covered too. This is where you lose most of your body heat. Plus, wearing thick socks and slippers will prevent your feet from touching cold floors.

Wear several layers of clothing to ensure you stay warm when going outdoors.

3. Eat well
To stay warm, your body needs to burn a fair amount of calories. Consequently, eating a balanced diet can help you fight the cold. Be sure to eat hot, hearty meals and drink plenty of water. Sipping herbal tea throughout the day is a great way to stay warm and hydrated.

4. Use accessories
If necessary, use a heated blanket when watching TV or put a hot water bottle in your bed a few minutes before you go to sleep.

If, despite your best efforts, you still struggle to stay warm, make sure to consult your doctor.

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Health

What you need to know about age-related hearing loss

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Hearing problems can affect people of all ages. However, age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, affects nearly half of all people who are 75 and older. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss as you get older.

Cell degeneration
The tiny hair cells inside your ear can become damaged or die as you age. Unfortunately, this causes progressive hearing loss.

However, hearing issues can also develop if the nerve pathways that carry information to your brain become less efficient. This can occur due to hereditary factors, various health conditions, and taking certain medications.

In addition, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease can accelerate hearing loss.

High-pitched sounds
Cell degeneration mainly affects the part of your ear responsible for hearing high-pitched sounds. Consequently, if you have presbycusis, you may be able to hear low-pitched noises but not register high-pitched ones. Your brain will therefore need to work extra hard to fill in the information gaps, which can make communication difficult.

Regrettably, age-related hearing loss is permanent. However, solutions like wearing hearing aids can improve your quality of life.

To have your hearing tested, consult an audiologist.

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Health

Five benefits of stretching

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Regular stretching provides numerous health benefits as you age, and when combined with other types of exercise, it can add years to your life. Here are five reasons to stretch regularly.

1. Improve flexibility
As you age, your muscles shorten and lose elasticity. Stretching keeps you flexible and helps you maintain your mobility.

2. Avert injuries
Stretching improves your balance and strength, which can reduce your risk of falling. This will likely help you feel more confident when moving around and performing your daily tasks.

3. Boost blood circulation
Stretching stimulates blood flow and increases the oxygen supply to your muscles.

4. Prevent diseases
Maintaining an active lifestyle and stretching regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

5. Reduce soreness
Stretching can help minimize aches and pains. Ask a health professional for advice on which exercises to perform to target specific areas of your body.

To reap these benefits, stretch at least several times a week or as much as every day to reap these benefits.

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Mature Living

Reduced mobility: Four tips for choosing a walk-in bathtub

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Walk-in bathtubs are designed for people with mobility issues. They come with a watertight door and tend to be equipped with a bench and grab bars. Here are four tips to help you choose the right model for your needs.

1. Consider how it opens
The door to a walk-in bathtub can open either inward or outward. If you’re in a wheelchair or use a walker, look for a model with a door that swings outward.

2. Think long-term
When choosing a bathtub, keep in mind that your mobility may further diminish as you age. Therefore, you may want to select a model with safety features that will come in handy later.

3. Discern your needs
Determine whether you’ll use your bath daily or only occasionally. If you plan on using your tub often, ask yourself if you prefer sitting or lying down and if you want jets for a therapeutic experience.

4. Reflect on the filling system
Walk-in bathtubs often take a long time to fill and must be completely emptied before you can get out. Consequently, you may want a model with a quick-fill system and two drains.

Before making your choice, consult a professional to help you evaluate your needs.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Sat
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Feb
6
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 6 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
11
Sat
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 11 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
12
Sun
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]