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Tamera Manzanares

Stories by Tamera

Aging Well: Finding peace in family gatherings, strained relationships

Thanksgiving is approaching, and families soon will be gathering in warm settings — content, at peace and immersed in the joy of the occasion. Unfortunately, this is not reality for most families. Whether it’s squabbles or sarcasm, feigned happiness or empty seats at the dinner table, Thanksgiving and the holidays often highlight tension and conflicts.

Aging Well: Aging field offers growing career options

Increasing number of seniors fuels demand for wellness teachers, social workers and more

Many people assume working with older adults means having medical experience. Although there is an increasing need for health care professionals skilled in aging issues, the growing number of adults ages 50 and older also is fueling demand for people to work with, or on behalf of, older adults in many other settings and roles.

Aging Well: CDC: Nearly everyone should get flu vaccine

Last year, flu vaccination guidelines were muddled and confusing. This year, the process is much clearer. There is just one vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone ages 6 months and older to get it.

Aging Well: Program provides free help with Medicare

If Betsy Packer wore a Halloween costume, it might be that of a super hero with a large “M” emblazoned on the cape. Packer is the Northwest Colorado coordinator for SHIP — the Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. She provides free counseling to older adults overwhelmed and confused by Medicare.

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Aging Well: Health fair offers array of services

So you forgot to sign up for the early blood draw and can’t make it to the Community Health Fair later this month. Or you prefer to avoid crowds. Whatever the reason, if you’re 60 or older, there is another opportunity for you to take advantage of low cost blood tests and other services and information for older adults.

Aging Well: Programs help pay for mammograms, treatment costs

Most of us are guilty of putting off important health screenings or procedures. Often, that resistance has more to do with cost than laziness.

Aging Well: Medications — Blurring line between helpful and harmful

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications greatly can improve a person’s quality of life, but misuse quickly can blur the line between feeling better and feeling worse.

Aging Well: Make fruits and vegetables a priority

The message from health organizations about eating fruits and vegetables is straightforward: more, more, more. Americans are not getting enough nutrient and fiber-rich produce, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Aging Well: Lifelong learning opens opportunities

Local senior citizens are exploring further education as colleges offer discounts, partnerships

Bill and Karen Lawrence’s retirement years have been anything but boring. Bill, a former attorney, and Karen, a former teacher, have filled their schedules and minds pursuing interests at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig.

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Aging Well: Taking control of cholesterol

It’s difficult to talk about cardiovascular disease without talking about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a major controllable risk factor of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.

Aging Well: New strategies, support compensate for low vision

Most of us take our eyesight for granted, not realizing that someday it might not be so easy to read, write, drive or recognize familiar faces. Although normal aging of the eye does not cause low vision, diseases that impair vision are more common among older adults.

Aging Well: Workshop, resources help ease caregiving

There is no way to fully prepare for the challenge of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Most jobs come with training, but caregiving — and the many roles and responsibilities that come with it — often is unexpected and overwhelming.

Aging Well: A musical spell

You are sitting in your car, and a certain song comes on the radio. A flurry of emotion pumps through your veins and transports you to a different time and place. That feeling can leave as quickly as it came or change your mood for the entire day.

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Aging Well: Healing in the saddle

Riding a horse might be the last thing a person recovering from surgery or injury, or coping with a chronic condition, might imagine doing. If a person likes riding or is interested in learning, however, not only is it possible, it’s a good idea.

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Aging Well: Strength exercise yields essential benefits

It’s a bright summer morning at Colorado Mountain College, and the campus weight room is bustling with activity. There, students in a basic weight training class — their ages ranging from 20 to 60 and older — go about their routines, pushing themselves toward stronger bodies and minds.

Aging well: Disability awareness highlights challenges, opportunities

As the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities act approaches, it’s a good time to think about challenges facing people with disabilities or, taking awareness one step further, to imagine having a disability.

Aging Well: Be aware and prepare for summer play

Blue skies, warm temperatures, trails, lakes and rivers are reasons to get outside, but summer play does not come without risks. Poor preparation and judgment can have serious health consequences, particularly for older adults.

Aging Well: Plan for a fun and safe road trip

A well-planned road trip is a fun road trip, but for older adults, in particular, a bit of forethought can prevent the headaches and emergencies that plague the worst car excursions.

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Aging Well: Calendars highlight summer programs for older adults

Older adults in the Yampa Valley are fortunate to live in communities flush with summer programs to keep them busy and healthy. Between trips, ongoing exercise and wellness programs, lunches, crafts, continuing education and other opportunities, it can be a little tough to keep it all straight.

Aging Well: Walking for fitness, fun and challenge

Marlene Griffin always has enjoyed walking, but the opportunity to travel pushed her to join a walking class to improve her endurance. Griffin, 73, has participated in a walking class for older adults in Craig for more than two years.

Aging Well: Residents’ memories inspire fundraiser

The Haven Assisted Living Center’s annual event is Saturday at community center in Hayden

At one time, a weekend in the country meant hopping on a horse or wagon and heading to a neighbor’s barn for dinner, dancing and music. Sometimes, the events celebrated weddings, anniversaries and other occasions. Other times, they were held to raise money for a family in need. There may not have been a lot of bling, but there was never a shortage of fun.

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Aging Well: Dinner and golf event celebrates hospice programs

It is said that life is best lived in the present. That adage is perhaps no more poignant than when the end of life is near. When a person’s fight is finished and their focus turns to peace — and the present — there is hospice.

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Aging Well: Hospital’s Health Resource Center offers array of services

Managing personal health or the health of a loved one can be stressful.

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Aging Well: Moving away from arthritis pain

Warm weather inspires movement: Long walks, hikes, bike rides, swimming and maybe yoga or tai chi in the park.

Aging Well: Friendly faces, helping hands

An illness, injury or disability seriously can affect a person’s emotional well-being. While contending with challenges of daily living, they often grieve loss of independence and fear moving into a long-term care facility. If they are housebound, they are at risk for isolation, loneliness and depression. Regular visits from a compassionate helper and friend can make all the difference for a person in this situation.

Aging Well: ‘Life-changing’ products help ease vision, hearing loss

osing vision separates a person from the world; losing hearing separates them from humanity. Deb Dunaway has heard this sentiment more than a few times from clients experiencing these challenges. Thankfully, products are available to re-engage individuals in social interaction and also help them with daily tasks hindered by deafness, blindness, arthritis and other problems prevalent among older adults.

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Aging well: Wellness Day helping to ease the aches of aging

A few years ago, a group of independent-minded older adults in South Routt County started their own little exercise class at the Community Center in Oak Creek.

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Aging Well: South Routt Wellness Day on a roll

A few years ago, a group of independent-minded older adults in South Routt County started their own little exercise class at the Community Center in Oak Creek. Eventually, the Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Asso­ciation offered a trained instructor to guide the group through a regimen specifically targeting their aches and pains.

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Aging Well: Eating well for health, community and the environment

Thursday is Earth Day, a time to think about how the health of the environment affects our well-being and the well-being of our communities. What we eat and where that food comes from are just a couple aspects of everyday life influencing our own health and that of our natural surroundings.

Aging Well: Exercise improves Parkinson’s symptoms

There are many unanswered questions about Parkinson’s disease. Some, such as what causes the condition in the first place, are troubling. Others, such as why exercise improves lives of people coping with the disease, are more optimistic.

Aging Well: Grandparents’ support important to families, children with autism

When Lu Etta Loeber’s grandson, Henry, was diagnosed with severe autism 12 years ago, her initial shock ebbed into fear, worry and denial. She grieved that she never would have the relationship she expected with her grandson, and she grieved for her daughter, suddenly saddled with the enormous responsibility of raising a son with a complex and baffling neurological disorder.

Aging Well: Simple practices can prevent foodborne illness

A group of 10 older adults brought plenty of cooking experience to a presentation at The Haven Community Center last year. Even so, questions during “food safety bingo” stumped at least a few of them.

Aging Well: Diabetes workshop begins Tuesday in Steamboat

Jim Pitzer, of Yampa, has had diabetes for about 15 years. In that time, he has gathered a lot of information and advice about managing his condition. o it was mostly curiosity that brought him to the first of six classes aimed at helping individuals with diabetes better manage their symptoms and make healthier choices.

Aging Well: Downsizing does not have to be daunting

Downsizing is a process we undertake, to various degrees, throughout our lives. Still, as we age, we seem to accumulate more stuff while growing more attached to items that have accompanied us throughout the years.

Aging Well: Help available for sleep struggles

It’s easy to take sleep for granted — that is, until zzzzz’s are replaced with restlessness, tossing and turning and daytime exhaustion. People of all ages experience insomnia, snoring, restless leg syndrome and other sleep problems, but these disorders tend to be more prevalent among older adults.

Aging Well: Local gardens offer chance to learn, grow with others

Snow blankets the ground, but plans for community gardens are sprouting up throughout Routt County. Having fresh affordable produce to eat, relieving stress and getting exercise while planting, weeding, watering and harvesting healthy food are among the many reasons gardeners develop green thumbs.

Aging Well: Preparing for healthy travel abroad

Biking through Italy, lounging in Tahiti, volunteering in Guatemala: A plethora of international adventures beckon retirees. They may have more time to travel, but older adults also may have more health concerns. Fear of sickness or injury shouldn’t prevent them or others with medical conditions from planning a getaway, however.

Whole grains: A world of options

In their whole form, ancient and alternative grains, in addition to familiar grains such as wheat, oats, rice and corn, are slowly gaining a foothold in the American diet, providing significant health benefits and improving carbohydrates’ image.

Aging Well: Workshop helps older adults take active role in managing their diabetes

Perhaps more than ever, advances in diabetes treatment and education are helping people with the disease to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Many people, however, still experience serious complications that often can be delayed or prevented altogether with better practices.

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Wellness clinics help seniors monitor their health

Health is a personal matter, and senior wellness clinics involve more than checking a person’s weight, blood pressure and other vitals. The drop-in clinics, offered by the Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, are about developing relationships so seniors feel comfortable discussing issues affecting their well-being.

Aging Well: Radon: ‘Test, don’t guess’

There are many radon myths. Among them: Radon only affects certain types of homes or that a person can rely on a neighbor’s radon test to indicate levels in their own home.

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Aging Well: Aging Well offering computer and ski classes

The New Year has brought new learning and fitness opportunities from Aging Well. In Hayden, Aging Well is partnering with Colorado Northwestern Community College to offer a beginning computer class for older adults at The Haven Community Center. Aging

Aging Well: Library event to highlight spirit of healthy aging

Aging Well offers Tai Chi lesson, film and wellness information at Thursday event

Getting back to the business of life after a frenzied holiday season can be stressful. It may not the best time to set New Year’s resolutions framed as more to-dos. A person might start by worrying less and having more fun — simple yet powerful steps toward feeling better and more capable of tackling other goals.

Aging Well: Seize the holiday spirit and prepare for family gatherings

It’s the holidays. Families gather in warm, festive settings. They are content, at peace and completely immersed in the moment. This is not reality for most families. Whether it’s squabbles or sarcasm, feigned happiness or empty seats at the dinner table, the holidays often highlight tension and conflicts.

Aging Well: Beating the winter and holiday blues

Amidst colorful decorations and holiday music, some smiles mask sadness, anxiety, irritation and hopelessness. For many people, the holiday season is a time for family, friends, festivities and joy. For others, the holidays further emphasize loss or loneliness while making it even harder to cope with depression and other life challenges.

Aging Well: Time and thought go a long way during the holidays

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that some of the most memorable Christmases in my family also had been the toughest financially.

Aging Well: Respite a necessity for caregivers

Caring for a family member with a disability or chronic condition does not come with a road map. Individuals often assume caregiving responsibilities without knowing what tomorrow or the next day will bring.

Aging Well: H1N1 vaccine will be available to everyone — just not yet

Many older adults are confused about flu vaccination guidelines, often because they are urged to get a seasonal flu vaccination, but the H1N1 vaccine isn’t available to most people in their age group.

Aging Well: Aging field offers growing career options

While there is an increasing need for health care professionals skilled in aging issues, the growing number of adults 50 and older also is fueling demand for people to work with, or on behalf of, older adults in many other settings and roles.

Aging Well: Getting the most from nutrition labels

Fill your grocery basket with fresh fruits and vegetables and you know you're buying nutritious products. But choosing healthy processed foods, such as cereal, bread and yogurt, isn't so easy. Nutrition labels required on most foods are an important tool for determining the right choices.