22 Dec January 2021 – Case Managers
Let’s Talk About Driving!
Do you ever wonder to yourself “Should I still be driving?” Or has a family member expressed concern about your safety while driving? When someone is getting older or hits a certain age it doesn’t automatically mean they should stop driving. To assess your personal situation it is important to be honest with yourself and be aware of how you drive and your comfort level while driving. Below is a list of warning signs it may be time to think about hanging up the keys.
Warning Signs You May Want to Consider Driving Less or Stop Driving
- Stopping at green lights, running red lights
- Getting lost to the point you need assistance
- Hitting curbs while turning or backing up
- Frequent dings, dents and scrapes
- Having frequent “close calls” or near-accidents
- Change in mood while driving
- Driving too slow or too fast
- Someone is concerned about your driving
- Feeling nervous while driving
- Having trouble turning to look or reaching pedals
Here are a few other things to consider:
Refresher Driving Course – AARP offers a Smart Driver Course for seniors that is designed for drivers over 50 and uses research-based strategies. Besides improving your driving, it may land you a discount on your insurance! It is currently being offered online. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic the course is offered at the Senior Center.
Drive Less – Sometimes reducing the amount you drive or where you drive can allow you to drive longer. Sticking to driving in good weather, during the day, in familiar areas and avoiding highways can be a safe alternative to throwing in the keys completely. Consider making other arrangements when you need to go to downtown Madison or another busy area for an appointment. There are options! Be your own advocate. Just ask!
Making the Decision – Let me ask you this, which sounds better? A. Someone telling you can’t have another piece of cake or B. Deciding for yourself that you aren’t going to have another piece of cake? I’m guessing most would answer B. Sometimes being in control and making the decision for ourselves makes it a whole lot easier.
Finding Alternatives – Be proactive! Consider reaching out to your local senior center to find out what resources are available for seniors who don’t drive or limit driving. When the time comes this will make the transition easier.
Find the Silver Lining! – Many people would say “What silver lining!?” People who don’t drive, don’t have car expenses and don’t have to pay car insurance!
Hello Everyone! Here we are in January, 2021. A year ago no one could have predicted that 2020 would pan out how it did. I’ve been calling it the “Year of the Mask.” We are starting out the year at a distance from, what feels like, everyone and everything.
I am very thankful for an end in sight. This winter will be difficult, more so for some than others. All of us at the senior center are here to support you. If you need extra phone calls to check in or chat, please call me…my number is 608-848-0440. As for me, I will be trying to keep busy by reading a book, sitting at our family puzzle table and probably watching another series on Netflix. Maybe Mother Nature will go easy on us with snow this year?!?! That would be nice! Stay safe, Julie
Happy New Year
I rarely make a New Year’s resolution because I hardily ever (as in never) keep them. With that said, I plan on making some changes in 2021. The past year has been filled with unknowns and disappointments. Although 2020 slowed many of us down, I would probably bet that it “wore” many of us down too. I feel it and I bet you do, too. Maybe you are really diligent about self-care; a term we hear often these days. If you are, that’s great. But for many of us, we put our needs at the very bottom of the pile. Maybe, we plain old don’t know where to go or what we have to do to help ourselves mentally and physically cope in these trying times.
Our bodies can react in strange and painful ways when tension continues to build up in our system. We might not be aware that it’s even happening until we feel the effects. Check out the anxiety chart pictured below. Can you relate to any of those symptoms? Of course, not all ailments that we experience are because of stress, anxiety or worry, but many are! One thing I learned in 2020, was that it is important to listen and recognize when your body is telling you something and figure out what helps you to manage it when it does. For example, I learned that when I begin to feel my muscles tighten or I have trouble sleeping, focusing on how I’m breathing and clearing my mind helps a lot. There are many resources to help you learn what works best you. If you have internet access, Google is a great tool. There are lots of free classes offered online that can help too. Podcasts and YouTube have great resources to help us unwind.
Relax Your Muscles
Until I learned some relaxation techniques, I was completely unaware that when I went to bed, my jaw, neck, back and shoulders were unbelievably tight. (Many people hold tension in their jaw). I didn’t even know that “relaxing your jaw” was a thing until I tried it!
Breathing. Some call it meditation, mindfulness or mindful breathing, but simply paying attention to how you breathe can be really helpful.
Clear Your Mind
This can be a hard one, but when you are trying to ease your tension, a helpful step can be clearing your mind and focusing on yourself in the present moment. Clearing your mind is also helpful when trying to get to sleep at night
Benefits of Meditation
According to the UW Alzheimer’s disease Research Center Website, meditation
- Improves brain function and memory
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces pain and improves sleep
There are lots of free guided podcasts and classes to teach you how to breathe, relax and clear your mind! Call me to learn more. Becky
Olivia will be 9 months old on January 11! She likes stuffed animals, carrots, books and bath time. She is trying to sound out words and can army crawl like a pro. I’m not sure what she’s saying, but this girl likes to talk! Still no teeth!