September 2021 – Case Managers

September 2021 – Case Managers

Declutter Our Minds


When we hear the word “declutter” we often think about our home or a physical space. The act of decluttering can be applied to our minds as well. Unless you have addressed this, it is common for adults to have a mind full of “clutter” or thoughts that take up “brain space” and can take focus away from what we are doing in the moment. Here’s an example: Ginger has a stressful day and things didn’t go as planned. When Ginger arrives home, her day is still running through her head when she greets her husband and sits down for dinner. Because her mind is “full” and she is distracted, Ginger isn’t fully listening or engaging in the conversation. Soon she realizes she is too mentally exhausted to even enjoy dinner.





Signs that your brain may be cluttered include:


  •  Focusing on the negative
  •  Worrying about things out of your control
  •  Hanging on to negative experiences
  •  Being indecisive or feeling irritated
  •  Feeling physically exhausted or ill
  •  Having ruminating thoughts
  •  Conducting in negative self-talk
  •  Experiencing loss of focus or creativity
  •  Having a constant need to “do”


Tips for Decluttering Your Brain:


1. Transfer your thoughts to paper by making a list of tasks or random thoughts floating around in your brain.

2. Journal. If solely transferring your thoughts to paper doesn’t do the trick, consider journaling to better explore yourself and your personal beliefs. Journaling is great for managing mental health.

3. Set priorities. Create goals for your priorities and an action plan to meet those goals. Make your actions reflect what is important to you.

4. Reduce or avoid multitasking to increase productivity. Keep in mind we are not multitaskers by nature and it can negatively affect brain function.
5. Breathe. Whether it is simple breathing exercise or meditation, there are so many benefits to breath work.
6. Get good sleep. Read our March 2021 Chronicle, page 14 for more information.
7. Practice being decisive. Life presents us with a series of choices, which can be as simple as milk or water with dinner, or very complicated which can stir up emotions. Avoid letting the “what ifs” paralyze you from making a decision.
8. Challenge negativity. It’s very normal to be sad or disappointed. Be sure to balance those feelings with happiness and positivity. Focus on being compassionate and grateful.
9. Limit the amount of media intake. While it may appear to be “news” or entertainment, it can take up a lot of brain space and lead to worry.
10. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. This can give you clarity and direction.
11. Declutter physical space. Studies have shown that clutter can affect our physical and mental health. Read our June 2021 Chronicle, page 14 for more information.
12. Slow down. Limit what you schedule in your day and know that saying “no thanks” is okay.


Happy Fall everyone! This is my annual reminder to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather. While September is sometimes still very hot, October is almost guaranteed to be enjoyable.


Be well, Julie Larson

Lead Case Manager



My name is Drake Deno and I am incredibly happy to join the wonderful staff here at the Verona Senior Center as a Case Manager. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Spring of 2020 with a major in Social Work and a minor in Theater. I am really looking forward to diving into my first social work position fresh out of college! My four years at Whitewater provided me with several great experiences to prepare me for the workforce, including a Case Management internship, as well as a job as a Supplemental Instructor for one of my many social work classes. Outside of work, you can catch me watching movies, checking in on my favorite sports teams (Bucks, Brewers, Badgers and Minnesota Vikings) and spending time with family. Come by and say hello if you are in the Senior Center. I look forward to meeting everyone soon!


Drake Deno

Case Manager











Case Management can provide seniors, their families and their caregivers with information as well as short term support or ongoing case management support and services. Case management provides confidential needs assessments and referrals to appropriate resources. Case Managers can answer questions about and/or make referrals for:


  •  Nutritious meals, including home-delivered meals
  •  Transportation 
  •  Personal care
  •  Hospice services
  •  Health insurance
  •  Drug coverage/Medicare Part D
  •  State & county programs – resources & eligibility
  •  Elder abuse or neglect
  •  Caregiver support & resources
  •  Social & recreational programs
  •  Scam prevention
  • Tax assistance (referrals)


For assistance and support, contact Julie at 608-848-0440 or