TIPS TO NAVIGATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 19, 2019 — With the holidays approaching, University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers are delivering top tips for navigating the season with good cheer. This listicle provides research-based recommendations on designing energy-efficient light displays; accommodating food allergies; adding healthy choices to the holiday buffet; recycling holiday decor; and decreasing stress to maximize the enjoyment of the season.

Counting calories in real time may curb overindulgence

During the holiday season, an average adult gains about a pound — which is often never lost. This trend may contribute to the U.S.’s increasing rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other long-term illnesses. 

Nebraska agricultural economist Christopher Gustafson is working to help people make healthier decisions about food consumption. In a 2019 study, Gustafson explored whether access to a real-time calorie counter would spur healthier choices. 

Compared to people without a calorie tracker, the participants who used the device had a more accurate view of the number of calories they selected over five sequential food choices. They also chose significantly fewer calories overall. The differences occurred in the last few selections, suggesting that people without a tracker overindulged down the line because they underestimated the caloric value of earlier choices.

This means people may make poorer choices at a later point in time — at dessert or during a second trip through the buffet line, for example — because they’ve undershot their caloric intake to that point.

Until free, real-time calorie trackers are available — a long-range goal of Gustafson’s research — people can help themselves by staying attuned to their actual consumption.

“At a time of year full of holiday celebrations — usually with tempting foods — people may be able to make their New Year’s resolutions easier to accomplish by trying to be honest with themselves about the foods they’re consuming now,” Gustafson said.

Boosting your home’s cheer, but not your energy bill

Holiday lights are beautiful, but they also sap power. Estimates from the Department of Energy indicate Americans’ holiday light use burns 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours annually — enough to fuel more than 800,000 homes for a year.

Luckily there are ways to mitigate power use without turning into the Grinch, said Jerry Hudgins, interim director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research and professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering.

Using LED lights rather than traditional incandescent bulbs yields significant savings, he said. They’re more expensive up front, with an LED bulb costing about $1.50 compared to 25 cents for a same-sized regular bulb. But over time, the investment pays off: LEDs use up to 70% less energy than traditional lights, and they last roughly 10 times longer.

“Because of the lower electrical power requirements, LEDs cause fewer greenhouse gases to be emitted from electric power generation, and so are more environmentally friendly,” Hudgins said.

Another power-saving tip is to put your outdoor lights on a timer, so that they’re running during high-traffic times, when the greatest number of people will enjoy them. Hudgins pointed out that after midnight, few people are out and about to admire your display.

Beyond energy-saving tips, Hudgins recommends people stay safe with outdoor holiday displays by using extension cords that are rated for outdoor use and have the proper gauge wire size. A lower number, or gauge, corresponds to a larger diameter wire and can handle a higher electrical load.

“A long extension cord with small gauge wire can overheat if the electrical load is too high,” Hudgins said.

Helping yourself — and your dog — stay calm

Depleted bank accounts, time with the family and an onslaught of parties and events is enough to bring on the holiday frazzle for many people.

One solution? Jeffrey Stevens, associate professor of psychology and director of Nebraska’s Canine Cognition and Human Interaction Lab, said turning to your four-legged companion for support is a scientifically backed way to ratchet down the pressure.

“Our research has shown that briefly petting a dog can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety,” Stevens said. “So if things get a little overwhelming, spend some quality time with your pet to calm yourself and strengthen your bond.”

Remember, though, the holidays aren’t just stressful for people — dogs can get keyed up too, with extra UPS deliveries, guests in the house and packages on the floor to explore. Stevens said to watch out for dogs’ signs of stress — panting, yawning and lip licking in situations where those behaviors don’t typically occur.

“If it seems like your pet is stressed, make sure they have a quiet place to relax away from the hustle and bustle.”

Stevens launched the Canine Cognition and Human Interaction Lab in 2018, aiming to develop a better understanding of dog psychology and how interacting with dogs influences human behavior and psychology.

Enhancing children’s nutrition during the holidays

‘Tis the season for cookies, candy and sweets — but it’s also possible for families to celebrate the holidays healthfully by incorporating fruits and vegetables.

“You can make healthy foods festive by getting creative with fruits and vegetables to make fun snacks that are bright and delightful,” said Carly Hillburn, a Nebraska dietetics intern and collaborator on the Ecological Approach to Family Style dining program.

Examples include making “Grinch Santas” by stacking green grapes, banana slices and strawberries, or placing sliced strawberries and bananas into a candy cane shape.

The EAT Family Style team also recommends:

> Getting children involved at mealtimes to pique their interest in trying their creations. For example, toddlers can dump ingredients into bowls and stir; preschoolers can use cookie cutters and rinse produce; and elementary-aged children can crack eggs and use vegetable peelers.

> Exploring healthy meals by engaging children’s senses and talking about nutritional benefits. Since children are curious about the world, ask them to explore their food using the five senses. You can ask specific questions about foods, such as “Did you hear the celery crunch when you took a bite?” or incorporate nutritional phrases into mealtimes, such as “Fruits will give my body energy.”

EAT Family Style is led by Dipti Dev, the Betti and Richard Robinson Associate Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies. Saima Hasnin, doctoral student in child, youth and family studies, and Rachel Maloy, an undergraduate in nutrition and dietetics, contributed to this article.

Building happier, healthier families through storytelling

The holiday season is replete with family time and intergenerational gatherings.

Nebraska’s Jody Koenig Kellas, professor of communication studies and an expert on interpersonal, family and health communication, said the family stories we hear and tell can have a significant and lasting impact on family members. For this reason, the holidays can be the perfect time to intentionally engage in storytelling to learn about or revisit family history and create stronger ties.

Koenig Kellas said family stories help create a sense of family identity; socialize members about family meanings, values and beliefs; cope with and make sense of difficulty and stress; and connect with one another. 

But her research shows that how families share stories is crucial.

“Families who engage in storytelling by being present and warm, who share the floor and build on each other’s contributions, who seek out and honor each other’s perspectives on how things happened or the meaning of the story, and who work together to create the meaning or moral of the story – these families report higher levels of health and happiness than families who are distant, disengaged, don’t take each other’s perspectives into account and don’t work together to build story meaning,” Koenig Kellas said.

In short, being mindfully engaged, other-centered and collaborative during the storytelling process is one avenue for promoting family satisfaction and closeness.

Giving your Christmas tree a second life

During the holiday season, decor often includes a fresh-cut Christmas tree. But after the ornaments and lights are back in storage, most real trees end up in landfills, where they can take years to break down.

But there are other options for your evergreen, according to Nebraska Extension horticulture educators Nicole Stoner and Sarah Browning.

Here are their tips:

> Create a backyard habitat to feed the birds: After stripping the tree of decor, move it to the south or east side of your home, anchor it securely and decorate it with strings of popcorn, cranberries or raisins to create a bird oasis. 

> Boost local fish habitat: If you take your tree to a local lake designated for Christmas tree recycling, it will be placed on the lake’s ice in the winter. When the ice melts in spring, the trees fall into the water and function as fish habitat.

> Sustain local parks: Lincoln has several recycling points for Christmas trees, which are collected, chipped and used as mulch or pathway cover in city parks and arboreta.

> Beautify your garden: Chip your tree and use it as garden mulch in the spring. Alternatively, clean up the tree and use it to make a trellis, which can be used to grow cucumbers up off the ground.

Staying merry despite food allergies

Many people love to indulge in the traditional dishes and flavors of the holiday season. But for individuals and families with food allergies, these food-filled events can become dangerous.

“Food allergies are potentially life-threatening conditions affecting millions of Americans, and the only way to prevent reactions is strict avoidance,” said Melanie Downs, assistant professor of food science and technology and a member of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program. “Even very small amounts of food can cause reactions.”

But Downs and Eleanor Garrow-Holding of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team, a FARRP collaborator, said food allergies are manageable, even during the holidays. Here are their tips for event attendees:

> Contact your host and alert them of the allergy and precautions, including not having the allergen present, if necessary.

> Offer to go a little early and help clean.

> Offer to help the host cook the food.

> Have your child eat a snack before you go, so they’re less tempted to grab food when you’re not watching.

> Bring separate dishes that you know your child can eat.

> Remind your child about not eating anything that you haven’t OK’d first.

> Always be prepared with an allergy and anaphylaxis emergency care plan and epinephrine, if prescribed.

More information is available on the FARRP and FAACT websites, https://farrp.unl.edu and https://www.foodallergyawareness.org/education.

Combating holiday blues in children

The wintertime hustle and bustle is overwhelming to some children, particularly those who have experienced a significant change in their life.

Nebraska Extension’s Lisa Poppe, who specializes in the social and emotional well-being of children, said holiday plans that are typically happy and exciting can be complicated by divorce, separation, remarriage or the loss of a parent or other important figure.

“When children are in these situations, the holidays may remind them of how their life was before, and the emotional conflict and stress can ruin their time,” said Poppe, who is part of the Metro Extension District.

Poppe provided the following tips to help children navigate the stress:

> Maintain family traditions even if a parent is absent. Children look forward to the normalcy of these traditions and feel safe in this routine.

> It’s OK if you don’t see everyone or do everything. Overscheduled children become burned out, overtired and cranky.

> Make sure children get plenty of sleep.

> Build in extra time for traveling, and bring plenty of snacks, games and books with you.

> Don’t forget to take care of yourself. When you’re overcommitted or on edge, children feel that stress.

# # #

WRITER: Tiffany Lee, Office of Research and Economic Development

My Chew Bone

Written in 2009 while working on the www.lincoln55plus.com seniors paper.

From time to time, my wife and I take care of a neighbor’s Golden Retriever while his

Ma and Pa travel to visit family or go out on a golf weekend. Although I have no personal knowledge of Brodie’s breeding lineage, to me, he is pure gold. He has all the great traits need- ed to be nothing but loved. He always wants to be near us and sleeps in the bedroom all night. He sits on our feet to be in touch while we scratch his ears. Brodie gets along famously with our two dogs and even our cat. He is respectful of other’s pet food and he loves exploring our back yard. AND he loves his rawhide chew bones.

One chilly morning, I was fas- cinated to watch Brodie and our big ol’ yellow lab, Amy, laying in the grass, chewing on their respective rawhide. They faced each other as if at a dining table with their paws to the front and crossed to hold the bone in place. The chewing was intense and completely focused. There was a perfect harmony in their time together as they needed nothing but space and a little time to gnaw and chew.

I stood there for full 15 minutes wondering if either would break away from the task at hand to look for some other object of interest. Instead they remained dedicated to their work. During that time, I had several thoughts about what they were doing. I realized that chewing was good for their

P.1-16 Lincoln 55+

teeth but that was certainly not important to them. I assume the rawhide had a good flavor but decided that there was more to it.

Chewing on a bone must have an inherent challenge. The rawhide starts out stiff but begins to soften as they work on it. Then a tooth catches hold and progress is made, little bits at a time. The rawhide bones provides a push and a pull while the dogs try to transform it into – into – into what. Into nothing?

And then it dawned on me!

The Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper is my personal rawhide bone. It has a form that starts out rather stiff but seems to offer up something – like clay that wants to be molded into a form. So I chew and I chew and it begins to soften. Soon, it begins to give off an essence that something is about to hap pen. Maybe a new ad will reach the right people and the businessman will report that the ad is paying for itself. Or the Lincoln Artist Guild will report a 25% increase in membership. Maybe a group like the Oscher Lifelong learning folks will double their membership and secure a million dollar endow- ment. This old bone has some pretty nice flavors.

So I chew and chew and once the paper has reached it highest state, I start to deliver them to all the businesses in Lincoln. This is a good flavor also as I visit with store owners. They report how well liked the paper is. And the people I see often claim they read the paper cover to cover. And some that I meet are potential advertisers or have a story to tell. All are more good flavors. And then the 15,000 papers are all gone – just like the chew bone. But I am left with great memories of the flavor and the challenges met and the wonderful thought of that next chew bone. Move over Brodie and Amy. I need some room at the table.

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?
You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

CAPITAL CITY READY FOR UNL GAMEDAY TRAFFIC

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said Lincoln is ready to welcome Husker fans to the Capital City for another season of Nebraska football.  The first of the Huskers’ seven home games starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 31 against South Alabama.  

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • The University of Nebraska adheres to a clear bag policy at Memorial Stadium.  Visit huskers.com/bagpolicy for more information.  
  • Fans should lock their vehicles and move valuable items out of sight.
  • Drinking alcohol is prohibited on City streets, parking lots, garages and sidewalks, including the trail between Haymarket Park and 8th Street.  
  • The sale of tickets, souvenirs or other items is not allowed on City streets or sidewalks.  
  • Officers will issue citations for violations that inhibit the use of the street or sidewalk.  
  • The sale of food, flowers or balloons requires a sidewalk vendor permit.
  • UNL is a smoke/tobacco-free campus.

To avoid gameday traffic and parking challenges, City officials recommend visiting lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: closures) or using the Waze mobile app for maps and street construction information; planning for parking; arriving early; celebrating downtown after games; and using StarTran’s Big Red Express (startran.lincoln.ne.gov).

GETTING TO AND FROM THE GAME

To improve the traffic experience on game day, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, the Lincoln Police Department, the UNL Police Department and Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) work together.  The City provides traffic control on Lincoln streets, while NDOT helps coordinate traffic on I-180 and I-80.  Coordination efforts include traffic planning, pre- and post-game messaging, planned lane and ramp closures and sharing of incidents with all parties involved as they happen.

On football game days, Interstate 80 exits at I-180/Downtown and 27th Street can be congested, so visitors are encouraged to use other routes into Lincoln:

  • From the east, take the Hwy. 6/Cornhusker Hwy. exit 409.  Turn south at State Fair Park Drive and west on Salt Creek Roadway to reach Memorial Stadium, the Champion’s Club and parking facilities east of the stadium and in the Haymarket.
  • From the west, use exit I-80 at Homestead Expressway/Hwy. 77 South, then go east on Rosa Parks Way.
  • Those using I-80 who plan to park in the Haymarket Park lots will experience less congestion if they enter Lincoln using the Airport exit 399.

Those entering Lincoln on southbound I-180/9th Street, are strongly encouraged to use “N” Street and Arena Drive to access the Haymarket, the Haymarket parking garages and Pinnacle Bank Arena.  To improve traffic flow, the following changes will be in effect before and after the games:

  • Two hours before kickoff, southbound 9th Street will be closed starting at the roundabout at 9th Street and Salt Creek Roadway near Memorial Stadium.  The street will reopen once vehicles have left the stadium area after the game.
  • Two hours before kickoff, “R”, “Q” and “P” streets will be closed to traffic from 9th Street.  Drivers coming from I-180 will have to use “N” Street to access the Haymarket Area.   
  • Salt Creek Roadway will have lane restrictions at 14th Street to better manage traffic congestion.
  • 16th Street from Vine to “Q” streets will be closed to northbound traffic.
  • Postgame traffic on northbound 10th Street from “Q” to “T” streets will be restricted to I-180.  No traffic will be allowed to go past the stadium on 10th Street.  The street will reopen once pedestrians have left the stadium area after the game.
  • Following the game, N. 10th Street south of Charleston Street will be closed to southbound traffic. 
  • Following the game, N. 17th Street from Vine to “X” streets will be closed.
  • Following the game, for those that have parked in the Haymarket Garages, 7th Street from “N” to “M” streets will be one-way southbound and “M” Street from 7th to 9th streets will be a one-way eastbound.

Other gameday events include the Haymarket Farmers Market every Saturday through October 12 and Railyard entertainment and activities on Fridays and Saturdays.  The Cube in the Railyard will show football games all day on Saturdays.  The area of the Haymarket Farmers Market will close from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday through October 12.  North 7th and 8th streets as well as Canopy Street will close from “P” to “Q” streets. “P” Street will close from 7th to 8th Street and “Q” Street will close from 7th to Canopy streets.

Some City road construction projects may impact gameday traffic:

  • The southern two lanes of “Q” Street between N. 11th and N. 12th streets are closed.
  • Southbound N. 14th Street between Fletcher Avenue and Morton Street will be closed through September 13.

Other traffic reminders:

  • Stadium Drive west of the stadium will be closed to all vehicular traffic.  Passenger drop-off and pick-up will not be allowed in front of the Stadium before or after the game.
  • Uber, Lyft and taxi drop-off and pickup will be located at the bus stop in front of Henzlik Hall, 1430 Vine St.
  • Charter buses will park on “W” Street between 14th and 16th streets.
  • 17th Street from “R” to Vine streets (on the UNL City Campus) is closed.
  • Vine Street from N. Antelope Valley Pkwy to 16th Street (on the UNL City Campus) has been reduced to single eastbound and westbound lanes with a bike lane in each direction.

Those choosing to ride bicycles to the game have several options:

  • The “N” Street Cycle Track is a protected bikeway for the exclusive use of cyclists on the south side of “N” Street from 23rd Street to Arena Drive.  
  • Downtown bike lanes are on 14th Street from “L” to “R” streets and on 11th Street from “Q” to “D” streets.  
  • Bike lanes are now open on Vine and 16th streets on UNL City’s Campus. 
  • Bike UNL offers free bike valet service for all home games.  Cyclists can drop off their bikes on the east side of Cook Pavilion near 14th and “W” streets two hours prior to kickoff.  The service also accepts BikeLNK bicycles from the City bike share program.  All bikes must be picked up within one hour after the game.  For more information on the bike valet service, visit bike.unl.edu/bikevalet or call 402-472-4777.  For more information on BikeLNK, visit bikelnk.bcycle.com.

GAMEDAY PARKING

Parking meters are enforced Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The following fine system is in effect:

  • If the ticket is paid online within seven days from when it is written, the fine is $9.
  • If the ticket is paid in person or through the mail within seven days, the fine is $10.
  • If the ticket is paid after seven days, the fine is $25 in person or by mail or $24 online.

To avoid parking tickets, fans can purchase a $10 tag for all-day, on-street parking in metered stalls from any City employee wearing a Parking Services shirt at City-operated parking facilities.

Fans can also reserve pre-paid parking in the Haymarket and other City garages through parkandgo.org.  Rates for the four West Haymarket garages are $25, and the other rates vary by garage.  Limited parking will be available for $25 in the VIP Parking Garage attached to the southwest side of Pinnacle Bank Arena.  Parking garages available in the West Haymarket are:

  • Red 1, 555 “R” Street
  • Green 2, 530 “P” Street
  • Blue 3, 535 “P” Street
  • Lumberworks, 700 “N” Street

Reserved, reduced-price, pre-paid football parking is also available through parkandgo.org for these locations:

  • County-City lots – North (10th and “K”), South (701 S. 10th) and West (802 “J”) – $20 on site and $15 online
  • Carriage Park (1120 “L”), Cornhusker Square (1220 “L”) and Center Park (1100 “N”) – $25 on site, $20 online
  • Haymarket (9th and “Q”), Lincoln Station South (7th and “P”), Market Place (10th and “Q”), Que Place (1111 “Q”), Red 1 (555 “R”), Green 2 (530 “P”), Blue 3 (535 “P”), University Square (101 N. 14th), Larson Building (1317 “Q”), West Depot lot (676 “O”), Lumberworks (700 “N”) – $30 on site, $25 online
  • Sun Valley and Charleston St. lot near Oak Lake Park – vehicle parking is $10 on site and online; RV parking is $50 on site and $45 online
  • “N” Street Gravel lot, “N” Street and Arena Drive – vehicle parking is $30 and RV parking is $75 on site  
  • 14th and New Hampshire lot – vehicle parking is $20 on site and $15 online, and RV parking is $100 on site and online.
  • 1318 “M” Street Garage – $25 on site and $20 online
  • 233 S. 14th Street lot – $30 on site and $20 online

Grills are not allowed in City garages.  Grills are allowed at the 14th and New Hampshire lot and at the Sun Valley and Charleston lot.  Fans planning to stay Friday night on City property must purchase their parking online and display the permit in their RV overnight.  RV parking is not allowed at the Haymarket Park baseball/softball complex.  

UNL parking lots will be available for use six hours prior to kick off.  Grills are not allowed in University garages. Gameday parking information and maps are available at parking.unl.edu/ (keyword: football).

Alcohol Consumption

Nebraska State Statute (Chapter 53-186) prohibits the consumption of alcohol on state property. It is unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic liquor upon property owned or controlled by the state or any governmental subdivision thereof unless authorized by the governing bodies having jurisdiction over such property.

Parking is available at the following University areas on game days:

  • 17th and “R” garage – $25 day of game, $175 season
  • 19th and Vine garage – $25 day of game, $175 season
  • 14th and Avery Garage, limited space- $25 day of game, $175 season
  • 15th and Vine streets – $25
  • 1410 “Q” St. – $25
  • 16th and “X” streets – $25
  • 17th and Vine streets – $25 day of game, $175 season
  • Anderson Hall, 16th St. between “P” and “Q” streets – $25
  • Beadle Center, 19th St. north of “S” St. – $25
  • 519 N 19th Street between “S” and “U” streets – $25
  • 900 North 22nd St. – $20
  • 22nd and Vine streets – $20
  • 1700 “Y” St. – $25
  • 14th and Court streets – $10
  • 16th and Court streets – $10
  • 14th St. and Military Road – $10                                           

Wheelchair accessible parking is available for $25 per vehicle at UNL Lot 5, Stadium Drive and Salt Creek Roadway. Handicapped parking is available at:

  • 14th and “R” streets – $25
  • 14th and Avery garage – $25, with free cart shuttle
  • 14th and “U” streets, east of Morrill Hall – $25
  • 14th St. between Vine and “W” streets, free on-street parking where available

Several private lots are available.  Rates vary, and some offer season passes. 

Vehicles blocking driveways, parked too close to the intersection, parked on public right of way or interfering with vehicle or pedestrian traffic will be towed.  Vehicles will also be subject to towing if parked on job sites or driving lanes on streets or in unfinished areas.  Vehicles towed by order of the Police or a Parking Control Officer are subject to a $50 towing fine in addition to the $49.53 required to retrieve a vehicle from the impoundment lot.  The towing fine does not apply to cars towed from private lots.

BIG RED EXPRESS

In addition to its regular routes, StarTran will provide its Big Red Express service on Husker game days starting two hours before kickoff from six locations:

  • The City Municipal Service Center (I-80 airport, exit 399), 949 W. Bond (take first right north of McDonald’s) 
  • Southeast Community College, 88th and “O” streets, south parking lot
  • Holmes Lake, 70th Street and Normal, north end of lake
  • Gateway Mall, 61st and “O” streets, southeast parking area at Sears
  • SouthPointe Pavilions, 27th and Pine Lake Road, south of Von Maur
  • North Star High School (I-80 airport exit 403), 5801 N. 33rd St. (six blocks east of 27th Street and Folkways Blvd.)

Buses will drop off and depart from “R” Street between 12th and 14th streets.  The last bus will leave the lot 45 minutes prior to kickoff.  The cost is $5 each way, and exact change is required.  No bills larger than $20 will be accepted.  Electronic signs will help direct fans to the Big Red Express locations near the interstate.  Big Red Express season tickets, good for round-trip travel for all home games, are available for $50, a $20 savings, at StarTran, 710 “J” Street, or at the lots on game day.  Tickets also can be purchased via smart phone by texting “TOKEN” to 41411 to receive a download link.  For more information, call 402-476-1234 or visit startran.lincoln.ne.gov.

The Top 10 Most FAQs Concerning Alzheimer’s Disease

Edited By: Krista Mc’Farlene

Alzheimer’s disease is a word many of us are familiar with. But do we know enough about the disease and how it may impact our lives – how it begins, what it does and what cures are available? These FAQs seek to provide a well-rounded foundation on Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s FAQ – Read details at this link. https://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=22712

1. What is Alzheimer’s disease?

2. What is dementia? Dementia is a loss of thinking, remembering and reasoning skills that tends to interfere with a person’s daily life and activities.

3. How many people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? (…)  it is believed that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.

5. What are the stages in the development of Alzheimer’s disease?

6. What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

Age is the most well-known risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical exercise as well as long-term health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes may also play a role.

7. If you become forgetful as you get older, does that mean you will get Alzheimer’s disease?

8. Why is early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s important?

9. Are there any medicines to treat Alzheimer’s disease?

10. Is there anything I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

How to Deal with 21 Critical Issues Facing Aging Seniors

$44.00 | $33.00 (25% off) | 310 pages

Aging seniors and their families are often confounded by the complexity of issues facing the elderly. Not only do older Americans have to contend with declining income, increased debt and poor investment returns, but they have to deal with declining health, medical crises, complex insurance programs, long term care challenges, who-gets-what decisions, end-of-life, where to live in their final years and a whole range of other difficult situations requiring hard decisions. This book takes a comprehensive approach to issues facing aging seniors and attempts to address these problems and provide solutions to many of the challenges.

Here is a list of the aging senior issues covered in this publication:

  1. Reduced Spending Power
  2. Evaluating Savings and Investments
  3. Converting Assets to Income
  4. Transferring Assets to the Next Generation
  5. Understanding Medicare
  6. Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans
  7. Maintaining Good Personal Health
  8. Strategies for Successful Aging
  9. Living Arrangements for Aging Seniors
  10. Services for Aging Seniors
  11. Government and Community Aging Services
  12. Planning for Long Term Care
  13. Informal Family Caregivers
  14. The Family Care Plan and Caregiving Agreement
  15. Medicare Temporary Care Services
  16. Medicaid Long Term Care
  17. Benefits for Senior Veterans
  18. Long Term Care Insurance and Short Term Care Insurance
  19. Planning for Final Years – Legal Issues
  20. Planning for End-of-Life – Dying
  21. Planning for End-of-Life – Final Arrangements

https://www.longtermcarelink.net/a16_21-Critical-Issues-Facing-Aging-Seniors.htm

7 Tips for Getting a Senior With a Loss of Appetite to Eat

7 Tips for Getting a Senior With a Loss of Appetite to Eat

Posted On 09 Aug 2019By : Kristen Hicks

A loss of appetite is an all too common symptom of aging. Anywhere from 15-30% of seniors are estimated to experience it, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) statistic. But knowing how common it is doesn’t make it any less difficult to face when a parent or senior loved one is affected.
Learn more from these seven tips that healthcare professionals have shared to get a senior with a loss of appetite to eat. Click the link for explanations.  (From A Place for Mom)

1. Consider therapy.
2. Eat off red dishes.
3. Find out what a loved one wants to eat
4. Make it easy to eat.
5. Talk to a doctor.
6. Think beyond mealtimes.
7. Try acupuncture.

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/tips-for-getting-a-senior-with-a-loss-of-appetite-to-eat/

Caregivers Find Comfort in Senior Monitoring Sensors

Caring From a Distance

long-distance caregiver is defined as someone who lives an hour or more away from the person who needs care.

The National Institute on Aging estimates there are nearly 7 million long-distance caregivers in the United States.

Long-distance caregivers rely on technology to help them perform caregiving duties like medication management, learning more about treatment plans, searching for services, and ultimately, to gain more control of their loved one’s safety.

Kathy Kelly, executive director of the Family Caregiver Alliance explains, “Technology can help a caregiver stay in closer touch with their relative and gain a greater sense of control over the same situation.”

Full Story —> https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/caregivers-find-comfort-in-senior-monitoring-sensors/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=070819&utm_term=US%20Newsletter&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTWpobVlqSTVNakJsT1RnNSIsInQiOiI4cXN4NzJjODNpd2J5RmNlMkZrYzFBZkRUMmpTMlI3U0xzMGJ3N2xVUFVuRmhcL0F0UmVZZkQxQWVPUjdIZjEyZjBwMnRRUXplVHgxXC9cL1pLMEJ3WTZmYzJlSVEwNzhSbm5hc1pEb3NsYjhDa3U3cXA4MWNLTDVFNUNwRHJmUFkyWCJ9https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/caregivers-find-comfort-in-senior-monitoring-sensors/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=070819&utm_term=US%20Newsletter&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTWpobVlqSTVNakJsT1RnNSIsInQiOiI4cXN4NzJjODNpd2J5RmNlMkZrYzFBZkRUMmpTMlI3U0xzMGJ3N2xVUFVuRmhcL0F0UmVZZkQxQWVPUjdIZjEyZjBwMnRRUXplVHgxXC9cL1pLMEJ3WTZmYzJlSVEwNzhSbm5hc1pEb3NsYjhDa3U3cXA4MWNLTDVFNUNwRHJmUFkyWCJ9

LINCOLN HISTORY LUNCH SERIES

Aging Partners invites senior citizens and the public to the Lincoln History Lunch Series at Gere Library, 2400 S. 56th St.  The presentations are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and highlight Lincoln’s history and evolution.  A sack lunch is available for a fee of $4 for age 60 and over, and an $8 fee for those under age 60.  Meal reservations must be made on the Monday prior to the program by calling 402-441-7158.  The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, July 17 – “Lost Restaurants of Lincoln” with Jeff Korbelik, Lincoln Journal Star.  Lincoln has a history rich with delicious food and unique stories.  Long-time restaurant reviewer Korbelik remembers Lincoln’s most memorable eateries and shares his stories.
  • Wednesday, August 21 – “Historical Movie Theaters” with Ed Zimmer and Jim McKee.  Don’t miss this visual tour of Lincoln’s many historic theaters by two of Lincoln’s favorite historians.
  • Wednesday, September 18 – “John Johnson” with Ed Zimmer.  John Johnson was a Lincoln native, Lincoln High School graduate and University of Nebraska football player.  He also was a talented photographer who provides a unique view of early 20th century Lincoln, especially of Lincoln’s African-American community.

The Lincoln History Lunch Series is co-sponsored by Aging Partners and Lincoln City Libraries.  For more information on Aging Partners, visit aging.lincoln.ne.gov.

4 Reasons Why Independent or Assisted Living May Trump Living Alone

Last Updated: June 14, 2019

While remaining at home is the top choice for many, research from AARP and MetLife Mature Market Institute shows that it may not be the best option for the family budget, overall happiness or quality of life in our golden years.4 Reasons Why Independent or Assisted Living May Trump Living Alone

Many people don’t want to make the move into an independent or assisted living community and feel they lose their independence when they succumb to moving. But this simply isn’t true anymore, as baby boomers have reinvented assisted living. Learn more about how many independent and assisted living communities have expanded their market by providing convenience and retirement services and may trump living alone.

Why Independent or Assisted Living May Trump Living Alone

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/4-reasons-why-independent-or-assisted-living-may-trump-living-alone/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=061719&utm_term=US%20Newsletter&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWldaa1pqVTJPVGhsTVdGayIsInQiOiJubU90T1piNEx1bGdXYlFhQ3MwUmE4Y3kzdzdvK29pekNYcDFRV2lPeFdzNXppSW1uTUkrYk8wXC9cL2JQN1poTzgwWWptNmRnSytJQlZ0WmZZK053elNSdWVHckNpK1djR0RRY2huaWF3d0hNNHNWTkxLNEEwTXQ0WFFhdXhOYkZiIn0%3D

8 Epic Wine Tours You Need To Take In Nebraska This Year

Sponsored by Nebraska Wine Tours Posted in Nebraska June 14, 2016

It seems many people are under the impression that you need a balmy Mediterranean climate to produce the best wine grapes. Those people must not have had the opportunity to taste Nebraska wines. Although our climate is temperamental and our growing season is shorter than in, say, Bordeaux, Nebraska soil produces some exceptional grapes.

Our grapes aren’t the same as those grown in France, Italy, or even Napa Valley. The distinct taste of a wine comes from the soil, the air, the sun, and the water where the grapes are grown as well as the variety of grape. Nebraska wines reflect our state’s unique growing conditions. They are quite literally unlike any other wines you’ll ever taste.

The first commercial winery in Nebraska since Prohibition has been operating since 1994. In the intervening two decades, approximately 30 more have opened their doors to share the fruits of their vines. If you’re curious to try these uniquely delicious libations (and why wouldn’t you be?), these eight wine tours, organized by Nebraska Wine Tours, put Nebraska wines within easy reach.

Right-Click here to open.

7 Gentle Exercises for Seniors With Arthritis

7 Gentle Exercises for Seniors With Arthritis

It may be hard for a senior to motivate themselves to exercise when they are experiencing an arthritis flare-up. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise may be the best way to improve your overall activity level and manage the pain.

Learn more about seven gentle exercises that you can pursue to improve your health and reduce your arthritis pain, without causing more stress to sensitive joints.

Before You Begin Exercising

All seniors should talk to their doctor before they begin a new exercise regime. Your doctor may want to test your cardiovascular health before you begin. They may also have valuable advice about exercises that are best for you considering your health conditions.

When you begin exercising, you should spend several minutes warming up whichever part of your body you are going to work – and be sure to exercise your left and right sides equally.

If at any time during exercise you feel pain, you should stop. Physiotherapists can help those who are struggling to exercise without pain.

Here are seven gentle exercises that you can pursue to reduce arthritis pain:

Arthritis in the Hands or Wrists

1. Fist Close: Maintaining finger flexibility is key for those with arthritis in the hands. This simple exercise can help. Simply ball your hand into a fist, slowly if it is challenging. Hold your hand in a fist for five seconds, or as long as you can. Release and repeat.

2. Wrist Bends: Some with arthritis find that their wrists get stuck or can’t bend as far as they need them too. This exercise can help, when practiced regularly. Place your elbow on a tabletop, with your hand pointing to the ceiling. Slowly push back your open palm with your other hand. Don’t push so hard you feel pain, but do try to go as far as you can. Hold for five seconds and release. Now push your hand forward, hold for five seconds and release.

3. Make an “O”: This last exercise may be a challenge if you have very serious arthritis, but it can also be very useful. Attempt to make an “O” shape with your hand. Hold your fingers together, bend your thumb, and gently try to touch your thumb to your index finger. You will get better at this exercise with time.

Arthritis in the Hips or Knees

4. Sitting Stretch: This exercise will gently move your hips and as a bonus, stretch your leg muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly bend forward at the hips and reach for your feet. Most likely, you will not be able to reach very far at first, so don’t push yourself. Over time you will become more flexible.

5. Step-Ups: Gently bending your knee will help relieve pain. You don’t need special equipment to do this. Instead, find the nearest staircase. Hold on to the banister for balance, if necessary, and step one leg onto the bottom step, then the other. Move backward off the step and repeat.

Arthritis in the Ankles or Feet

6. Ankle Circles: Seniors may wish to hold onto the side of a chair, for balance, when they try this exercise. Stand up and raise one foot off the floor. Point your toe and draw a circle. This moves your ankle through its full range of motion. Draw five circles and then change direction. Be sure to do the other ankle too.

Arthritis in Multiple Areas

7. Swimming: It can be especially challenging to exercise when you have arthritis in multiple joints. One way to relieve pain and move all of these suffering joints is by swimming. Water takes the weight off all of your joints so you can move them further with less pain. If you can no longer swim, or don’t enjoy it, you can join water aerobic classes where you spend most of the time standing on the bottom of the pool.

It may be a challenge to adjust to a new exercise at first. However, seniors with arthritis have a lot to gain from trying a few gentle exercises a day.

How do you deal with your arthritis pain? Which gentle exercises are your favorite? We’d like to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

Related Articles:

7 Gentle Exercises for Seniors With Arthritis posted by Kimberley Fowler

YOUR MEDICARE RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS

Did you know that Medicare has an ombudsman to help you resolve complaints you may have about your healthcare? Congress created the job of Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman to assist people with Medicare with their inquiries, complaints, grievances, appeals, and requests for information. The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman also shares information with Congress, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and other organizations about what works well and what doesn’t work well to improve the quality of the care you get through Medicare.

If you need help with a Medicare-related inquiry, there are several ways you can get help.

1. Call your plan. If your inquiry is related to your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan, contact your plan first using the phone number on your plan member ID card. Your plan is the best resource to resolve plan-related issues.

2. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. If your concern is related to Original Medicare, or if your plan was unable to resolve your inquiry, contact 1-800-MEDICARE for help.

3. Contact the SHIP. The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provide free, high-quality counseling to people with Medicare regarding their benefits, coverage, appeals, and complaints. SHIP counselors are volunteers who often have Medicare themselves, so they know the issues and they’re not trying to sell you anything. Find your local SHIP at https://www.shiptacenter.org/

4. Contact the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. If you have been unable to resolve your concern with your plan or 1-800-MEDICARE, ask a 1-800-MEDICARE representative to submit your complaint or inquiry to the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will help to ensure that your inquiry is resolved appropriately.

May 2019 – FREE STOP THE BLEED CLASSES

Lincoln City Libraries will host four free Stop the Bleed training classes in May.  The courses coincide with Stop the Bleed Month, a nationwide campaign to highlight emergency first aid training.  Classes are limited to 20 participants each.  Call 401-441-8503 to register.   The training schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, May 2, 6:30 p.m., Anderson Branch Library, 3635 Touzalin Avenue
  • Monday, May 6, 2 p.m., Eiseley Branch Library, 1530 Superior Street
  • Friday, May 17, 10:30 a.m., Walt Branch Library, 6701 S. 14th Street
  • Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m., Gere Branch Library, 2400 S. 56th Street

According to the American College of Surgeons, citizen responders will almost always be first on the scene of an emergency medical situation, no matter how quickly professional emergency responders arrive.    Because an injured person can die from blood loss within minutes, those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.

The training program is presented by the City of Lincoln Risk Management Division and Bryan Health.  Training is appropriate for teens and adults and lasts about an hour.

For information about Lincoln City Libraries and its resources, visit www.lincolnlibraries.org.   More information on Stop the Bleed is available at www.bleedingcontrol.org.

AGING PARTNERS EVENTS APRIL 8 THROUGH APRIL 14

SENIORS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE

Read this if you are a senior in Lincoln Nebraska.   Aging Partners invites senior citizens and the general public to attend a variety of senior-focused activities and classes in Lincoln and Lancaster County from April 8 through April 14:

Monday, April 8

  • Musical performance by The Clefs, Downtown Senior Center – 10 a.m.
  • Qigong Refresh and Recharge class, Cotner Center Condominium – 10 to 11 a.m.
  • BINGO, Firth Senior Center – 12:30 p.m.
  • 10-point Pitch, Northeast Senior Center – 12:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Tai Chi – Continuing 24 Form, Cotner Center Condominium – 1 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, Eastridge Presbyterian Church – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Dynamic Movement class, Cotner Center Condominium – 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, Eastridge Presbyterian Church – 3 to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 9

  • Learn to speak Spanish class, Downtown Senior Center – 9:30 a.m.
  • Chair Tai Chi, St. Paul United Methodist Church – 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Dynamic Movement class, Auld Pavilion – 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, F Street Recreation Center – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Beginners 8 Form Tai Chi for Balance and Fall Prevention class, Auld Pavilion – 10:45 to 11:45 p.m.
  • 24 Form Tai Chi, F Street Recreation Center – 6 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 10

  • Senior Walking Warriors, Hickman Senior Center – 9 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Senior Health Promotion UNMC Health Clinic, Vermeer Education Center – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Book Buddies, Downtown Senior Center – 9:30 a.m.
  • BINGO, Northeast Senior Center – 10 a.m.
  • Physical activity and exercise class, Asian Senior Center – 10 a.m.
  • BINGO, Downtown Senior Center – 10:30 a.m.
  • BINGO, JoAnn Maxey Senior Center – 11:30 a.m.
  • 10-Point Pitch and Bridge, Northeast Senior Center – 12:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Chair Yoga, Eastridge Presbyterian Church – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 11

  • Qigong Refresh and Recharge class, Auld Pavilion – 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Senior Health Promotion UNMC Health Clinic, Downtown Senior Center – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Writer’s workshop, Northeast Senior Center – 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Poetry reading and writer’s workshop with Carol Roland, Downtown Senior Center – 10:30 a.m.
  • “Colorful Magic” with magician Bruce Jacoby, Bennet Senior Center – 10:30 a.m.
  • Musical performance by Robert Patton and Nancy Vogt, Lake Street Senior Center – 10:30 a.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, F Street Recreation Center – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Musical performance by Mike McCracken and Pete Spotted Horse, Belmont Senior Center – 11 a.m.
  • Lincoln City Libraries Bookmobile visit, Lake Street Senior Center – noon to 1 p.m.
  • Stepping On – Building Confidence and Reducing Falls class, Eastmont Towers (Seasons) – 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, Eastridge Presbyterian Church – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Tai Chi – Moving for Better Balance, Eastridge Presbyterian Church – 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Dynamic Movement class, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church gymnasium – 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • “Dinner and a Show” featuring Hillbilly Hal Cottrell, Cotner Center Condominium – dinner at 5:30 p.m., show at 6:30 p.m. (call 402-441-7158 by April 9 for reservations)

Friday, April 12

  • Musical performance by Mike McCracken, Northeast Senior Center – 10 a.m.
  • Chair Yoga, East Lincoln Christian Church – 11 a.m. to noon
  • 10-point Pitch, Northeast Senior Center – 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Senior Center Meal Schedule (reservations required two working days in advance):

Belmont Senior Center (402-441-7990):  Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon

Bennet Senior Center (402-416-7693):  Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon

Downtown Senior Center (402-441-7154):  Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Firth Senior Center (402-416-7693):  Mondays at 11:30 a.m.

Hickman Senior Center (402-416-7693):  Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.

JoAnn Maxey Senior Center (402-441-7849): Wednesdays and Fridays at noon

Lake Street Senior Center (402-441-7157):  Monday – Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Northeast Senior Center (402-441-7151):  Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Waverly Senior Center (402-416-7693):  Fridays at 11:30 a.m.

Location addresses:

Asian Senior Center, 144 N. 44th St.

Auld Pavilion, 1650 Memorial Drive

Belmont Senior Center, 1234 Judson St.

Bennet Senior Center, 970 Monroe St.

Cotner Center Condominium, 1540 N. Cotner Blvd.

Downtown Senior Center, 1005 “O” St.

East Lincoln Christian Church, 7001 Edenton Road

Eastmont Towers (Seasons), 6305 “O” St.

Eastridge Presbyterian Church, 1135 Eastridge Drive

F Street Recreation Center, 1225 “F” St.

Firth Senior Center, 311 Nemaha St.

Hickman Senior Center, 115 Locust St.

JoAnn Maxey Senior Center, 2032 “U” St.

Lake Street Senior Center, 2400 S. 11th St.

Northeast Senior Center, 6310 Platte Ave.

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 8550 Pioneers Blvd.

St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1144 “M” St.

Vermeer Education Center, 4000 S. 84th St.

Waverly Senior Center, 14410 Folkestone St.

For information on classes or to register, call 402-441-7575.  Roundtrip transportation is available for senior center meals and activities in Lincoln only by calling the centers directly (phone numbers listed in meal schedule).  For more information on senior center events and activities, visit lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: My Center News) or call 402-441-7158

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