Simple Ways For Seniors To Stay Fit at Home

Staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 means that we’re not able to engage in our normal physical activities like going to a gym, participating in group classes, or playing sports. Being more sedentary can take its toll on our health, especially for older adults, but there are ways to stay fit and active while staying home.

Start by looking for ways to incorporate strength training or cardio workouts into your everyday activities. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests using your own body weight to your advantage by combining household tasks with extra movement, such as:

  • Doing heel raises in front of the sink when washing the dishes
  • Before putting your groceries away, using the full bags to add resistance to biceps curls or front shoulder raises
  • Taking advantage of commercial breaks when watching TV to complete a cardio circuit in your home, including chair sit-stands, a lap around the house (with stairs if available), and chair or wall push-ups
  • During your favorite streaming show, try seated knee lifts, kicks, foot slides, punches or arm circles

If you prefer more structure for your exercise routine, it’s easy to find a live or on-demand online class for nearly every interest—from Zumba to Silver Sneakers to yoga.

If you have a membership with a local health and fitness organization, like the YMCA, many are offering online classes as a member benefit. In addition, numerous free class options can be found on YouTube through a simple search or on popular websites, such as AARP.com.

Movement is an important tool for reducing stress and improving overall health, which helps us to cope with the anxiety and isolation of the pandemic. Take advantage of opportunities to be active throughout your day and you’ll soon find that a few minutes here and there can add up to better well-being.

One reminder about getting creative with your at-home exercise: don’t get hurt. Pay attention to how your body is feeling as you work out and don’t overdo it.

BY MARTINA PRESTON

Yoga and meditation in your workday

Right now, working and studying from home and managing through a pandemic is stressful. It’s more important now than ever to take care of your mental and physical health in these trying times. Yoga is growing in popularity as people experience the benefits of the practice, meditation and breathwork. Benefits include:

• Managing stress and promoting clarity and improved focus and attention span. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your task list, sometimes a time-out is just what the mind needs to regroup and get back on track.

• Promoting an awareness around the important mind/body relationship so you can pay closer attention to the signals your body is giving you. For example, are your shoulders up by your ears as you are talking to your boss? Try to relax by softening your shoulders and jaw, and take 3 to 5 slow deep breaths.

• Yoga creates strength and flexibility while fostering relaxation to reduce injury and improve well-being. Tension in the body can lead to tension in the mind.

• Yoga improves balance, energy, vitality and circulation. Feeling sluggish? Get up for a few minutes and move and stretch your body. Your mind and body will thank you!

Here are some tips to get you started:

• Start small. Studies show that just 5 to 10 minutes of quiet conscious breathing can help reduce your stress response.

• Go easy on the java! Our morning cup of joe can help get us started, but overdoing it can actually cause a stress response in the body and get our mind going too fast. Some warm lemon water or tea is a great substitute.

• Get some movement in and keep your blood flowing. Make sure to stretch your neck, shoulders, and chest for suppleness.

• Silence your phone for 5 or 10 minutes and enjoy the quiet whisper of your own breath.

For Additional Information
Tuladhara Yoga
tuladharayoga.com/classes/mobile-yoga
info@tuladharayoga.com

Code Lavender: Caring for our Caregivers

Caring for the community during a pandemic can take a toll on frontline and other essential health care heroes.

“There were days when you just wanted to cry, because these patients that you work so hard on to get them better, they weren’t going to get better,” Heidi Strub, RT, at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, shares.

“It was not difficult just emotionally, it was draining physically,” Max Ceban, RT, at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, adds. “It’s a dark memory in my life.”

It is because of this very reason that MultiCare has created the Code Lavender program to provide mental health and emotional support for health care workers.

Code Lavender is a donor-powered program that began in 2016 to provide peer-to-peer incident stress management following a traumatic event. Led by a team of physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers and mental health counselors, Code Lavender offers debriefings, educational presentations, reflection rounds and spiritual care to help employees reduce stress and avoid burnout.

“People will share their heart for a minute, and then they go back to being brave, back into that role of being a hero,” MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital Chaplain, Jim Cornwell, says. Code Lavender is important for “sitting beside and being there in the little windows when they just need to process something.”

Today, Code Lavender has grown to include a 24/7 employee support hotline and twice-weekly virtual leadership roundtables to talk through challenges and strategize for success.

Gifts through the MultiCare Health Foundation help Code Lavender expand even further. Donations will help broaden educational, psychological and spiritual resources and extend the program’s geographical reach to MultiCare employees serving in the Inland Northwest.

For Additional Information
MultiCare Health System
multicare.org

BY SHELBY TAYLOR

Heart Disease Linked to Food Insecurity

People with atherosclerosis, particularly those who earn a low income and have other socioeconomic disadvantages, are more likely to experience food insecurity than those without the condition, according to new research.

In 2018, nearly 11% – 14.3 million – U.S. households were food insecure, a term the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as “limited or uncertain access to adequate food due to lack of money” at least some time during the year.

The new findings were presented last month at the American Heart Association’s virtual Scientific Sessions. They are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Those who listed themselves as “poor/low income” were nearly five times more likely to experience food insecurity. Among people with five or more “high-risk characteristics,” 44.1% reported food insecurity and had 23 times higher odds of being food insecure compared to those with one or no characteristics.

Leaving atherosclerosis unchecked could be dangerous. The fatty plaque may partially or totally block blood flow through large or medium-sized arteries in the heart and brain, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Treatments for the condition can include medication to prevent clot formation and to control risk factors, surgery, or lifestyle changes such as heart-healthy eating, weight management, exercise and quitting smoking.

Experts say it’s essential for people to be able to afford medications and still be able to eat a balanced diet. Federal nutrition programs, sometimes called “food stamps,” are critical for people with food insecurity, the study said. A previous study commissioned by the USDA found the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduced the likelihood of being food insecure by about 30%.

Finding a long-term solution is trickier, but research shows high-quality education is the key. “It’s remarkable to look at the disparity in education among people who end up being food insecure and those who don’t,” he said.

“The solutions need to start early in life with education intervention, from age two onwards. It sounds like an obvious thing to say, but you have to make sure people get a better education so they have better jobs, a higher income and better health.”

For Additional Information
American Heart Association
heart.org

CONTENT PROVIDED BY THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

Outdoor Living Spaces

It’s time to start thinking about your impending spring and summer garden parties. Outdoor living and entertaining are important to modern life; people enjoy spending time outside, surrounded by fresh air, wildlife and the sounds and smells of their environment. Ultimately, this means you need to offer your guests an outdoor space where they will feel comfortable spending time. If you haven’t given your outdoor spaces a second thought since fall, you might need some guidance toward up-and-coming trends. Here are some design ideas to jumpstart your creativity and get your outdoor areas ready for sunny skies.

Natural Materials

Metal and plastic outdoor furniture and features have been popular for decades because these materials offer the clean, modern lines essential to minimalism, and metal and plastic tend to withstand the elements fairly well. However, as interest in minimalism has waned, so has the use of synthetic or artificial materials in outdoor décor. Instead, you should look into utilizing natural materials, like organic cotton, wool, wood and wicker.

Warm Colors

In addition to the change in materials, the most up-to-date deck and patio furniture is warm and inviting in color. In recent history, color palettes for the home have been relatively cool-toned: grays, icy blues, white and black. Cool colors are refreshing and tend to have a calming effect, but they don’t often make a space feel welcoming or comfortable. As the new year dawns,
almost every designer is shifting focus toward warm and earthy hues, like brown, taupe, golden yellow, dusty red and olive green.

You can integrate warm colors many places in your exterior design, not just your outdoor furniture. You might consider giving your front and back doors a new coat of paint or changing the color of your home’s trim around windows and doors. You could add decorative hardscaping, like fences, with a new and inviting color palette. Finally, you can stain your concrete or repaint your deck to add color to your exterior. Most of these fixes are relatively small but pack a major decorative punch.

Functionality

It doesn’t matter how much time, effort and expense you put into your outdoor living area if your furniture is uncomfortable. Perhaps most important of all, the features you place in your exterior living spaces should be functional, meaning you and guests should be able to enjoy the stylish outdoors with ease and comfort.

Additionally, you might consider adding functional features to your outdoor living space, transforming it into a true room of your home. A popular choice is to add an outdoor kitchen space, replete with refrigerator, counter space, cooktop and more. An outdoor kitchen can be fun and interactive during warm-weather months, when you don’t want to separate the party between your yard and indoor kitchen. Plus, it gives you more opportunity to design your exterior, perhaps adding trendy countertops, backsplashes and lighting to the space.

BY MORGAN LUCAS

Olympia Craftsman Redesign

If you’ve ever done a remodel, you know they can be challenging. The original home located in Olympia was a 1920’s Craftsman style that had several previous remodels and additions over the years. However, each remodel was not integrated aesthetically to the original Craftsman home. The homeowners consulted Lara Anderson with Red Door Interiors on a kitchen remodel and full redesign.

A new entry was designed to cohesively connect a poorly-done addition from the 80’s into a welcoming connection to a reimagined master suite that related to the original craftsmanship of the home. “We were working within the confines of the existing house which can make everything more complicated. There was also a need to adjust when unforeseen conditions arose, which they did numerous times,” explains Anderson.

“Lara was always so calm, creative, and flexible. She would ask questions, took input, and came up with new ideas. It decreased the stress of doing the remodel substantially because I knew I could count on her,” says the homeowner.

The homeowners wanted the home to reflect who they are and how they live. They had considered moving but they loved their neighborhood with everything in walking distance. They realized in order to create their dream house, massive changes and improvements were needed. They wanted new areas to relate to the existing areas and ultimately feel warm and welcoming.

New and innovative products and finishes were utilized that created incredible results with unexpected texture and color throughout the home. Angled ceilings in the upstairs bathroom presented challenges with varying ceiling height and very little room, so a vanity mirror was mounted to the ceiling and provided peek-a-boo views of the West Bay waterfront.

The end result for the entire home is a completely cohesive look combining contemporary and artistic style, resulting in a home that the owners are thrilled with.

BY SARAH TURNER

COLLABORATORS: THOMAS ARCHITECTS
PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY CAROLYN BEERS

Cascade Regional Blood Celebrates 75 Yrs

For 75 years, Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) has been supplying lifesaving blood products and therapeutic procedures to patients in South King, Pierce and Grays Harbor Counties. Their mission to provide a constant, safe, cost-effective supply of blood, blood components, and other related services to the communities has not changed in over seven decades.

According to Candy Morrison, Director of Communications for Cascade Regional Blood Services, “We owe so much to the generosity of the donors within Pierce County and South King County who help us supply all the blood products for the MultiCare Health System. This community has kept us going all these years through neighbors helping neighbors.”

Every two seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion in the United States, so the demand is high, yet only 5% of eligible donors donate blood. Today, Cascade Regional Blood Services has three donor centers located in Federal Way, Puyallup, and Tacoma. CRBS also has three self-contained, custom ‘bloodmobiles’ set up at schools, businesses, places of worship, and community events to conduct blood drives. With over 1,000 blood drives a year, their teams are always on the move. And with their growing research programs, CRBS continues to work with local and national medical programs to advance preventative care.

Cascade Regional Blood Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 independent community blood center that is an FDA licensed biological manufacturing facility.

For Additional Information
Cascade Regional Blood Services
crbs.net

BY LYNN CASTLE

Radiology Scholarship for TCC Students

As a college student, it can be tough to manage work and school, especially when you have to pay for it all yourself. Scholarships can be the difference between earning a degree and being forced to drop out, which is why the TRA Medical Imaging Foundation and Tacoma Community College are proud to announce a new partnership! This partnership will provide financial assistance and a mentoring program for Tacoma Community College (TCC) Radiologic Technology students.

In its first act of support, the TRA Medical Imaging Foundation provided a one-time gift to four TCC Radiologic students who were identified as being at-risk of dropping out of the program. Funded by the Bamford Foundation and matched by the TRA Medical Imaging Foundation, this unique and generous gift met an immediate need for these students.

TRA and TCC have also announced a new TRA Medical Imaging Foundation Scholarship that will be available for the 2021-22 school year. The TCC Foundation will administer this scholarship and students may apply starting in January.

“We have talented and dedicated students in our Radiologic program, and TRA has been an amazing partner, and they have gone out of their way to learn about the challenges our students may face on their way to becoming radiology technologists,” said Krista Fox, Dean of Health, Business and Professional Services.

In addition to financial support, TRA will provide mentoring for scholarship students. Because Radiologic Technology is a field with many sub specialties, students Radiology Scholars hip for TCC Students will be assigned TRA mentors based on their areas of interest – mammography or CT scans, for example.

Both the immediate awards and the ongoing scholarships will help students complete training for a field that has an increasing local demand. “This education fund will help us grow the next generation of medical technologists,” said Dr. Douglas Seiler, President, TRA Foundation.

“TCC has one of the best radiology programs in the state, and they’re right here in Tacoma. It’s a wonderful collaboration and a natural partnership that serves our community.”

For Additional Information
Tacoma Community College Radiology Program
tacomacc.edu/academics-programs/programs/radiologic-science

BY LYNN CASTLE

Asia Pacific Cultural Center Steps Up to Help

A quick visit to Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s Facebook page and you see it instantly. This organization does so much for the South Sound community, but especially during the current pandemic.

From hosting free COVID-19 testing in their parking lot every other Wednesday for months, to providing free food giveaways from the Tacoma Farmers Market weekly in the summer, APCC dug deep and helped often. Whether it was giving away thousands of masks and sanitation tools or school supplies to kids as virtual school started up, APCC helped everyone in the community.

According to APCC Executive Director, Lua Pritchard, “Helping our community is part of our core values. It is what Asian Pacific Islanders do every day, but it was especially important during the recent crisis.”

Throughout the months of the crisis, Pritchard and her team worked with several organizations to touch as many people as possible. A great example was the COVID-19 Assistance for Families program which partnered APCC with the Pierce County Connected Fund to give away $75 grocery store gift cards in late December when struggling families needed the help the most. Just days before, APCC hosted a toy giveaway with local Kiwanis chapters and free lunch from Northwest SHARE.

APCC also worked with the Pierce County Management Team and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department for free flu shots as well as the COVID-19 Testing. They worked with Tacoma Project Access to ensure people had health care coverage options. APCC promoted the Census, how to apply for government-funded small business loans in various languages, and educated the community about the Family and Medical Leave laws to ensure everyone knew their rights. And most importantly, APCC’s Promised Leaders of Tomorrow team continued their work with the youth of the Tacoma and Bethel School Districts through virtual learning programs providing support wherever it was needed.

For Additional Information
Asia Pacific Cultural Center
asiapacificculturalcenter.org
facebook/AsiaPacificCulturalCenter

BY LYNN CASTLE

Debra Van Tuinen’s New Gallery Offering Light and Inspiration

Layers of blue, grey and silver leaf create deep and translucent layers that almost obscure the tiny boat in Debra Van Tuinen’s “Adrift” which is currently on view at her new gallery in downtown Olympia. The work, which seems to change from different angles, was created during the long months of the pandemic. For Van Tuinen, it reflects the crashing waves of confusion and deep sense of isolation many people struggled with and experienced in 2020.

With over a 40-year career as an artist, art teacher, and art supporter, Van Tuinen’s dedication to not only creating but sharing her work was not deterred by the limitations of the lockdown. The arrival of this new gallery, which opened in August of 2020, comes at an incredibly important time for art aficionados. Restricted from visiting museums, Van Tuinen’s work is viewable from the street through giant, light-filling windows as well as for private appointments. “I want people to be able to see my work and learn about what I do. You don’t have to be able to buy a piece,” said Van Tuinen.

Additionally, as travel restrictions limit explorations and adventures, it is through her work that new views can be found and savored. Focused on the personal exploration of landscape, many of these works can transport you
instantaneously to other places for that much needed change of scenery.

“Van Tuinen’s paintings possess radiance,” wrote LA art critic Doug Meyer. “They bask in the reflected light of a physical universe beyond the picture plane.”

She hopes to have a large grand opening to celebrate the new gallery and participate in the spring Art Walk in Olympia.

Eventually, she’d like to offer classes in the adjoining studio on encaustic techniques. Until then, Van Tuinen encourages people to walk by and enjoy the work on view.

With a career that has taken her art work around the world and included in private, corporate and museum collections, the Pacific Northwest is lucky to have an artist that remains grounded and accessible to anyone interested to enjoy the voyages of her work.

For Additional Information
Van Tuinen Art
vantuinenart.com

BY HILLARY RYAN