Each week, Dr. Mauk shares thoughts relevant to Baby Boomers that are aimed to educate and amuse.

Guest Blog: Inexpensive, Fun Activities For Seniors

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Whether you’ve recently retired, are planning to retire soon or are facing an unknown future where retirement seems virtually impossible, when you’re living on a fixed or tight income, you’re always looking for ways to save money. Plus, since one of the first areas to get cut when the budget is tight is entertainment, you may wonder how can you still have fun, without spending a fortune. To answer that question, here’s a list of inexpensive activities that could be perfect for you!

Attend Free Events. From free nights at the museum to local art gallery showings in town, keep your radar on for free activities in the area that you might enjoy. Most cities will host free lectures, concerts, movie nights and other activities from time to time.

Start a Club or Discussion Group.

    1. Start a book club, movie group or discussion group with a handful of friends, hosted either at your home or rotating homes month to month. Getting together will cost little more than making some snacks — and it will still be a fun night for everyone.

Take Advantage of Community Centers and Libraries. Rent movies or check out books at the library, and go for walks at the local community center track. Within your specific city or town, find what other amenities are available to you and decide to make the most of them, either on your own or with a friend.

Volunteer in the Community. Volunteering not only makes you feel good about helping others, but it also connects you with people in the community and often qualifies you for some cool, cash-saving perks. Whether it’s free food when you’re volunteering at the local school district or a place to socialize when you’re serving as a greeter at the hospital, volunteering helps you reach outside yourself and have fun in the process.

Host Potlucks. Rather than always going out to eat with friends, try hosting potlucks where everyone brings a dish to pass. You’ll only need to make one dish, still have the fun of socializing with friends or loved ones, and save a bundle in the process.

Enjoy the Outdoors. Go to the park, take walks on trails at the forest preserve, plan a picnic or watch a local Little League game. Getting outside is not only good for your spirits, it’s usually inexpensive too!

Mark Westerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for CareOne, Inc., a provider of debt relief services nationwide.

By |2022-05-12T11:05:22-05:00May 16th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Inexpensive, Fun Activities For Seniors

Guest Blog: 5 Ways to Make Homeschooling Interesting:

Homeschooling is the education of school-aged children by parents or home tutors in some cases at home or a variety of places other than school. It is also named as home education or elective home education. Homeschooling is all about breaking the norms of the usual morning till afternoon schooling under fixed premises of school. In this there is no pre-defined curriculum that is assigned for all homeschooled kids.

While staying at home the kids can also take online classes from different schools or learning sites. Since the e-learning is being incorporated in every educational platform ,its playing important role in homeschooling as well. While a lot of educational institutions are providing online certification of their courses in distance learning ,South Africa is also setting a milestone. It has taken the initiative of launching the first globally recognized private online high school in South Africa that is aiming to  begin its first year of curriculum in January 2020 and will provide learners worldwide with a fully supported, global online high schooling experience. Meanwhile in homeschooling we don’t need to spend a lot of time planning and preparing for learning materials just using few tips and tricks, and it doesn’t even cost a lot of money!

Various tips and tricks can be used to make the homeschooling more fun for the kids free from dull, stressful and tiring schooling, because feeling like a tyrant or robot sucks the joy out of life!

So, following five tips can be used to make sure that kids’ learning should include moments of fun to connect & build memories.

  1. Playing More Games:

With a diverse range of learning games, kids can have a blast building essential skills .

Games provide loads of teachable moments such as it improves critical thinking, problem-solving, skills, reading ,writing, digital literacy and math skills as well as bearing losing at something and learning from previous experiences to think more critically thus boosting their brain’s activity.

While having fun and playing the child practice the skills they need to succeed, while making learning a positive experience .

2. Exploring nature and country tours:

The natural world can be fun in its own ways. There can be a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, camping that the kids would love to discover.

Countryside road trips can be planned to enjoy the mother Nature and to feel the healing effect of it. During the countryside tours kids can be taught planting and watering the plants and trees, and can be made to caress animals. Other options can be visiting nearby museums, historical places etc.

  1. Get their hands dirty with DIY crafts and Artwork:

Art teaches kids to think outside the box in problem solving skills while keeping it fun. In addition to these obvious advantages ,it makes them express themselves as an individual, unique person. Artworks at times help in bringing to light the mental problems and give insights into the home lives of children so that it can be better understood how they can be helped or treated . Foremost art is a way to express the mind ,as it is a non-judgmental medium that  lets people express without any threat.

Lego’s, knitting, modeling clay, slime, Tinker Crates, and puzzles are all wonderful for keeping little hands busy during a read aloud.

  1. Using multimedia to watch Documentations and Animated stuff:

To delve into the topic of interest and discover new interests, watching different documentaries regarding certain topics is a great source of learning. Watching stuff in form of animated movies  can also be a fun way to learn new things, meanwhile deepening your family ties. Music is a pleasant and soothing way to start the day .Playing music in the morning can freshen the mind in the beginning of the day.

  1. Celebrations and the get-togethers:

Celebration of achievements and milestones gives the kids confidence and appreciation. Completion of some course or scoring good in the final assessments can be celebrated. Meanwhile a party can be thrown on some important occasions/days of the year like Halloween ,Easter etc.

International days on the calendar can also be celebrated such as teacher’s day . How about some spring festival day?  This can be fun and will also be good for the mental health of kids

By |2022-05-04T10:41:08-05:00May 7th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Ways to Make Homeschooling Interesting:

Guest Blog: Financial Management For Seniors: Prepping for a New Stage of Life


Approaching the discussion of financial management with the seniors in your life can be a sensitive topic. If you’re hoping to help an elderly family member or friend get a better handle on their monetary commitments, there are several important items to consider. Whether you’re helping a senior straighten out their finances as they transition into assisted living, or you’re simply noticing the elders in your life need to do some fiscal housekeeping, you should always have a plan of action in place.

Organize
With age, staying on top of payments can be made even more difficult if the senior(s) in your family tend to be more disorganized. From putting a filing system in place to creating an excel spreadsheet, organization is key when it comes to helping seniors manage their finances. If you’re planning on assisting the elders in your life with their finances, start small by offering to help your loved one give their financial system some structure. Dedicate a time to go through financial documents and bills together, and once you’ve tackled the paperwork, discuss budgeting as well. If an assisted-living arrangement is being considered for the future, it’s important to be financially prepared for this kind of transition.

Discuss Timing
Timing is perhaps the most sensitive aspect of financial planning with seniors. Explain to your loved ones why they should be prepared for the unexpected, and take the time to discuss their future living situation along with what lies ahead for their expenses. While most seniors have savings set aside for significant transitions, it’s never a bad idea to reevaluate these funds. It might be beneficial to set up a more long term money management plan, and to start assessing areas in which the seniors in your life can save more. Look closely at monthly expenses, and track how much they might need to save over the next few years in order to transition into assisted living, or even to hire a long-term care professional. Now could be a good time to consider helping them refinance their mortgage if they are hoping to put some extra money away in order to prep for unexpected new stages of life.

Automate Payments
Though it’s no secret that most seniors are not the most technically savvy, moving towards automated payments might actually be a better option long term. If you’re finding that an elderly family member or friend appears to have multiple overdue or missed payments, or that they’re overpaying for fear of missing a payment, suggest helping them set up auto-pay. Having their bills paid electronically is one less thing for the them to worry about, and one less thing on their list to have to remember each month. Setting up automatic payments will no doubt help your loved one feel even more prepared for any transitions that might lie ahead.

By |2022-04-17T19:15:34-05:00May 5th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Financial Management For Seniors: Prepping for a New Stage of Life

Nurses Are….

This week we celebrate National Nurse’s Week beginning on May 6th and ending on May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthday). The profession of nursing has come far since its inception. When I went to nursing school in the late 1970’s, we were still wearing blue pin-striped uniforms and caps. There were striping and pinning ceremonies to mark milestones in the 4 year journey to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and it wasn’t until the early 1980’s when my nursing school started to eliminate those bulky caps that were so difficult to keep on our head. When the mandatory uniforms and nursing caps were no longer the symbol of the nurse, we had to develop other ways for patients and families to recognize us. I hope that we are now recognized for the knowledgeable care and comfort that we provide to others. It has been said that nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system.  I would suggest that we are that and much more:

Nurses are timeless. Florence Nightingale left the comforts of home care for the sick. Nurses are there for the beginnings and ends of countless lives. We hold the hands of the young, the old, and everyone in between. The shifts are long and if a patient needs us, we work overtime to finish the job. We might wear a uniform, scrubs, a lab coat, or a suit, but we transcend fashion to don whatever our patients need for safe, quality care.

Nurses are trusted. Gallup polls consistently show that the public trusts the ethics and honesty of nurses above even that of physicians, making us one of the most trustworthy professions in the eyes of the people.  Nurses adhere to the ANA Code of Ethics that emphasizes supporting patients’ autonomy and the concepts of beneficence, justice, fidelity, and veracity. All nurses receive education in ethics, with patient care at the center.

Nurses are inspiring.  How many people can say that their jobs changed a life? As a rehabilitation nurse, one woman who had experienced a stroke told me, “I had stroke and died three times. I was in ICU for weeks, but I didn’t feel alive until I came to rehab. Rehabilitation nurses helped me live again!” Yes, transforming lives is what nurses engage in daily. In fact, many of us can name that one nurse that we remember and would choose to have with us if we were sick or dying – that nurse who knows how to inspire and care.

Nurses are experts.  Nurses are expert caregivers, patient advocates, teachers, and researchers. We know the realm of health care better than anyone because we are the licensed professionals who are there 24/7. There are more nurses with advanced practice degrees and certifications than ever before. Nursing has evolved into a discipline with multiple specialties that support best practice in numerous areas that affect health and wellness. Nurses hold positions of leadership in government, the military, organizational systems, health care corporations, and major companies, all attesting to the value of our knowledge and education.

Nurses are still carriers of light. Florence Nightingale was known as “the lady with the lamp”. I always found that image inspiring. One of my favorite memories from my early career occurred while I was working the night shift on a geriatric unit. An elderly man couldn’t get the music he liked to play on the radio, so he asked for someone to sing some old hymns to him. I did so reluctantly at first, holding his hand and singing all the old songs of the faith that I could remember. The next day, I heard him excitedly telling his family members, “An angel came to my room and held my hand and sang to me last night!”  I was puzzled when later he didn’t seem to recognize me as the singing “angel”.  The following night, he died unexpectedly. Reflecting on that experience, I believe that higher powers were at work there. Maybe I was just the vessel through which a bit of healing flowed. Since then, I have seen countless similar examples of extraordinary happenings when caring nurses are involved.

Nurses do more than just enact art and science. Sometimes…our work is like a little piece of heaven.

 

By |2022-04-17T19:14:26-05:00April 30th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Nurses Are….