. 50 Plus Marketplace News . Denver Metro . June 2010 . Page 5 Independent Living & Affordable Housing for Ages 55 and Better " Quality Living for a Modest Price" Quiet . Comfortable Elevator . Therapeutic Pool . Library . Fitness Room . Billiards 5820 S. Windermere Street . Littleton, CO 80120 303- 795- 2902 www. southviewplace. com S Southview Apartments gardener's: stay safe from tetanus Spring is here once again! For many, that means spend-ing time in your garden. But many garden-ers don't know that they face increased risk for tetanus, a potentially deadly disease caused by bacteria found in dirt, potting soil and manure. Working in the yard often leads to cuts and scrapes- which is how tetanus enters your bloodstream. You can even get infected through an insect bite. Most people think of puncture wounds with teta-nus, but nearly a third of cases are caused by garden and farming in-juries, not that rusty nail. Tetanus is very painful, and can be difficult to diagnose and treat, taking weeks or months for recov- Take Care Christy Harmon ery. Symptoms can begin 3 days to 3 weeks after exposure. The first symptoms are usually stiffness in the neck and trouble swallowing, and can progress to painful muscle paralysis, and about 20% of cases are fatal. Older adults have an in-creased risk of tetanus, but accord-ing to the CDC less than half of all adults in the US are protected against this disease. There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from teta-nus when you garden. First, wear gloves and protective clothing when working in the garden or yard to limit cuts and scratches. The best protection is getting a tetanus and diphtheria booster shot every 10 years, which you can get from your doctor or pharma-cist. If it's been 10, do it again! Be-fore you start tending your garden this year, tend to yourself. v Christy Harmon, PharmD, is the Pharmacy Care Manager for Safe-way Pharmacies. The North Denver High School Alumni Assoc. hosts an All Classes Reunion at Lakeside Amusement Park, Thursday, June 17. Anyone identifying themselves at the gate as a former North High School Student is admitted to the park FREE, along with their guests. Reduced- Rate unlimited- Ride Wrist Tags are available for $ 9.00. The Association hosts a dinner for Assoc. Members, Friends and their guests in the Royal Pa- North High School All Classes Reunion Recently, Rebuilding Together Metro Denver was awarded Doug-las County CDBG grant funds for services to low income elderly ho-meowners and homeowners living with a disability that might pre-vent them from being able to per-form or access needed repairs to help make their homes warm, safe & dry. To be eligible for services: . Homeowner must be at least 55 years of age, or younger if liv-ing with a disability or providing permanent residence for a family member living with a disability. . Applicants must own and oc-cupy the home, with no plans to move or sell, and have neither the financial resources nor the ability to do the work themselves. Rebuilding Together Metro Denver offers the following pro-grams for eligible homeowners: . Rebuilding Day held in April and Oct., brings a team of volun-teers into the selected home for a full day of work on the home. Rebuilding Together Metro Denver receives funding for Douglas County . A Home for All Seasons pro-vides minor safety repairs year-round to eligible homeowners. . Energy Services Program may be offered in conjunction with one of the above services and addresses those needs to help make homes more energy efficient. . Emergency Repair Services ad-dresses urgent needs that would present an immediate danger to the residents of the home or that would leave a person without heat, water, or electricity. Rebuilding Together Metro Denver helps homeowners stay in their own homes, living in safety and with dignity. A safer home en-vironment enhances independence and the quality of life for older adults and eases the burden and costs of care- giving. For more information, contact Rebuilding Together Metro Den-ver at 720- 524- 0840, or visit the website at www. rebuildingdenver. org vilion next to the kiddie land beginning at 6 p. m. The Dinner is $ 7.50 per person. Advanced registra-tions may be made by sending a check to the North Denver High School Alumni Asso-ciation, North Denver High School, 2960 North Speer Blvd, Denver, CO 80211. Make your dinner reserva-tions by Wednesday, June 16. For Information: 303- 431- 0103, or 303- 477- 4125. See you there! applying For medicare online Is Quick and easy We've been telling people how quick and easy it is to apply for Medicare benefits online - even if you're not ready to apply for re-tirement benefits. And our celeb-rity spokespeo-ple - the tele-vision family of The Patty Duke Show - have been spreading the word in a series of public ser-vice announcements. Reunite with television's favorite identical cous-ins, and the whole family, at www. socialsecurity. gov/ medicareonly. But perhaps the best advocates we have for the online Medicare application are the people who are using the application and discover-ing that it really does take less than 10 minutes. Just ask your average John. John from Wisconsin told us, " filing for Medicare online was simple and I couldn't believe what little time it took to complete." John from Indiana said, " This month I filed for Medicare at www. socialsecurity. gov. Filing on-line took less than five minutes from start to finish. Finding the place to start my application, an-swering its simple questions, and submitting my claim was an easy Social Security Today Mike Baksa process. I will recommend using Social Security Online to others who want to apply for Medicare." You don't have to be named John to appreciate the application. Kim of Wisconsin said, " I am so im-pressed with your website. It was possibly the easiest website I have ever navigated. I had put this off for a few months thinking it would be difficult with it being the federal government, but I am stunned and amazed at how quick and easy this really was." Even if you decide to wait un-til after you're age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should apply for Medicare cover-age at age 65. If you'd like to be-gin your Medicare coverage, you should apply within four months of reaching age 65. It's important to note that people who already receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits do not need to apply for Medicare; they will be automatically enrolled. If you're within four months of age 65 or older, you can apply right now. Visit www. socialsecurity. gov and select the " Retirement/ Medicare" link in the middle of the page. Go online to apply for Medicare ben-efits, even if you're not ready to re-tire. It takes less than 10 minutes! v Public Affairs Specialist Mike Baksa may be reached at michael. baksa@ ssa. gov.
Page 6 . 50 Plus Marketplace News . Denver Metro . June 2010 Glenda lives in the Denver met-ro area. She needed to replace her air conditioner and get her car re-paired, but her checking ac-count balance was too low. She could cash-in a C. D. or bond, but they weren't yet ma-ture. What to do? Barter! But how? Bartering with strangers was a little scary. She searched the internet. The local bartering group she found was for businesses. It had a mem-bership fee of almost $ 300. She didn't want to make a business out of this; she was just looking to meet some personal needs. Are you financially comfort-able? Does your income match your spending goals? Do you al- Neighbor- to- Neighbor Mary Orchard ways have the right skills to hand-craft an item for your best friend? If you're answering " No" to any of these questions, consider joining a senior bartering group. " That's a good idea," you say, " but is there such a group in the Denver Metro Area?" A survey of several pages of google search results found none. Would you like to trade a hair-cut for a car wash? How about a cooked- and- delivered meal for a household repair? A gift you never gave for a more suitable item? A senior bartering network would be a resource for conserv-ing cash, getting more, and mak-ing friends. Some of us want to explore this idea, to see whether others feel the need. Want to meet with us? Call me at 720- 747- 4568. If voice mail picks- up, please leave your name and number and say, " I'm calling about a bartering group." Seniors' Resource Center ( SRC) has elected two new members to its board of directors. Walter Han-kwitz ( FACHE, CMPE), Execu-tive Director of Lutheran Health Partners, and Steve Smith, Man-ager at Xcel Energy. Prior to joining his current posi-tion in June 2009, Mr. Hankwitz was Executive Director of High-lands Physicians, Inc. for 10 years, and concurrently served for seven years as the Co- Executive Direc-tor of the Highlands Wellmont Health Network, a clinically inte-grated URAC accredited PHO in Tennessee. He was introduced to the healthcare industry over three decades ago through management consulting positions in Los Ange-les, Calif. with Ernst & Whinney and A. T Kearney, Inc. " I'm honored to be a new mem-ber of the board, and look forward to our collaboration to make sure continuity of care and the needs of seniors in our communities is met." said Mr. Hankwitz. He has served on the board of di-rectors with various organizations, including the Hospital Council of Southern California, Highlands Wellmont Health Network, Care- Spark, and PrimeHealth of South-ern California. Mr. Hankwitz re-ceived his MBA in Health Care Administration from The George Washington University in Wash-ington, D. C. and served as Ad-junct Professor at the University of Southern California's Graduate School of Public Health. Seniors' Resource Center Weclomes Two New Members to the Board of Directors Mr. Smith is a 1978 graduate of the University of Colorado's Col-lege of Engineering and Applied Science. He started his career with Xcel Energy in 1979 as a Consum-er Services Engineer with the Pub-lic Service Company of Colorado subsidiary Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power. In 1988, he moved to the Economic Development De-partment and transitioned them from Economic Development to Area Managers of Community and Local Government Affairs. From 1997- 1999, Mr. Smith was the Manager of the New Century Energy Community Develop-ment Department and from 1999 - 2008, he was the Area Manager of Community and Local Gov-ernment Affairs for Broomfield, Jefferson, Adams, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. In 2005 he led an Xcel Energy process improvement team to increase efficiencies with-in the Outdoor Lighting Depart-ment. " I am honored to have the oppor-tunity to serve on the SRC board of directors," said Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith was the 1999 Chair-man of the Jefferson Econom-ic Council and Chairman of the Metro North Chamber of Com-merce. From 2001- 2003 served as Chairman of the Adams County Economic Development Board. SRC is a 32- year- old leading non- profit provider of person- fo-cused, coordinated services to en-hance independence, dignity and quality of life for seniors. Author Erynn Miller said: " It takes a lot of understanding, time and trust to gain a close friendship with someone. As I approach a time in my life of complete uncertainty, my friends are my most precious asset." I had a friend who felt that way. I sat next to Hal's " death-bed" and thought about the fact that I had known him for over twenty years. Hal knew he was dying and that these next few days would be his last. I held his hand. We spent time reminiscing about his long and fruitful career as a church pastor. We talked about old friends. We chatted about his family. And I listened as he offered a piece of sage wisdom to someone he believed represent-ed a " younger generation." Hal seemed to carefully consid-er what he was about to say next. Then he squeezed my hand, gazed intently into my eyes and whis-pered, just loud enough for me to hear, " Nothing is more important Your Life Support: what Is most Important Steve Goodier than relationships." I knew that this utterance somehow mattered a great deal to him. He seemed to consider a lifetime of experiences - personal, professional, spiritual and family - and this one simple observation surfaced above the rest: " Nothing is more important than relation-ships." " Don't get too caught up in your career," he said. " And don't use people just to get what you want, then throw them away. No project, no program, no task - nothing - is more important than your friends and family." " Remember," he repeated, " that in the end, only your relationships will matter. Tend them well." Writer Og Mandino put it this way: " Beginning today," he said, " treat everyone you meet as if he or she were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." At the end of a long life, my friend Hal would have agreed. v Steve Goodier's books & newslet-ter: http:// LifeSupportSystem. com.