Celebrate National Caregiver Month
November is National Family Caregiver Month, a time to recognize and thank the many hard working and devoted people who make it their mission to keep a loved one happy and safe. You work hard and deserve to be recognized and celebrated!
Caregivers come from all walks of life and care for people with an array of needs. Reasons for providing care differ from situation to situation. Daily tasks that caregivers perform also vary greatly. But there are some things that all caregivers have in common; dedication, love, commitment, a sense of selfless-ness and most likely, a good sense of humor.
Wisconsin’s theme for Family Caregiver Month is, You Might Be A Caregiver If….” We chose this theme because it gives a real-life view of what caregiving is like. It encourages humor rather than promoting burden and recognizes the valued role and dedication of our state’s caregivers. And it gives caregivers a fun way to connect with each other as they add their own ending to the phrase.
In hopes of bringing some smiles and perhaps a chuckle to your day, here are some ways that might mean you are a caregiver.
You might be a caregiver if…
• You were up at 3:00 this morning helping someone to the bathroom
• Your house has more pill bottles than wine bottles
• You can pronounce medications with more than 10 letters in the name
• You know your way around the hospital better than the mall
• You can maneuver a wheelchair through Walmart with ease
What does caregiving mean to you? How would you end the phrase, “You might be a caregiver if…?” What have you learned as a result of caring for someone? What are some things you do regularly, that you didn’t do before? What is different about your life now, that someone else wouldn’t understand unless they, too, were a caregiver?
As you ponder these questions, remember that you are valued, respected and appreciated. Thank you for all that you do to help another person enjoy life to the fullest!
By Jane Mahoney, Older American’s Act Consultant. Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
Volunteering Is Good For Your Health!
Studies show a significant relationship between volunteering and better health in later years, specifically, greater longevity, higher functional ability, and lower rates of depression.
Below are volunteer opportunities with Kenosha Area Family & Aging Services, Inc. (KAFASI). Commit to as little as one hour per month!
• Meals on Wheels
• RSVP | Retired Senior Volunteer Program
• Senior Center Without Walls
• Senior Dining
• Friendly Visitor
• Volunteer Transportation
• Animeals | Pet Food Program
Make a lasting impact in other’s lives by giving your time. To learn more, visit www.kafasi.org or call KAFASI at 262-658-3508.
One Volunteers’ Story
“For the past year, I have been a volunteer doing the Meals on Wheels program. Not only is it rewarding, it is very easy. Once a week, I pick up my hot and cold bags at the Kenosha Achievement Center and I have 5-7 stops – with the Maps app on our cell phone, finding the addresses is simple! These clients are happy to see you, not just to see a friendly face, but you are also bringing them a delicious lunch!
I work here in Kenosha, so the total time from when I leave work until I return is about an hour. That’s it. One hour per week is all you need to help others. This opportunity is perfect for retirees, college students, second shifters, or people like myself who can get away from work for an hour a week.
Stop saying, “I have been meaning to do this,” or “Yah, I could, but…” Just do it – call KAFASI, 262-658-3508, and talk to someone about how you can help! You will be happy that you did.” By Jason H.
Eat Well: Nutrient Rich Desserts
As we are approaching the holiday season, the challenge to keep our diets balanced and healthy becomes increasingly difficult. There has been research that has shown the average person gains approximately 1 pound each holiday season. That same research states that people may not lose this added weight and over the years, the pounds can add up. Holiday meals and desserts are an integral part of our holiday traditions, so how can we make these dishes healthier?
There are various ways to tweak our recipes to make them nutrient dense, in ways where the taste remains unchanged! Some examples are using whole wheat flour instead of white flour, egg whites instead of eggs, and skim milk instead of whole milk. You could also add additional ingredients to your current recipes that would increase the nutrients in your desserts.
For example, adding pureed beans in place of half the shortening in your brownies is a great way to make them nutrient dense without affecting the flavor. In pie crusts, you can also use ground up graham crackers and a couple tablespoons of low-fat milk as an alternative to butter, which saves you calories and added fats. Therefore, by reviewing your recipes for the holiday season, there are small changes that could be made that will make your favorite dish more diet-friendly! There are also many tasty dessert recipes out there that are good for you, and taste great as well! Happy Holidays!
DID YOU KNOW?
For baked goods, you can use half the butter, oil, or shortening and replace the other half with applesauce without changing the taste
Chunky Cranberry Spread
• 1 8-oz. package low-fat cream cheese
• 1-2 tablespoons low-fat milk
• 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds or other nut
• 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, preferably fresh
• Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and allow to soften at room temperature. Mash and work with a fork until texture is light enough to combine easily with other ingredients. (See Alice’s tip 4)
• Gradually add just enough milk so cheese becomes soft and easy to spread.
• Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead. Flavors will blend and mellow if this recipe is made ahead of time and allowed to refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. Spread on slices of a whole-grain bread.
Nutritional Information: Makes about 1 1/2 cups, or 1 tablespoon per average slice of bread. Per serving: 36
By Pam VanKampen, RDN, CD, Greater Wisconsin Area Agency on Aging
Open Enrollment Time!
Free weekly sessions on Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are available. Join us and review your personalized options for 2020 with hands-on-assistance from Benefit Specialists with Kenosha County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Enroll in a new plan online or print your plan choices and decide later. You will need your current list of medications, with dosages, and your Medicare card. Reservations are required. Call the ADRC at 262-605-6646 or 800-472-8008.
• Tuesday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m.—noon
• Thursday, Nov. 14, 2—4 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.—noon
• Thursday, Nov. 21, 2—4 p.m.
• Tuesday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m.—noon