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Young at Heart JAN 2021

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January 2021 edition Young at Heart One in five adults providing care by Health Projects Center About one in five adults in the Monterey Bay Re- gion is providing unpaid care to someone they love. These folks are caring for aging parents, disabled children and spouses, and partners or friends with an illness or disability. As former First Lady Rosalynn Car- ter once said: "there are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will become caregivers and those who will need caregivers". Often people don't consider themselves "caregivers." They are a spouse, a child, or a friend doing what comes naturally. But the challenges of caring for a loved one can be immense putting the caregiver's mental, physi- cal, and economic health at risk. Consider Lorena (not her real name). Lorena is a local woman with three children. Lorena gave up her job to care for her grandmother who is 89 years old and has Alzheimer's Dis- ease. Lorena has vowed that she will never put her grandmother in a nursing home. But now she has three children who are doing school via Zoom. Grandma is very confused due to dementia. Last year Lorena's family moved to a smaller and cheaper apartment due to Lorena leaving the paid workforce. Lore- na is very worried that one of her family will give her ailing grandma COVID-19, so they work hard to limit their social contacts. Yet Lorena keeps on caring. During the COVID-19 pandemic, local family and informal caregivers like Lorena have rallied to take care of loved ones despite the isola- tion and fear. Among family and in- formal caregivers in the United States, women are more likely to be caregivers than men (60% of caregivers are women). Caregivers are of all ages. About a third of caregivers are under thirty-nine years of age. Caregiving is time-con- suming. On average, caregivers provide about 24 hours of care each week. And most caregivers have another job outside the home. Caregiving can negatively affect mental and physical health. Twenty-three per- cent of caregivers recently reported that caregiving has made their health worse. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a dispropor- tionate toll on people who live in skilled nursing and assisted care facili- ties, accounting for about 40 percent of deaths in the United States from Covid-19. Many families are concerned about the risks of placing loved ones in institutional living. Be- sides, the cost of such facilities is well beyond the means of most families. The reality is that 80% of the "long term care" in the Unit- ed States is delivered at home by family and informal caregivers. How can you support family caregivers? You can start by reaching out to family caregivers that you know. Per- haps you can provide child-care once a week. Maybe you can deliver a home-cooked meal. You can always provide your love and support. The Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center is a local program that supports family caregivers caring for loved ones with any kind of brain impairment or memory loss. Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center free services are delivered by the local non-profit Health Projects Center www.hpcn.org. If you or someone you love is a caregiver, you can reach out to the Caregiv- er Resource Center for assistance by calling (800) 624-8304 or by going to www.delmarcaregiver.org. The Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center welcomes donations to help support caregivers like Lorena. Young at Heart In Santa Cruz County Special Advertising Supplement to the Santa Cruz Sentinel For more details call 831-469-4900 or contact Steven@LifespanCare.com HCO# 444700020 presented by Leslie Tremaine, PhD Wednesday, February 17, 2021 10:30AM – 12:00PM Mental Health Challenges and Mindfulness Practices for Older Adults Learn about mental health challenges in older adults especially during these difficult times, and gather tips and tools to help address them. Advanced Registration Required at www.LifespanCare.com FREE W E B I N A R S E R I E S Living Your Best Life Care Management Well-Being Program Home Care Care management promotes peace of mind through professional, person-centered assessment, coordination of personal care, medical, and social needs. Enhancing life and finding joy through activities that increase engagement, fulfillment, and a sense of connection. Personalized care up to 24 hours a day by experienced and registered home care aides. Democracy's Dance of Symbolism How social dancing communicates your importance in our democracy by Peggy Pollard Today, as I write, is In- auguration Day -- a day of powerful symbolism for our nation. One of the most global symbols of America democracy is the Capitol Building. This month we watched this most sacred building and its leaders, the heart of our nation, being attacked. Now today, a chore- ography of symbols are starting to wash away that pain. I'm watching on the screen our nation's past leaders exit and our new leaders replace them. The process of power transfer took more than a year to happen. Now in one day it is suddenly cemented into place Monday our new leaders volunteered in a food bank, symbolizing servanthood. their DC inauguration launched with a sunset lighting of 400 pillars, symbols of 1,000 lives each, lost this year to Covid. Today started with political rivals attending church together. Then a parade of powerful symbols: hand-on-Bible oathtaking to defend and protect our Consti- tution, speeches, poetry, music, military parades, a wreath at Tomb of The Unknown Soldier (sym- bol of heroic sacrifice). These symbols commu- nicated for all the world to see, the transfer of power to these two hu- mans, and their rightful roles in our nation's government. Two celebrity coun- try-western singers standing under a bridge sang of uniting "left and right" in our country (they want be a "bridge," get it?) A mosaic of citizens from all corners of American culture sang of a "Lovely Day." A white-robed wom- an sang an astounding "Fireworks" crescendo, glorious symbol of hope and glorious future for our land. These scenes now sink into our memories, assuring us our new leaders will securely hold our nation together for four more years. Symbolism is our powerful human way of communicating import- ant truth. Our human psyche needs such symbolic images to hold our lives together. Symbols give deep meaning and structure to our lives. Saluting a flag, singing a song, holding hands in a circle-- symbolism binds our hearts and minds to- gether into a society. Social dance is one such powerful symbolic com- munication. As we move in harmo- ny together – our feet stepping, tapping, leap- ing -- our hands clasped with a partner's or lifted to the heavens, push- ing away or encircling snugly – every gesture has meaning. Our social dancing communicates that our lives are connected in beautiful ways. Dancing together cre- ates a physical move- ment bigger than our individual selves. From the most un- skilled dancers, to the most highly trained, everyone has a role in a social dance, symbol- izing that every person has a place in our com- munity. Two years ago, on our road trip through Arizona, to my son's graduate school back east, we stopped a night In Holbrook, Arizona. We discovered a local Navajo community held nightly social dances at a nearby park. It was a beautiful summer evening, full of glorious Navajo dance performances. Children, teen and adult dancers performed in ornate col- orful regalia costumes. Everyone from toddlers to the oldest grandpar- ents had special dances to perform. There was even a special dance One dance was for the youngest children, of course super cute to watch them jump around freely to the music. Then in between the athletic and fancy dances, was a special "Grandmothers Dance." One very old woman entered the dance circle, a folded blanket draped over her forearm, and slowly shuffled around the dance arena. The caller explained that as she walked, she purpose- ly let the blanket swing back and forth on her arm. That was part of the dance choreography, he noted. So simple, and so beau- tiful. Everyone was a re- spected part of their society. Even the youngest children, barely able to walk. Even ancient grand- parents. My memories are still vivid of the Navajos' ornate headgear and fringed robes flying as they leaped in padded moccasins to their chants and drumming. Then, midway through the program, the caller invited all us spectators to join in their special "Social Dance." It was a very simple choreography. Hold hands in a big circle, walk left, then right, bouncing to the steady drum beat. So simple, but so deeply enjoyable. Even as two strangers in our shorts and tour- ist hats, we felt warmly welcomed by our new Navajo friends. Joining their hands in the dance circle symbol- ized a connection of our hearts. Social dance is powerful. So come dance with us. Deepen your social connection. Even connecting on- screen with live people will do your heart, mind and body good. Everyone has your place in our dance, and likewise, in democracy. Because social dance and democracy, only work if each person participates in the cho- reography. We each have a role in our nation, to be strong, ethical, good citizens. The important thing is not how awesomely skilled you are. The important thing is to show up and join in. We need you. Democracy needs you. Teacher Peggy, Santa Cruz Waltz & Swing www.Waltz Tribe.com www.PeggyDance.wee- bly.com

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