Where to volunteer on the MLK Day of Service

It’s a cinch to locate opportunities to help out

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service Monday, consider for a moment these two quotes from the esteemed civil rights leader:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” and “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

With those words in mind, I hope you’ll look for a way to do something for others on MLK Day and volunteer. Be great. (Some nonprofits have Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering projects on Tuesday, too.)

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30-day declutter challenge: What I’ve learned

Halfway through, I’ve got a pile of junk and gained some wisdom, too

By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue


I used to be able to put all of my belongings in a 1985 Honda Accord and still see out the back.

Now, I can barely see out of some of the windows of our four-bedroom house. What happened?!

Here’s what happened: Marriage, kids, dogs, hobbies, a reluctance to let things go and years of living in progressively larger apartments where I could stash the stuff without having to look at it.

Now that I’m turning 50, it’s time to take stock and get rid of some stock. On Aug. 1, I decided to take the Next Avenue 30-Day Declutter Challenge, getting rid of one item on Day 1, two on Day 2, and so forth for 30 days.

By the end of the month I will have collected 465 items to give away, throw away or sell on eBay. That’s 465 items that I no longer need at midlife — like toys from when my daughters were six and four, books I have read but don’t need to keep in the age of Kindle and clothes that clearly, and embarrassingly, date back to the 1990s.

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The 1 New Year’s resolution to improve your finances 4 ways

Here’s what it is and how to put it into practice

By Jack Fehr for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

New Year’s resolutions: so easy to make, so hard to keep. But what if you could make just one financial resolution that would improve your life in four ways?

Here’s how: Make a habit of reading between the lines of your financial statements from your bank, mutual funds, credit card issuers, insurers and mortgage company. Many of these companies, sadly, shroud their products in confusing terminology that requires a linguistic scholar — or at least a person with some time — to decipher.

Learning how to sort through and interpret the financial and legal goop that confuses and abuses can help you…

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7 ways to keep your New Year’s resolution

Are you sabotaging yourself? Here’s how you can fulfill your commitments.

By Linda Melone, CSCS for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

It’s that time of year again. A new beginning, a clean slate. But how often do you actually make good on your New Year’s resolutions? If the answer is “not very,”  you’ll want to read the seven ideas below that can help you follow through in 2017.

The start of a new year naturally creates incentive for making changes. Days that seem like transition points motivate people to take advantage of the “fresh-start effect,” research shows. Birthdays, the beginning of a semester, and the start of a new week all fall under this new transition time. Researchers at the Wharton School came to this conclusion after they discovered that visits to the university fitness center spiked during these turning points.

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5 New Year’s resolutions for older adults

How to set your sights on the big picture at New Year’s

By Bruce Rosenstein for Next Avenue


In 2007, British psychologist Richard Wiseman followed more than 3,000 people attempting to achieve New Year’s resolutions including the top three: lose weight, quit smoking and exercise regularly. At the start of the study, most were confident of success. A year later, only 12 percent had achieved their goals.

To make meaningful New Year’s resolutions that you’ll really keep, set long-range resolutions for your second act. This way, you can help reach the goals that matter to you in the context of your entire future, not just a single year.

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Art is Ageless® call for entries

Basic RGBResidents and friends of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Art is Ageless program are proving that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition, whether you picked up a brush for the first time as a child or completed your first drawing after age 80.

Manor of the Plains is accepting entries for the 2017 Art is Ageless competition until Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. Art will be on display March 10-16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a reception with the artists from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on March 16.

Artists may enter as amateurs or professionals. The categories for submitted artwork are:

·       Christmas
·       Drawing
·       Fiber Arts
·       Painting
·       Sculpture/3-D
·       Photography
·       Mixed Media/Crafts
·       Quilting: Machine-stitched
·       Quilting: Hand-stitched
·       Needlework

For more information, contact Kurt Lampe at 620-338-0240 or klampe@pmma.org.

Art is Ageless® through the years

Mary Ford, Sandra Hastings and Joanne Clarke enjoy the Art is Ageless® show.

Mary Ford, Sandra Hastings and Joanne Clarke enjoy the Art is Ageless® show.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s annual art competition, better known as Art Is Ageless, is still thriving at all of their campuses since it began in 1980. That includes Manor of the Plains in Dodge City.

Each year the entries continue to grow, said Marketing Director Kurt Lampe, thanks in part to many seniors in Southwest Kansas getting involved with art in some way. Some seniors are discovering a new love for art and we encourage them to enter the competition. With divisions fr amateurs and professionals, there is opportunity for everyone who enters.

When Kurt started at Manor of the Plains in 2011, he met a wonderful lady, Alma Duncan, who brought to the manor a new passion for art. Alma moved here in 2011, setting up her own art studio in her one-bedroom apartment. Anyone who visited Alma could immediately see what her passion was. She was proud to be featured in the Art is Ageless brochure.

One day Alma brought a picture into Kurt’s office of a painting she did shortly after her husband died. Kurt told her he couldn’t accept gifts, but that the painting could hang on the wall in the office. Kurt asked her in 2013 if he could enter the painting in the Art is Ageless competition, and she agreed. When he took it down, he found she had written a dedication to him and named the painting “Because He Cares.”

Alma died last year. The painting is still hanging in Kurt’s office today, and her legacy will live on for many years. Art is Ageless has had many highlights through the years at Manor of the Plains, and we’ve included many in pictures in this issue. Kurt recalled traveling in 2012 to the Kansas City Art show, which to the seniors here in Southwest Kansas was equal to winning an Oscar. We had several winners who were able to come, and it was an experience none of them will soon forget.

Dawn Habiger from Cimarron was in the running with her quilt, “Chocolate Bunny,” for Best in Show. Sandra Hastings from Jetmore was featured with her beaded bag, “Panda Bear.” Joanne Clarke entered her chalk drawing of Dirty Harry, and several others from the area were also featured. What a treat it was for everyone involved! It just goes to show how much PMMA appreciates our Art is Ageless competition.

Manor of the Plains will accept entries this year every day in February. The exhibition will be March 10-16, and the reception will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, in our Community Room.

Anyone in the Dodge City area age 65 and older is encouraged to enter. Entries must have been completed within the last five years. Visit the website artisageless.org for more information and entry forms, or stop by Manor of the Plains and inquire for more information. You can reach Kurt Lampe at 620-225-1928 or klampe@pmma.org.

The joy of fostering a senior dog

You and your adopted companion benefit when you open your home

By Debbie Swanson for Next Avenue


Credit: SecondHand Hounds


Carol Byers already had two dogs when she decided to foster a third. Byers, an active woman in her early 70s, set her sights on an older pet.

“Like most seniors, I’ve experienced loss and know how important quality of life is,” she says. “To give a senior dog an opportunity to live out life with a loving family, a lap to curl up in, a comfortable bed and tummy rubs, means a lot.” (A senior dog is one in the last 25 percent of his or her life; the average lifespan of most breeds is nine to 15 years.)

At a visit to Muttville, a senior dog rescue in San Francisco, a pug/shih tzu named Peggy caught Byers’ eye. Peggy’s owner had died.

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Fighting ageism means paying attention to our stereotypes

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue


Credit: John Gilman Aging adults often struggle to be seen behind a one-dimensional stereotype of “old”


Writer Ceridwen Dovey didn’t think it would be difficult to write a novel from the point of view of a man in his late 80s. Dovey, a 30-something novelist, concocted a generic old man who was crabby and computer illiterate. Another main character was an eccentric old woman who wore magenta-colored turbans and handed out safe-sex pamphlets.

But as Dovey wrote last year in The New Yorker, her effort revealed the problem with assumptions. After reading her first draft, an editor inquired, “But what else are they, other than old?”

What a great question.

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Keep the momentum going

Your generosity can extend hope beyond today


The end of the year puts many of us in a reflective mood. We think about the ups and downs we’ve had along the way and the special moments that touched our hearts.

When you review your personal highlights for 2016, don’t forget to count the positive impact you’ve had on others this year by supporting causes important in your life, such as Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. Your generosity is an encouragement to those we serve.

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