Thursday, June 26, 2008

More adventures in cooking

Not all of my trials and efforts in the kitchen produce stellar results but the latest one sure turned out well. I was again cruising through the Manolo blogs (- not the one who makes the shoes but the one who really loves them) and found an intriguing recipe from Mr. Henry on the Manolo Food link for what turned out to be a very tasty potato salad. Mama and I love balsamic vinegar and I learned about white balsamic vinegar on that blog. White balsamic is sweeter and less acid than the regular kind and I am in love with the stuff. Following Mr. Henry's directions I chopped some onion (sweet vidalia for us, naturally) and poured a liberal amount of the vinegar on them and set that aside to let those onions soak it in. Then I peeled and sliced some red bliss potatoes and put them in a pot of water to boil. When they were done I drained them and put them in the bowl with the soaking onions while the potatoes were still hot. I added some chopped celery, dijon mustard and low-fat sour cream and a few shakes of black pepper. I mixed it all together and the result was one fine dish of very good potato salad that was very low in fat and sodium. We loved it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Keeping your guard up

As we age our immune systems age right along with us. That's why the medical folks always emphasize that older adults take care to do things that can help in the fight against viruses and bacteria, like getting flu shots and eating well. Our immune systems get worn down and the buggies that most people just shrug off can be devastating or downright deadly for an older person. Here is a site from the US FDA with information that can help you keep food borne illness out of your kitchen. There's even a special section, Food Safety for Seniors on how to shop, cook and store food safely. Let's be careful out there this summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Having had quite a lot of experience being a tour manager with groups of older adults I know how difficult it can be for folks with disabilities and mobility issues. It's hard enough to navigate airports, tour buses and tourist locations when you have all of your physical abilities in good working order. For the older person or any person with physical limitations it can be frustrating at the least and oftentimes just plain impossible. Recently I was perusing the AARP web site where I ran across an excellent article about resources for travel specifically targeted toward those with limited and/or assisted mobility. You can check some of them out here, and here, and here. There is even an organization, the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality, that has a wealth of information on all aspects of disability-friendly travel. Don't let mobility issues keep you from exploring this great wide world of ours, get out there and have a ball!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Everybody has days when they just can't figure out what to cook (unless you're Paula Deen or Martha Stewart) and need some extra inspiration. This is especially true when you have to provide low sodium meals but our good friend, Mrs. Dash has over 170 recipes from Appetizer Meatballs to Zucchini casserole. God bless her. Some of them look really good and I'm sure I'll be adding more than a few of them to my culinary bag of tricks. Follow the link above and get some inspiration of your own.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More great information on low-sodium cooking

I ran across this site for congestive heart failure patients when I was looking for new recipes. This one has some good ones and a whole lot more in the way of information. Check out the link to the basic tips page, it has very useful tips and things to stir your creative cooking thoughts.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

For the Spouse

It's included in the wedding vows, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health... and it very often happens that one spouse will end up being the primary caregiver for the other who has a chronic illness or disability. These spouses need support and encouragement by the truckload but they don't always get it. Here is a site where they can find information and support targeted directly for them and their common issues, the Well Spouse Association. Although they do not have a support group in my area, they do have many across the country and in Canada. But the web site itself has some very helpful information and they have a newsletter for their members as well. Here is a sample newsletter they have available to download. Go take a look around, if you don't need the information for yourself at present, you may have a friend who does. Pass it on. And then offer to do something nice for them. They deserve it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


According to social analysts, Northeast Florida's senior population is expected to grow by 66 percent in the next fifteen years. This population boom will bring with it exciting opportunities, but also challenges with regard to the increased demand for services. - United Way of NE Florida.

I read this recently on my local United Way web site. The ramifications of this growth spurt in the older adult community are going to be huge, especially for the family caregiver. The resources available today are limited as it is. There are waiting lists for long term care diversion programs, for beds in LTC facilities, Meals on Wheels, you name it. The time to start addressing this is now (or yesterday?) and I'm happy to find that the United Way is addressing the issue with a program called Life - Act 2, a council made up of corporate, private and public entities that fund senior service programs. The council has established three goals to begin addressing the issue:

  1. To elicit a culture shift in the way the Northeast Florida community views and values seniors.
  2. To integrate medical admission and discharge processes with our community's social service system.
  3. To strengthen the continuum of services available to our community's seniors.
Some of the accomplishments of the council since it was established in April of 2002 are:
  • The number of frail seniors on a waiting list for home delivered meals has been cut in half
  • Over $1 million new dollars have been leveraged to invest in senior services
  • Over $200,000 have been invested in community intergenerational activities
  • Over $50,000 have been invested to create or expand 10 neighborhood projects designed to engage seniors in meaningful community activities
It's a good start but it's going to take dedication and effort from public, private and corporate entities as well as faith communities working together to find solutions. I get really bugged by the way every little thing is portrayed as a crisis by politicians and the media, but I'm afraid that this lack of programs and services to help folks care for their aging loved ones might actually become a real crisis.