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Time’s Bonus Days

Leap years are like bonus days in our calendar. You know, the ones when February gets an extra day—February 29th. But why do we have leap years, and what do they mean for someone who is, say 80 years old? Our Gregorian calendar works in 365-day cycles. However, the Earth takes about 365.25 days to orbit the sun. That extra quarter-day might not sound like a big deal, but over time, it adds up. So to keep our calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit, we have leap years. They happen every four years, giving us that extra day in February.

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Piece by Piece: Building Community with MatchUp Door County

After months of careful planning and anticipation, we are thrilled to announce the launch of MatchUp Door County, a groundbreaking program brought to you by Do Good Door County. Designed to bridge the gap between older adults and personalized employment opportunities in our beloved Door County, MatchUp is poised to revolutionize the way seasoned individuals connect with meaningful work. Imagine finding a part-time job that fits you just right, like pieces of a perfectly crafted puzzle. That’s precisely what MatchUp aims to accomplish. We understand what you’re all about – your unique experiences, values, and needs. Our mission is simple

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Scandia Village: The Pros and Cons of For-Profit and Non-Profit Ownership

There have been concerns expressed by many in the Sister Bay area about the recent purchase of Scandia Village by a for-profit organization. Certainly, its long history as a non-profit has an impact on opinions. This transition does reflect the evolving dynamics within the older adult care industry and prompts a closer look at the types of companies that own and operate these facilities. Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of each ownership model. The advantages of for-profit ownership include financial stability and resources, efficiency and innovation, and perhaps market competition. For-profit companies often have access to greater financial resources,

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Embracing Love’s Journey

And here we are, February already, and what’s so great about it…Valentine’s Day of course! A day that reminds us to pay attention to each other, perhaps make a special purchase for the special someone, and in general revel in love. But as we grow older, our perspectives on love often change. What once may have been a day of extravagant dinners, flowers, and chocolates can evolve into something deeper and more meaningful. Love is definitely a wonderful journey that evolves as we mature. When we are young, it’s often characterized by passion, tummy butterflies, and the thrill of newness.

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Vestiges of the Tide

There’s a rare, new exhibit at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay. Ask Helen del Guidice, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, what’s unique about this exhibit and she tell you it’s the topic, one relevant to our community…aging. And not just aging but the hard truths about it. Two artists, Mary Porterfield and Ellen Holtzblatt, join forces in a powerful display, offering images of the struggles of the older adults and their caregivers. Mary Porterfield’s background as an occupational therapist has given her the inspiration to create life-sized images, using family members as models, that pull hard at your

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Cheesehead Vim and Vigor

It has been fun to watch the Green Bay Packers this season, mostly because there weren’t big expectations for the team. That undemanding attitude is based primarily on their being the youngest team in the NFL this year. But beyond the statistics and scores, what makes this more attractive is youth itself. And it’s not just the number of years, but the energy and enthusiasm that goes along with it. It’s the “vim and vigor” of youth that seems so great. it. So how do we capture this feeling as we get older? There’s no doubt that youthfulness is not

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Snowflakes and Sunshine: Beating the Winter Blues

At the Door County Non-Profit Group meeting (a great monthly gathering of Door non-profit organizations) last week, we had an opportunity to listen to a presentation about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues. It got me to thinking, is this more concerning for older adults?…and as a matter of fact it is. As the winter months settle in, many individuals, especially older adults, may find themselves grappling with the effects of the winter blues. The colder, darker, shorter days definitely impacts mood and well-being. Older adults may be more susceptible to the winter blues due to

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Navigating Winter with Confidence

Well, it was bound to happen…SNOW. We live in Wisconsin and know the challenges of winter, especially when it comes to snowy conditions. For older adults, however, ensuring safety during the winter months is paramount. With a few practical precautions and some planning, seniors can confidently navigate snowy weather. Let’s start with the things you can control, and that starts with the feet. Wearing the right footwear is crucial when walking on snowy or icy surfaces. Consider shoes or boots with non-slip soles and good traction to prevent slips and falls. Ice grips or traction cleats can also provide additional

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Jingling Bells of Appreciation: Do Good Door County’s Yuletide Thanks

As we hope for a white Christmas and enjoy the festive lights throughout the beautiful landscape of Door County, there’s a warmth that extends beyond the winter chill. This season, Do Good Door County is not just celebrating the magic of Christmas but is also taking a moment to express heartfelt gratitude to the incredible community that has made our mission a reality. At the core of Do Good Door County’s success is the unwavering support of the community. This Christmas, as we reflect on the year gone by, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the countless individuals who have

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Unwrapping Inclusion: Thoughts for the Holidays

The holiday season embodies a spirit of joy and togetherness, yet for some of our older community members, this time may pose challenges that could lead to a sense of isolation. Whether it’s from health considerations or the absence of loved ones, it is important to proactively address these issues and ensure that our older friends and family members feel supported during the holidays. Here’s few things to consider: Initiate conversations about holiday plans in advance to get to know preferences and limitations. This early dialogue allows for the tailoring activities to accommodate their specific needs.  When orchestrating holiday gatherings,

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Tuning In: Creating Personalized Playlists for Dementia Support

The Door County Caregiver Coalition, led by the ADRC and made up of various organizations, meets every other month to discuss the concerns of caregivers and how to help them. Dementia care is often a topic. Our last meeting had reminded me of web-based tools that I had recently learned about to help caregivers manage the day through music. Scientific studies have shown that music has a unique ability to reach deep into the recesses of memory and emotion, often sparking recollections and emotions that other forms of communication may not. For individuals with dementia, where verbal communication may become

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Giving Tuesday and the Mission of Do Good Door County

In recent years, the holiday season has seen a marked shift from a focus solely on shopping and consumerism to a spirit of generosity and giving. One notable phenomenon that has gained traction globally is “Giving Tuesday.” This day, which falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, encourages individuals to channel their holiday spirit into charitable acts and support causes that make a positive impact in their communities. Giving Tuesday was first conceptualized in 2012 by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City. The idea was simple yet

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Tasting Time: Why Our Palates Change as We Age

Why does our sense of taste change over time, and why do some people lose their appetite as they age? It’s true, the world of taste, like a fine wine, matures over time. As children, we are often drawn to sweet treats, a preference believed to be ingrained from birth. As we grow, our taste buds broaden their horizons, embracing the spectrum of flavors—sour, salty, bitter—all contributing to a diverse palate. Through our adult life, our taste experience changes. It is characterized by an appreciation for the complexity of flavors. The ability to discern subtle notes in food and drink

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Hiring a Part-Time MatchUp Coordinator

We did it! We obtained funding to launch the MatchUp program. First, let me acknowledge the Bader Foundation and express our immense appreciation of their support. Second, if you don’t know what MatchUp is, check out this video on our YouTube channel…https://youtu.be/hR4sljN1SvA. And third, and most importantly, this funding gives us the ability to hire a part-time MatchUp Coordinator. Keeping in line with the benefits of MatchUp, the job description of this position emphasizes the social, physical and emotional benefits. The process of matching through the program also focuses not just on the duties of a job, but the values

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Caring for the Caregiver: Knowing When to Share the Load

Caregiving is a noble and often rewarding role, but it can also be physically and emotionally demanding. Whether you’re taking care of an aging parent, a spouse with a chronic illness, or a disabled family member, there may come a time when you need extra help. Recognizing the signs that you’re reaching your limits and knowing when to seek additional assistance is crucial for both your well-being and the well-being of the one that you care for. One of the earliest indicators that a caregiver needs extra help is an increase in stress and burnout. Signs of caregiver burnout may

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Revolutionizing Aging in Door County

As the United States grapples with a rapidly growing population of older adults, innovative solutions are needed to support their changing needs. One such solution gaining traction and making a significant impact is the “Village Model.” This model is not just transforming the lives of older adults but also inspiring communities throughout the United States to follow suit. The Village Model is a unique approach to aging in place, community building, and providing comprehensive support to older adults. The concept is simple but powerful: a group of older adults in a specific geographic area comes together to form a “village”

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The Road to Freedom: Using Medical Equipment with Confidence

Mobility devices and other supportive equipment are a game-changer for folks with physical disabilities or injuries. They bring freedom and independence but using them safely is important. Here in Door County, we’ve got a community gem called Neighbor-to-Neighbor, a non-profit lending a hand with medical equipment. I occasionally volunteer for this organization and find that many people have challenges choosing the right devices and using them safely, so let’s do a quick review. Choose the Right DeviceSelecting the right equipment is the first step in ensuring safety and comfort. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist

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Will you be the next Volunteer of the Year?

We were very pleased and not so surpised to see that The Sister Bay Advancement Association named Kathy Wagner the 2023 Sister Bay Volunteer of the Year. She has given her time to various organizations and events for over 25 years, and most recently to our organization, serving as secretary on our board (certainly our honor) as well as on the steering committee for SAIL, the village movement happening now in Sister Bay/Liberty Grove. Why does she do it? We would have to ask her. But the benefits of volunteering, this we know. We wrote a blog about 8 months

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Social Security Through the Ages

In the someday book that I am writing, I weave a generational story that speaks to the changes in our society and aging. As I consider the importance of the Social Security Act of 1935, here’s an excerpt from that story: She looked out the window, taking in the spring’s bounty and spotting the familiar hem of her granddaughter’s blue skirt as she makes her way down Halsted Street. She thinks even from this distance it looks a little frayed. As Chloe comes into full view, she sees that her granddaughter has a small bag in one hand and a

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What is a Doula?

Life is a journey, and along the way, we go through some really big changes. Some of these changes are happy, like when a new baby is born, and others are sad, like when someone’s life is coming to an end. But in both these moments, there are special people called doulas who are there to help. As someone who has been in the health care arena for many years, I have always been impressed by doulas and how they play a crucial role at the beginning and end of life. What is a Doula? A doula is a trained

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