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Things You Should Never Say to Your Aging Parents - Tips for voicing your concerns effectively from AARP

No one likes to think about it, much less talk about it. But at some point, your loved one may not be able to do the things he or she once did, such as driving, taking care of money or even managing a household. That can be a difficult reality for an older person to accept, so it's important that you discuss these matters with great sensitivity. A careless remark — no matter how well-intentioned — can be extremely hurtful.

If you are tempted to say the following things, make sure to think twice about the way that you say them:

1. "You shouldn't be driving at your age!"

For older people driving can signify freedom and independence. And many older drivers are able to operate a car as safely as any driver on the road. But if you're concerned that your parent's vision, hearing, reflexes or judgment is no longer sharp enough for him or her to be behind the wheel, it's important to express your concern.

A better way: Bring up the topic indirectly, such as, "I heard Mr. Jones gave up driving. Do you think your driving ability has changed?" Talk about ideas you have for keeping your loved one on the road — such as only driving during daylight or avoiding busy intersections — rather than suggesting that he or she give up driving completely. Try to be understanding if your parent resists change, but don't back down if you are legitimately concerned about safety.


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How You Can Be Part of the “Cheer” in Cheerful!

For most of us the holidays are a wonderful time to share the joys of family life and friendship.  Oftentimes our seniors get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. At Heart of the Valley we are inviting you to join us in bringing a little bit of holiday cheer to our elders. Here’s what you can do…

1). Drop off or mail a gift for a senior to Heart of the Valley.  Call for our mailing and/or actual address.

2) Deliver a gift to a senior yourself during the holidays. Call our office for a name and address of a senior who would like to receive a gift.

3) If you or someone you know would like to receive a gift, please call our office.

Possible Stocking Stuffers:

Candy and cookies (Both sugar-free and regular)

Cheese baskets


Stuffed Animals

Gift certificates for drug stores, books, movies, hair and manicure appts., grocery stores, restaurants (especially those that deliver), etc.

Amaryllis or Paperwhite Bulb Kits

Warm hats, socks, scarves and/or gloves

Crossword puzzle, word find, Sudoku and Game Books

Lap throws

Pretty nightlights


Unscented Soap and Lotion

Hand held magnifying glass

Books of Postage Stamps

Cards and Stationery


Coffee & Tea pkgs.

Purchase a gift online and send it to us to give to them

Or come up with an idea of your own.

Remember, the cheerier, the better!  Keep all gifts that you drop off at Heart of the Valley, unwrapped.  Those you deliver yourself can be wrapped! All donations are 100% tax deductible…ask us for a letter. We are unable to accept candles, decorations, jewelry, promotional logos, pets, or any used items. Call Heart of the Valley (408)241-1571.

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Ten Two-Minute Exercises That Build Your Bones


If you incorporate all 10 of them into your day, you’ll get 20 minutes of exercise in. Not bad! And you can do most of these moves while doing other tasks, like cooking or waiting in line.
Now let’s get started!

#1: Quick Power Walk

While walking is excellent exercise that strengthens bones and reduces stress, not everyone has the time and space to go for a long walk every day. Have you ever thought about incorporating quick walks into your daily routine? Instead of looking for the closest parking spot, deliberately park far away from the store, office, etc. and walk vigorously to your destination. You have to walk back, too, so there’s another burst of exercise.
#2: Jog or March in Place While You Wait

During those minutes of down time in your day, such as waiting for water to boil or printing material off your computer, jog or march in place instead of standing or sitting.

#3: Stationary Stairs

This exercise mimics the action of going up or down stairs, but you stay in one place.

While standing, bend first one knee, then the other.
Keep your toes on the ground but lift your heels.
Repeat for 2 minutes.

Desk workers’ tip: If you work at a computer, set up a makeshift standing work station by putting your keyboard and monitor (or laptop) up on boxes or books. You can do Stationary Stairs while you’re typing or reading online.

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The Poetic Journey of Don and Sol

Even from the very beginning, this client-volunteer match-up was unusual. I received a call with a name and a phone number from Glenda who thought my 47 year background as an English teacher made me the right person for the client and the task. She told me he was 93 years old and had been an artist and an art professor at a number of universities, especially in Pennsylvania.

I gave him a call. When he told me his address, it startled me. He started to give me directions, but I stopped him. “I know exactly where you live. My mother-in-law lived three doors away from you for nearly ten years. I’ve been over there many times.”

What Sol Carson wanted was my opinion on the lifetime accumulation of poetry he had written, some not only inspired by his paintings but also actually written on the backs of some of the canvasses. Some had been written in notebooks, but someone had typed up most of it so that I merely had a stack of poetry of about 400 pages to look through and evaluate. What he wanted to know from me was whether any of it was any good as poetry and perhaps publishable, or should he, in his words, “…just have a private bonfire some cold and rainy evening.”

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Award Winning Robotics Team, join Teachers and Parents to Make Home Improvements

The Robotics Club members, including their parents and counselors, arrived at Tom and Jean Carley's house between 9:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. yesterday, January 19, 2013. There were more than 25 volunteers that came with the goal of painting the interior of the Carley's house and to build a wheelchair ramp leading to the back yard. What I experienced, while supporting Jean and Tom, could be likened to the spirit and accomplishments of what must have occurred during an old time barn raising. The participants didn't start leaving for home until 6:00 P.M. Annette and her husband, Jim, plus Kelle stayed until after 7:00 P.M. doing final cleanup touches.

The house looks great and the ramp is wonderful. Jean and Tom are ecstatic and I sensed that the Valley Christian Robotics Club volunteers were filled with fuzzy feelings upon seeing how their efforts were received. I will try to forward a video of Tom's maiden voyage down his new wheelchair ramp.

The following are some observations/impression/facts/etc.


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