Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Great Time to Walk

Fall has arrived and it's a great time of year to get out and walk. The cooler temps make it pleasant to be out and about, spending time with friends and improving your health.

To encourage new walkers to get moving and stay healthy, many of the libraries in Alleheny County, Pennsylvania, are providing free ten-week Wise Walk Progranms beginning this month and next. The library's partners in this program are the Allegheny County Library Association, Highmark PALS and AARP. (Please check with your local organizations. Similar walking programs are being offered in other counties, states.)

Walkers over 50 can set their own goals and walk at their own pace using a complimentary walking guide provided to each walker by the local library. Supplies, walking materials such as pedomenters and healthy snacks and t-shirts are also provided for each participant through the program.

But beyond these supplies, this program gets boomers -- and seniors -- out walking with friends, enjoying nature, exercising as prescribed by their doctors, and a no-cost way to feel better. You just can't beat that.

For more information: please ontact Denise Hughes of Highmark at 412-544-7488 or Charity Leonette of the Allegheny County Library Association at 412-921-1123 ext. 304.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taking Care of Mom at Home

The Summer of the Ice Cream
By Guest Blogger: Henry Peter Gribbin

I am a home health care giver. I left my job and my life to take care of my 88 year old mother. She is riddled with arthritis and dementia, but she is a fighter, and over the course of these many months we have dodged many bullets. We are a team, and we manage.

Our main enemy is time. I try to fill in the hours the best I can. I try to overcome her sense of uselessness by devising little projects she can do. We also go for long rides whenever we can. For instance, every Sunday at 1 p.m. the two of us head out on the road. We started doing this in late spring of last year, and at the start we tried to go to the highest ground across the city trying to find the best views. As summer came on we changed our mission to find the best ice cream stand the city had to offer. I called our quest the "Summer of the Ice Cream."

But these little projects can only fill so much of the day. Like I said time, or too much time, is our enemy. We are lucky in that we have a big front porch. Our house sits atop a busy roadway so in the spring, summer and fall we utilize it to its full extent. Neighbors and family sometimes drop by to visit, not often enough for my liking (everybody is so busy these days, or so they say). But it is the winters that weigh down on us, and Pittsburgh winters can be long and hard. One can only do so many puzzles. One can only read so many books. But like I said, we are a team, and we manage. My only hope is that the next winter is a mild one.