Good Living Summer 2010

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Skagit County's 50+ Retirement Magazine

Text of Good Living Summer 2010

  • GoodLivingThe Retirement Years


    A supplement to the Skagit Valley Herald and Anacortes American

    HEALTH FOCUS You and your health care Hospitals get ready for baby boomers Benefits of Vitamin D

    Cliff Flanary, 89, works out during a cardiac therapy session at Skagit Valley Hospital.

  • July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years Skagit Publishing Skagit Publishing July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years

    Advertising Representatives:Stephanie Fussell, sfussell@skagitpublishing.comLeah Hines, lhines@skagitpublishing.comMarc McCoy, mmccoy@skagitpublishing.comKathy Schulrz, kschultz@skagitpublishing.comKim Streit, kstreit@skagitpublishing.comPaul Tinnon,

    Photographer: Scott Terrell

    EDITORIALP: 360.416-2160 F: 360.428.0400

    Editor: Colette Weeks,

    Display Advertising Manager:Deb Bundy,

    Advertising Operations Supervisor:Sarah Hickman,

    Design: Ashley CrerarProduction: Ashley Crerar, Jody Hendrix, Christina Poisal, Patricia Stowell

    ADVERTISINGP: 360.424.3251 F: 360.424.5300

    1215 Anderson RoadMount Vernon, WA 98274

    COVER STORIES Your Health Care ...............4Hospitals ..........................6

    For Your Health .................8

    Benefits of Vitamin D .......10

    Our Health: Q&A ..............11

    Senior Events ..................12

    Busy Seniors ...................14

    Good Living The Retirement Years



    Summer 2010

    ASSISTANCE, INFORMATION AND REFERRALCommunity Action Agency Mount Vernon360-416-7585

    Community Health Resource Center Anacortes 360-299-1397 Mount Vernon 360-428-2371

    Department of Social and Health ServicesMount Vernon 360-416-7444 or 800-487-0416

    Physicians Referral Line Skagit County 360-848-5555

    Senior Information and Assistance Burlington 360-428-1301

    Whatcom-Island Counties Medical SocietyBurlington 360-676-7630

    CALLING AND EMERGENCY RESPONSEHealth Watch 360-336-9693 or 800-624-2714Lifeline 360-293-7563 or 800-543-3546Response Link 360-303-2292

    FINANCIAL AND LEGAL SERVICESCity utility discounts for low-income seniors:Anacortes 360-293-1900

    Burlington (refuse pick-up only) 360-755-0531

    Mount Vernon 360-336-6218

    Sedro-Woolley (refuse pick-up only) 360-855-0929

    HOME HEALTH CAREIsland Hospital Home Health Services Anacortes 360-299-1301OptionCare Mount Vernon 360-854-9604 or 800-755-0484Visiting Nurse Personal Services Mount Vernon 360-336-9693 or 800-624-2714

    SENIOR CENTERSAnacortes Senior Center 360-293-7473Burlington Senior Center 360-755-0102Concrete Senior Center 360-853-8400Marblemount Community Center 360-873-4432Mount Vernon Senior Center 360-336-5757Sedro-Woolley Senior Center 360-855-1531

  • Skagit Publishing July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years



    Obviously, the creators of the Baby Boom knew how to have fun. And, of course, they still do. Thats why so

    many people choose Creekside Retirement Community. Fun. Youre free to enjoy life because we provide

    the necessities. Things like housekeeping, shuttle services, planned group activities, and tasty restaurant-style

    meals are all included in the monthly rent. And assisted living services are available if needed. So feel free to

    stop by and take a look around. We love visitors. But please watch out, people are having fun everywhere.

    To Learn More AboutCreekside Retirement Community

    Call (360) 755-5550 Today

    400 Gilkey Road Burlington, WA 98233 (360)


    See full story on page 6In this photo: Jim OBryan of Sedro-Woolley sits in the body box, which is used to help test lung function,

    at United General Hospital. Working with him is Janette Taylor, who is the director of Pulmonary and Sleep Services.

  • July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years Skagit Publishing Skagit Publishing July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years

    Getting health care is more com-plicated than simply picking a doctor for many senior citizens in Skagit County.

    Seniors have to figure out some complicated details about insurance, long-term health plans and Medicare even before theyre able to make a medical appointment. And health of-ficials acknowledge that there arent as many doctors specializing in senior care as this community needs.

    However, area hospitals, safety nets and medical clinics offer plenty of programs and tips to help seniors navigate the system and prepare for specialized health care.

    People can do a lot to help them-selves, said Aubrey Adams, regional coordinator at Island Hospitals Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program.

    Preparation is key, and its never too soon to start, Adams said.

    SHIBA is a statewide program that

    helps people work through Medic-aid, Medicare and other insurance programs.

    Adams said she gets a lot of calls from seniors who say I have just one question. She sighs a little bit when she hears that.

    There is no one question with this stuff. It just doesnt work that way, Adams said. I wish it did.

    Insurance and Medicare is just too complicated, she said. The sooner people start figuring out what ben-efits they have whether from in-surance, Social Security or Medicare the better.

    Adams recommends that people as young as 50 call SHIBA as soon as possible to start working out the details of long-term, senior care.

    She said everyone should docu-ment what their health preferences are ahead of time. Gather all the information youll need in the event of a medical emergency or situation.

    That includes date of birth, treatment preferences, contact information for everyone from doctors to accoun-tants and even a will.

    Family and friends need to know where to look for things like your checkbook and vital documents in case you become seriously ill, Adams said.

    Plan ahead while you have a say, she said.

    She encourages people to meet with her volunteers as early as pos-sible, even before age 60, to work out a plan to keep medical care consis-tent and available.

    Other programs can connect se-niors with various services available in the county.

    Senior Information and Assistance

    In this photo: SHIBA volunteer Claudia

    Shoemaker talks to Joleen Sloniker at United

    General Hospital.


  • Skagit Publishing July 2010 GOODLIVING: The Retirement Years

    Bellingham Office4213 Rural Ave.(360) 671-8388Toll Free 866-522-6435

    Burlington Office325 E. George Hopper Rd. Unit 107(360) 707-2074Toll Free 888-707-2074

    Everett Office2532 Wetmore(360) 348-9914Toll Free 866-348-9914

    www.VisitingAngelsWA.comVisit our website at


    Call for a free in-home consultation

    Stay in your

    our Angels Assistance On call 24/7 Personalized case-by-case care You choose your care giver All levels of care 1 to 24 hours of care Comprehensive Caregiver Screening and Testing

    Own Home with

    We serve Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island &


    call 360-428-1301 can also offer some help for seniors, even things as simple as finding a ride to the doctor.

    Jill Eelkema, who runs the pro-gram, said the organization is tuned into what services are available and who is eligible for them, from Meals on Wheels to Dial-A-Ride.

    One of the challenges in our area is transportation, Eelkema said.

    Even that simple help makes a dif-ference. Allie Jensen, 73, of Concrete, called the Senior Information and Assistance because she didnt know

    how to get home from her clinic after cataract surgery.

    I know Im not the only one who runs into a situation like that, Jensen said.

    Jensen called senior centers to find help, but finally got it through Senior Information and Assistance.

    Figuring out insurance, rides and health plans ahead of time makes a big difference because doctors simply cant fill all those needs. With a rising population of seniors, doctors are strapped. Some cant even take new

    Medicare patients.North Cascade Family Physicians

    Administrator Pam Putney said doctors do the best they can with the resources they have, but many are taking losses to provide care for a growing population of seniors.

    Were going to deliver the same good medical care to everybody and hope it shakes out in the end, Putney said.

    Aaron Burkhalter can be reached at 360-416-2141 or

    Numbers to KNow Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) 1-800-562-6900 Senior Information and Assistance 360-428-1301 Skagit County Community Action Agency 360-416-7585

    readiNess tips Start making plans for medical care now, before an emergency. Collect important information and documents in one place so a family mem-ber or care provider can find it. Include your health care preferences and contact information for people like your doctors and accountants. Make a will now. Find a family member or friend to be your