‘For Better or Worse,’ 2016 Caregiver of the Year takes wedding vows to heart

Gayle TowlesWhen Gayle Towles said his wedding vows, “for better or worse and in sickness and in health,” he meant every word. He just had no idea it would mean becoming a caregiver for not only his first wife, but his second wife, too.

Towles retired early in 1989 as a teacher and head basketball coach at Ben Davis High school to take care of his high school sweetheart and wife, Donna, who was fighting colon cancer. He never left her side, taking her to appointments, giving her herbal treatments, and keeping her comfortable. Cancer took her life in 1996. They had been married 42 years.

“When she died, I felt like I died, too,” he said.

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Stressing Out

Orion Bell Square HeadshotOlder adults may suffer from chronic stress, anxiety or depression. Anxiety disorders may arise from the response to a loss or a traumatic event such as a fall or an acute illness.  It often goes unreported, because the senior may not seek help. But, anxiety and depression do not have to be part of the aging process. Change is inevitable. And so, stress is also inevitable. But there ways to that we can help manage our own stress, and ways we can help relieve the stress in others.

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Mini-Vacations: The Perfect Prescription

Cindi UebeleIt was Spring Break 2016, and I was compiling a list of all the things I had to get done at work and home before my family left for vacation. As my mind raced trying to figure out how I was going to get all of this done, two clear thoughts came to mind. My first thought was, “It is pretty darn exhausting getting ready to go on vacation.” The second was, “I am so fortunate that I get to go on vacation, since the caregivers I work with never get a vacation. They barely get a break at all.”

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Eat Away Your Stress the Right Way

Tiffany CoxWhen we’re stressed, we often reach for things we know aren’t good for us – a bag of chips, cookies, ice cream or a candy bar. That stress may come from getting bad news at a doctor’s office, it may be feeling overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list, or worrying about your health or the health and well-being of loved ones.

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Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes (and have fun doing it)

People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they take action to reduce their risk. Now through the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and CICOA, you can work with others in a small group setting to make practical, lifestyle changes that will improve your overall health. Studies show these changes also can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and its associated danger—heart attack, stroke, blindness and even amputation—by 58 percent!

CICOA will fund up to 59 low-income seniors to participate in the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. If you qualify, the program may be available to you at no cost (a $429 value)!

Enrollment Options in Indianapolis:

Ages 60 and older, at or below 185% of the Federal poverty line, no cost if enrolled by 5/5/16

United Healthcare plan members may be able to participate at no cost

Self-pay

Call the YMCA at (317) 269-6004 before May 5 to see if you qualify.

The Eyes You Once Loved

This is the story of Joe and Kim Brazeal, both 55, whose lives changed in their mid-40’s when Kim was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.