CICOA is bringing out the dogs

Therapets of Indiana offers animal-assisted therapy to CICOA clients

When Darlene Gosnell walks into a room, eyes light up. It’s not Gosnell people are looking at, though, it’s one of her terriers. Gosnell is founder of Therapets of Indiana, which offers animal-assisted therapy in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and homes. She’s seen how people who are lonely are cheered up by a pet, how someone in hospice is comforted by a trained therapy dog, and she knows first-hand how a pet can help someone with a traumatic brain injury.

Beginning this fall, CICOA will pilot a program with Therapets of Indiana and offer animal-assisted therapy to homebound clients.

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Who is Happier: Young Adults or Older Adults?

You might think there is a correlation between aging and declining mental health, but you would be wrong. Researchers have found that the subjective well being of older adults increases with age. This “unexpected positive relationship between aging and happiness” is called “the paradox of well-being.”

Subjective well being is comprised of three elements: life satisfaction, high levels of positive effect (joy, happiness) and low levels of negative effect (anger or depression). Life satisfaction seems to increase with age. Adults age 65 or older report higher levels of satisfaction than those 50 to 64. Physical decline, illness or loss does not necessarily correlate to less happiness. Older adults tend to look on the bright side. Life experience and expectations provide perspective on daily activities and events. The odds of being happy increase with age.

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Just a Thought…in the Interest of a Healthy Brain

Memory loss is one of the most feared consequences of aging.  After all, it’s natural to want to learn and remember new things, make good decisions, interact well socially, and concentrate in our later years of life. If our interest and hope in maintaining cognition weren’t there, we wouldn’t be reminded constantly by the media about eating this-or-that to boost memory, nor would the sale of self-help books, meditation CDs, coloring activities, dietary supplements and who-knows-what latest trend be skyrocketing into the billions of dollars.

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Feeling down? These tips can boost your mood

We all know that what we eat affects our waistline, but did you know that certain foods also can play a role in our mental health? Some foods can boost your mood, while others can make us feel blue. While there’s no scientific diet prescription proven to relieve depression, in recognition of national Depression Awareness Month, here are eight tips that could led to a happier, healthier lifestyle.

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CICOA presents Honor Your Father and Mother Conference on Oct. 27 to support family caregivers

Caring for a loved one with chronic conditions can be rewarding, but it also comes with lots of challenges, as it can be emotionally, physically and even financially draining. CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions understands these challenges and is providing a workshop on Oct. 27 to help those who are caring for aging parents or family members with chronic conditions. Area clergy and lay leaders also are invited to attend the conference, so they can better understand how to support those within their faith communities who are caring for loved ones.

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Lilly Global Day of Service benefits CICOA clients

When James and Mildred (Mickey) West learned a group of volunteers would be cleaning up around their yard, they were grateful for the help. When they learned it would be volunteers from Eli Lilly, they were thrilled. James retired from Lilly in 1993, after working for the company 27 years.

James, who has multiple sclerosis, sat on the porch in his wheelchair chatting with the seven workers as they trimmed trees, cleaned around bushes, planted mums and spread mulch.

“He loved that,” said Mickey. “He went out on the porch and talked to the Lilly employees about everything. One woman had been there for 14 years. He just loves going down memory lane.”

The employees enjoyed talking to him, too. James began at Lilly as an elevator operator, and then he worked in the lab. After he was diagnosed with MS in 1984, he began doing more office work, until the disease made it impossible for him to continue.

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