Sentinel-Tribune: Senior Living

Senior Living

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How to throw a fun themed holiday party

(BPT) - This year, why not choose a fun theme for your holiday party? You can create a great atmosphere while providing entertainment for all ages with a little creativity — and local resources.

  • icon Posted: October 16

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

Recent Headlines

Tuesday 10/15/2019
How to be ready for a home fire: Plan and practice
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Did you know that today’s homes burn faster than ever? Newer homes tend to be built with unprotected, lightweight wood construction and are frequently designed with lots of open spaces and high ceilings — ideal conditions for fire to grow and spread quickly. Also, modern home furnishings are often made with synthetic fibers that generate toxic smoke and gases when they burn, making it hard to see and breathe within moments.

Five ways to support shelter animals if you’re not ready to adopt
Posted: October 15, 2019

(BPT) - The winter months, which are often considered some of the busiest for animal shelters, are approaching. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year. Adding a shelter pet to your family can be fulfilling, but what if you’re not ready or able to adopt?

Simple ways to support causes in your daily life
Posted: October 15, 2019

(BPT) - We are all busy and distracted these days, and it can often be difficult to find ways to make a difference to those less fortunate in our communities. However, today it is simpler than ever to give back, and you do not have to alter your hectic routine to make an impact.

Give back while you shop

If you want to make a difference with your shopping dollars, look for retailers that give a percentage of their profits to those in need.

For example, Walgreens gives one percent of sales from participating vitamin products to nonprofit Vitamin Angels. Through Vitamin Angels, undernourished pregnant women and children under five receive life-changing nutrients to combat the devastating effects of malnutrition. When customers purchase they support Vitamin Angels’ mission to improve child and maternal health in the U.S. and around the world. The partnership between Walgreens and Vitamin Angels has already reached more than 200 million children and mothers throughout the U.S. and worldwide with essential vitamins and minerals. To learn more, visit

Many retailers and grocery stores also provide shoppers the opportunity to donate to causes when they are at the checkout register. With just a couple of extra clicks, you can opt to add a small contribution to your total bill to provide resources to a worthy cause.

Give while you work up a sweat

You can get exercise and support a cause you care about at the same time. Several apps on the market allow you to donate to your charity of choice for every mile you walk, run or bike — the miles can even add up as you carry your phone around all day. All you have to do is download an app, create an account, select your favorite charity and get moving!

You can also join organized walks and runs that suit all fitness levels to support your cause. Turn it into a social event by rallying friends, coworkers and family members to join you, or ask them to sponsor you (and cheer you on!) for each mile completed.

Give back while you de-clutter

Next time you join in on the Marie Kondo craze to clear out your closets, consider sparking even more joy by donating gently used items to a local nonprofit. Clothing and goods you no longer use can be life-changing for those in need. Check before you donate to make sure your charity of choice actually needs your donations. Some organizations will even come to your home at no charge, making it even easier to give back.

Give your time

With crammed schedules, it can seem like a big commitment to volunteer, but today’s nonprofits offer flexible arrangements. Most nonprofits welcome any level of assistance, even one-­time engagements or a couple of hours a month. Contact a local nonprofit you are interested in to ask about volunteering opportunities. Some employers will even allow you to use PTO (paid time off) for volunteering, so it's worth asking your employer’s HR department.

3 surprising ingredients to boost flavor in your recipes
Posted: October 15, 2019

(BPT) - Looking for easy ways to add zing to snacks and meals, as well as holiday entertaining? Adding just a few flavor-packed ingredients can revamp recipes with very little effort. Consider adding dried fruits to your daily meals and snacks, as they're not only full of flavor, but packed with nutrition, too. Because dried fruit needs no refrigeration, it's also a great on-the-go snack for packing in school lunches, gym bags or keeping in your office desk.

7 budget-friendly tips for smart holiday gift giving
Posted: October 15, 2019

(BPT) - The holiday season is full of celebration, social activities and spreading good cheer by exchanging gifts. The problem is gift giving can get expensive if you’re not making a plan and monitoring your spending. A happy holiday doesn't have to mean stressing about finances or going into debt. You can enjoy the holidays and save money with some smart strategies for gift giving on a budget.

Monday 10/14/2019
Cutting the chaos out of your morning routine
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Mornings can be chaotic as you fight the clock to get out the door on time. This is especially true if you have a big family. Wouldn't it be nice if rather than feeling like a stressful race, your morning routine was something you looked forward to?

5 ways to add luxury and style to your bathroom
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Today's homeowners are increasingly expecting their bathrooms to mirror some of the spa-like features previously seen only in hotels, resorts and luxury vacation rentals.

Hosting tips for your next get-together
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - There are always reasons to entertain, especially now during the holidays. From decor to dessert, there isn’t one exact recipe for the perfect party, and the right combination can make a real difference. Candy maker HARIBO suggests sprinkling in moments of sweet childlike happiness to strike a memorable chord with party-goers. So, if you’re dreaming of ways to make your next get-together a reality, here are three helpful tips.

Friday 10/11/2019
Investing tips for smart and steady growth
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:44 am

(BPT) - From mobile deposits to apps that transfer money in the blink of an eye, financial technology (or fintech) is disrupting the financial marketplace in new ways. The latest example is an innovation in the annuity marketplace that expands online access to a conventional retirement product, offering a smart tool for savers, even those years out from retirement.

Thursday 10/10/2019
5 tips to keep your packages safe this holiday season
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - According to the National Retail Federation, 41.4 million people shopped exclusively online from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday in 2018. As the holidays approach, online shopping will continue to grow in popularity, helping families spend more time celebrating the season and less time struggling through long disorganized lines, fighting massive crowds of frantic shoppers, and worrying about whether that must-have gift will still be on shelves at the mall.

How one man survived sudden cardiac arrest
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Within eight days, Michael Adams, a 59-year-old husband and father of two from Moore, Oklahoma, suffered a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — and survived them both. While many think a heart attack and SCA are the same, they are not. Recent heart attack victims have a higher risk of SCA, but there are life-saving treatment options available.

Wednesday 10/09/2019
How this metastatic breast cancer patient became her own best advocate for personalized treatment
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - There are few things more frightening than an advanced cancer diagnosis. Karen Peterson knows this better than most. A 54-year-old single mother from Harlem, she is a cancer survivor three times over. But she almost wasn’t.

A childhood cancer survivor, in 2015 Peterson was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive and difficult-to-treat cancer with a high likelihood of coming back. To treat it she had chemotherapy and a voluntary double mastectomy (both breasts were removed surgically). In 2017, her cancer came back, and she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer with tumors in her lungs, pelvis, ribs and spine.

A fighting chance

“I remember it like yesterday. My oncologist couldn’t look at me. I knew what she was going to tell me. My cancer had spread. But I wasn’t giving up. I wanted a plan,” explained Peterson.

Her oncologist recommended that she start a traditional treatment approach, but she wanted something more personalized. Peterson had read about different types of cancer treatments, including targeted therapies, which target specific mutations in the cancer’s DNA, and immunotherapies, which use a person’s own immune cells to fight their cancer. She wanted to learn more about her disease to help find out if one of these therapy options, also called precision medicines, might focus on the DNA mutations in her own cancer.

“I really researched my disease,” said Peterson. “And I wanted something more thoughtful than the traditional treatment plan. I wanted a plan based on science and facts specific to my cancer.”

Genomic testing

Peterson learned that genomic testing, a type of biomarker testing, identifies DNA changes within the tumor and uses that information to help match patients to potential options for targeted therapies, immunotherapies or clinical trials. This can be a tool for unlocking a more personalized treatment approach that might work better for a person’s particular cancer.

Peterson requested a genomic test, but her doctor thought it wasn’t yet necessary. “My doctor said we should try traditional therapies first, but without a genomic test, how could we know if these therapies would work? And then we’d be wasting time. That’s when I knew I needed a second opinion. I found a new oncologist who agreed I should have genomic testing done. There were no FDA-approved treatments for me based on my biomarkers, but the results of my test helped me get into a clinical trial.”

Peterson’s response was remarkable. After eight weeks in a clinical trial with two immunotherapy drugs, more than 70 percent of her tumors had shrunk. Now two years later, she has completed the clinical trial and no longer has tumors in her lungs, ribs and spine.

“According to my oncologist, something very special had happened. I’m beyond grateful for the test that helped me get to the right treatment,” explained Peterson.

Karen’s advice for advanced cancer patients

Now that Peterson can focus on a future, she wants to help others facing a similar diagnosis. “Those with advanced cancer often ask me for advice, and these are the tips I share:

1: Get informed. Learning more about your type of cancer, getting informed and working with your doctor to develop a care plan will empower you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

2: Seek support. At times it may feel like it, but you’re not alone. There are so many resources out there. It’s OK to ask for help and trust me when I say that support is essential.

3: Ask your doctor if a comprehensive genomic test could help inform your treatment plan. Without a genomic test, it may be more difficult — if not, in some cases, impossible — to know which of the new advances in cancer medicine may be right for you. Ask your doctor if a comprehensive genomic test could better inform your treatment plan.”

As part of her mission to help others, Peterson has worked with leading advocacy organizations, including the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA), which recently launched a new resource.

“The organizational and individual members of the MBCA are collectively working to transform and improve the lives of those with metastatic breast cancer,” said Shirley Mertz, Chair, MBCA. “With that in mind, we released MBC Connect, a mobile-friendly, patient experience app designed to advance metastatic breast cancer research which will soon link patients in the U.S. with potential clinical trials, allowing them to explore future treatment options.”

Dr. Neil M. Iyengar, a medical oncologist and clinical-translational researcher, helped to develop MBC Connect. “There are an estimated 155,000 men and women living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States,” Iyengar shared. “They are a strong community with a desire to educate themselves and others about what causes unique cancers to grow, and how genomic information can be used in treatment plans to impact their disease. Not only does genomic testing offer patients and their doctors information to guide treatment plans, it also provides insights that help drive research and therapy advancements for future patients.”

To learn more about Peterson’s story and comprehensive genomic testing, visit

Editor's note: Consult with your doctor for more information about genomic testing. Peterson’s experience with genomic testing is unique to her. Many advanced cancer patients who receive genomic testing may not be matched to a therapy or clinical trial option based on their genomic profile, and treatment outcomes will vary based on cancer type and unique genomic profile. However, getting a comprehensive genomic test may help your doctor make an informed treatment decision.

Disaster relief improves with collaboration among communities, charities and companies
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - When disasters strike — whether hurricanes and tornadoes or floods and earthquakes — communities and organizations rally to help, using their unique strengths to boost support. While every attempt to support affected families and neighborhoods is appreciated, aid is most effective when it's coordinated.

Frequently asked questions about metastatic breast cancer
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Imagine sitting in a stadium cheering on your favorite team with over 42,000 other fans — then, in the blink of an eye, the entire stadium is empty.

Tuesday 10/08/2019
Tips to ensure your retirement savings last for your entire life
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Regardless of age, most individuals share a common financial goal: to retire with the confidence that they have enough money to last a lifetime. With some smart planning, simple steps and useful tools this goal can be achieved.

Monday 10/07/2019
Why you should shop for health insurance
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:44 am

(BPT) - When it comes to health care and dental plans, your options can feel overwhelming. There can be dozens of plans and many variables that go into your decision, which is why it’s worth your time to find the option that best fits your individual or family needs. “We will devote hours of painstaking research to other choices that impact our quality of life, like buying a car, home or even a TV, but we might enroll in the same health plan year after year without shopping at all,” said John C. Patrick, national vice president of sales for GEHA (Government Employees Health Association). Not all plans are the same, and you and your family’s needs may change year to year. The open enrollment period to choose a new medical or dental plan is coming soon, why not take time to shop?

The surprising evolution of plant-based margarine
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - What does Napoleon III have to do with the development of margarine? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The origins and evolution of plant-based margarines involve a lot more history — and dramatic changes in how people eat — than you might expect.

Five fall fix-ups for your outdoor space
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - After a long summer relaxing on your deck or patio, autumn is a great time to renovate your outdoor space — or build one from scratch. Home improvement expert Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” offers five tips for fabulous fall fix-ups.

How to keep that relaxed summer vibe going year-round
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - When summer sadly comes to an end and fall comes around, there's no reason to give up everything that makes the season so enjoyable. Hang on to that summer vibe by extending some of the best of those warm-weather pleasures with your family and friends. Whether you're hosting a large party for friends or just having a simple dinner with your loved ones, all it takes is a little inspiration and creativity to experience the joys of summer all year long.

7 tips for enjoying autumn with your furry best friend
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Autumn is a great time to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors in the company of your favorite four-legged friend. The temperatures have cooled down and the fall colors are starting to appear, yet it’s not too cold to enjoy a brisk walk or even a leisurely stroll together. It’s also a fun time to enjoy holidays and treats with your pet — as long as you know what’s healthy for them, and what’s not.

How play can build a STEM mindset
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Learning about STEM doesn’t have to be relegated to the classroom in preparation for a future career. At its essence, STEM is about exploration, observation and curiosity, which sounds an awful lot like another four-letter word — PLAY. So often when children are playing, they are testing theories, considering alternative possibilities, and most importantly, they try-fail-try again — all of which are the tenets of STEM.

Thursday 10/03/2019
Age alone shouldn’t determine breast cancer treatment options
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - One in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Many will be surprised to learn that age is a major barrier when it comes to patients accessing the information they need to make a better-informed treatment decision.

5 must-have items for your kids
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - As a parent, it can be difficult to decide what to buy for your kids. You want clothes that are trendy and versatile, but also items that will last. Even more, you want your kids’ unique personality to shine through!

Don't let hidden holiday allergies ruin your good cheer
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - The holidays are a time to gather for food, friends and festivities. While everything may seem merry and bright, if you have asthma or allergies, this is when you need to be cautious. A season full of tradition and good cheer can often come with hidden allergy triggers if you're not aware and prepared.

7 tips to help choose your health plan during open enrollment
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - Open enrollment season is here, a time when millions of Americans across the country have the opportunity to select or switch their health insurance plan for 2020.

Wednesday 10/02/2019
Active aging: 5 important questions to ask to help prevent falls
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:44 am

(BPT) - Despite the common belief, falls are not a normal part of aging, and they are largely preventable. In fact, the best way to prevent falls is with a proactive, team approach.

A nationwide effort to help domestic violence shelters become pet-friendly
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - An estimated 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Escaping abusive situations and starting over in a new and safe environment is an overwhelming experience for victims, especially when pets are involved. An added challenge is that few (approximately 10 percent) domestic violence shelters in the U.S. accept and house pets. This leaves abuse victims with a difficult decision — flee to safety but leave their pet behind or stay with their abuser?

Small business: How ethics can help your bottom line
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - The last thing any company wants is a misstep that hurts the trust it has built with customers. This is especially true for smaller businesses, which may not have the resources to recover from a reputation setback. To prevent mistakes, bad decisions and wrongdoing, smaller businesses can take a proactive approach to developing ethical business leaders and business cultures. Experts say when businesses do that they can achieve benefits for their bottom line, their employees and the common good.

Survey: Nearly 80% of women avoid intimacy due to this common infection
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:44 am

(BPT) - Sexual intimacy can be an important part of life and healthy relationships. However, many women tend to avoid intimacy due to uncomfortable or embarrassing symptoms when they get a vaginal infection, which can cause a woman’s sexual self-esteem and health to suffer.[1] It’s important to understand the impact that vaginal health can have on a woman’s sexual well-being.

Are you living with frequent, severe headaches? You may have Chronic Migraine
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - There’s an invisible disease that affects 31 million Americans. Its symptoms are often debilitating and impact people in various aspects of their lives. The name? It’s called migraine disease.

Key Questions to Help You Choose a Medicare Plan
Posted: October 02, 2019

(NewsUSA) - If you're one of 56 million Americans eligible for Medicare, it's important to understand coverage options when selecting your health plan for 2020.

Tuesday 10/01/2019
5 simple ways to update your bathroom's style
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Do you have a bathroom that's starting to look a little dated and drab, but perhaps doesn't need a complete remodel? If you're craving a change, you can update the space's style with a few strategic steps. Not only will you elevate the appearance of your bathroom, but you'll be boosting your home's value as well.

Guide your chainsaw to a clean, effective cut every time with these tips
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Summer’s over, and with cooler months ahead your outdoor activities begin to change. The lawn and garden are no longer your focus. Now, it’s time to think about what you need to do to get your home ready for fall projects and winter storms. This is especially true if you have old or dead trees in your yard that could turn hazardous as the conditions shift.

3 ways to improve your self-care routine
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Self-care — the practice of taking care of oneself — has become a hot topic across generational groups, with sleep, stress management and fitness as key areas to build better habits. But where to start? Here are three tips for practicing better self-care.

Maximize your employee benefits in 3 simple steps
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - With the autumn season near, thoughts naturally turn to cooler temperatures, football games and holiday preparations. Another annual ritual synonymous with the season — but not one that many spend enough time on or particularly enjoy — is open enrollment.

How to make a splash entertaining this fall
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - Looking for new party ideas for any hour of the day? As fall begins, entertaining can seem challenging, but it doesn't have to be. With a little creativity and the right ingredients, you can make any occasion memorable. Whether you’re hosting a weekend brunch, a casual tailgate or an evening cocktail party, focus on food, refreshment and fun.

Monday 09/30/2019
5 ways to celebrate everyday occasions
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - If you look at most people’s calendars, the days that stand out are the big ones — national holidays, anniversaries, graduations — in other words, those occasions that almost require special parties, rituals or ceremonies. But the truth is, it's the everyday moments that people remember, and that are worth cherishing. Why wait for a “big” reason to celebrate the everyday act of living?

Give breakfast a boost before school: Fuel your kids’ day with wholesome on-the-go options
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - School is back in session, which means hectic mornings spent searching for missing shoes and backpacks, and jam-packed schedules with homework sessions and extracurricular activities. Morning meals at home or at school are imperative, and for busy parents, breakfast snacks on the go can be key when rushing out the door.

Ask the expert: Important questions about Alzheimer’s
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Alzheimer’s is a progressive medical condition, and one of the deadliest diseases in the United States. That’s why it is important to learn about the disease along with some simple steps that can help delay the potential onset, or help facilitate an early diagnosis.

Pains in the butt: 4 common side effects of sitting too long
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Sitting is a part of daily routines and nearly impossible to avoid. Whether during your daily commute, working hard at your desk or watching your favorite TV show on the couch, sitting can provide relief and give you the opportunity to relax. However, sitting for a long period of time can actually lead to some adverse health effects. In fact, according to a recent survey commissioned by Preparation H, 63 percent of Americans admit that staying seated for an extended period has resulted in butt pain or discomfort.

Presents with purpose: Gift ideas that make an impact
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am

(BPT) - This holiday season, what if you could give loved ones a present that makes a meaningful impact on the world? Nothing evokes the holiday spirit more than giving gifts that help others in a direct, effective way. Both you and the gift recipient will know you’re making a difference in the lives of people who really need it.

Ask these 5 questions before choosing a savings account
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Breaking up is hard to do, but there’s one relationship you may want to reconsider — the one with your savings account. According to an August 2019 survey from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which polled 1,053 Americans who have savings accounts with both traditional and online banks, nearly half (49%) have had their savings account at a traditional bank for more than 18 years. Consumers tend to stay with what’s familiar to them even though there may be a better alternative.

Choose physical therapy for safe pain management
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - Movement is crucial to a person’s health, quality of life and independence. For some people, pain makes movement a challenge. Pain is one of the most common reasons people seek health care. A physical therapist (PT) can help people move better and safely and manage their pain.

10 cancer facts that may surprise you
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - There are more than 100 types of cancer that impact people of all backgrounds. It's likely that cancer has touched you or someone close to you. There is a lot to know about cancer and its effects on people in the United States and around the world. How many of these 10 cancer facts do you know?

Going Into the Hospital? What You Need to Know About Blood Clots
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - One in four people worldwide die from conditions related to thrombosis, the formation of clots in a blood vessel. Events related to thrombosis cause more deaths each year in the U.S. and Europe than breast cancer, HIV disease and motor vehicle crashes combined, yet few people know about blood clots, or that they often have a surprising origin — the hospital.

Friday 09/27/2019
Meal solutions for a flavorful fall
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - Fall marks the beginning of back to busy — back to school and the office, back to sports and other activities, and back to a season of social occasions with family and friends. Healthy, portable snacks such as fresh California grapes play a key role in providing energy and hydration to help power the day’s activities.

Severe emphysema relief: From difficulty rolling over in bed to swimming with dolphins
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:43 am

(BPT) - A year ago, Cheri’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was classified as stage IV, requiring constant support from an oxygen tank. Even rolling over in bed at night exhausted her.

Thursday 09/26/2019
6 steps to the perfect charcuterie board
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:41 am

(BPT) - Planning a party doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead of agonizing over appetizers, opt for serving wine with a charcuterie board — a variety of cured meats, cheeses and condiments that can range from simple to sophisticated. Even a basic spread can look elegant, while providing your guests with inviting flavor combinations.

Firefighters share home fire safety tips [Video]
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 2:42 am