Changing Your Mindset About Aging

Elizabeth Gilbert calls curiosity a gentle, forgiving and constant friend. You can make connection with curiosity simply by asking questions. How else could I see this? What else could I try? Who else could I be? Sometimes just posing the questions opens us to flexible adaptive responses to our lives.

For me, I noticed the image of the debilitated old lady and asked myself, Can I do better than this right now? What will happen if I really try to do three push-ups? Just asking the questions loosens the hold on the mindset. I am making progress and I actually think that I can be strong again.

A practice of curiosity loosens the fixed nature of our thinking and behavior, encourages a growth mindset and helps us change.

On AARP’s disrupt aging website, Cyndi Lauper shares her belief that we are brainwashed by aging stereotypes and she suggest we listen to our inner selves. But what does that mean?

Older woman sitting on park bench

Older woman sitting on park bench

How does one develop the capacity to listen beyond the din of fixed, expected cultural norms? Attuning to one’s inner truth is a skill that requires practice.

For me, listening beyond the naysayer in my head was not easy. I had to listen long enough to connect with my desire to be strong and grounded. This desire lived underneath a multitude of judgments about my body and women’s bodies. But now when I work out I try to listen to the voice that says – You are a strong woman with strong arms, legs and heart.

Taking the time for quiet reflection, journaling and making art are all ways that one can tune into oneself and listen for other states of being and potential.

In order to let go of what we know and expect, we have to be able to envision something else. We have to let ourselves imagine a way of being, a new role, or an untapped possibility in order to help it manifest. Imagining is an act of creativity. And it is available to all of us. It is in our human nature to make up stories, play with reality, pretend, perform and expand our concept of self.

We can take the time to let our imagination create new stories and see ourselves differently. We can tell the new story to ourselves and then to others.

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Ways to Honor Veterans on Memorial Day


1. Write a Letter to Veterans

Organizations like Operation Gratitude send thousands of letters and packages to veterans and individuals currently in service. Writing these letters is an easy and fun activity for seniors and grandchildren to complete together on Memorial Day.  Operation Gratitude states that.

  • Letters are accepted year-round.
  • We have a special need for letters specifically written to New Recruits, Veterans, and First Responders.


For a sweet twist on a Fourth of July barbecue favorite — kabobs — try these fruit skewers. Thread 4 blueberries, 2 mini-marshmallows and 2 raspberries on each of five 10-inch wooden sticks. On the remaining seven sticks, thread 4 raspberries and 3 marshallows to create this all-American treat.


2. National Moment of Remembrance

This movement encourages people to pause whatever they are doing at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day to honor those who died serving our country.  Established by Congress, it asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute.

Make a Paper Poppy


2 x Red cupcake cases (or use white ones and colour them in red)

Green bamboo craft rods or paddle pop stick/green straw (available from craft and discount stores)

Permanent marker (or black texter)

Craft Glue



1. Turn the two cupcake cases inside out.

2. Cut a wavy edge — in about 1 cm from the edge — around the first cupcake case.

3. Cut a wavy edge — in about 0.5 cm from the edge — around the second cupcake cases.

4. Draw a black centre inside the smaller cupcake case and small lines coming out from the centre to give that Poppy-Centre look (refer to the image of a wild poppy below).

5. Glue the smaller cupcake case inside the larger one.

6. Glue the flower on to the bamboo rod (or paddle pop stick/straw). If your rod or paddle pop stick is not already green (you can buy them coloured), simply colour in with texta or paint.

7. Make a few and display in a vase or cup, carry on a march or hold at a dawn service.


3. Talk to Veterans

Don’t just assume a veteran you know isn’t willing to share his or her stories. Ask them who their friends were in the war and what countries they visited during their time of service. Encourage them to share and then take time to really listen to and appreciate their stories.

Questions to Avoid

“Did you ever kill anyone?” This is the gold standard for questions never to ask someone who has served in uniform. And yes, it still does get asked, far more often than you would think possible. No veteran who has lived through that searing experience is ever going to want to talk about it to a passerby, and often not even to close family or friends. Those who ask this make themselves look thoughtless, ignorant, and extremely disrespectful. In sum: Never, ever, ever.

“Did you see any dead bodies?” This is another example of insensitivity. Many veterans will have never have seen anyone dead, but for the vast majority of those who have, it’s a sickening snapshot that will never be forgotten. And whether those dead bodies were Americans, enemy soldiers, or innocent civilians, nobody needs that jarring image refreshed.

Questions to Ask  

“What service were you in? Why did you choose that one?” Veterans often appreciate the opportunity to talk about their decision to serve, and every vet identifies with their specific service. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps each have their own culture, history and customs. Not understanding that each service is very different from one another is a common mistake. 

“Are you still in the military? What are you doing now? What are your friends doing now?” These are terrific questions to find out more about the current lives of veterans and to show that you are interested in more than lurid tales of firefights and dead bodies.


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What It’s Like Living on Social Security

What It’s Like Living on Social Security

No doubt you’ve heard politicians and pundits debating the state of Social Security, and throwing out all kinds of numbers. But the bottom line for retirees has always been simple: Will I get enough to live on? Barbara Woodruff, of St. Louis, can answer yes to that question — but just barely. “It’s very difficult living on Social Security.” says the 65-year old, who retired when she turned 62.


According to the Social Security Administration, Woodruff is far from alone. Nine out of 10 Americans 65 and older receive Social Security Benefits, and it’s often their primary source of income. Social Security was at least 50 percent of income for 52 percent of beneficiary couples and 74 percent of single beneficiaries, and at least 90 percent of income for 22 percent of couples and 45 percent of singles.

Living on a Social Security Benefit

The average Social Security benefit is $1,294 a month, almost twice as much as Woodruff’s. Her low benefit reflects years of not working due to health problems — Social Security benefits are based on your earnings during your working years. Yet Woodruff has figured out how to live on $633 a month.

Qualifying for subsidized housing is a significant help. “I pay $189 for a really nice one-bedroom apartment,” Woodruff says — and $33 a month in food stamps helps defray her grocery bills. Besides that, Woodruff pays $45 a month for cell phone service (she feels safer having a cell phone with her), $45 on a senior-discounted bus pass, and $35 on Internet service. The rest of her income goes mainly to medication for thyroid and cholesterol issues, food (she tries to stay healthy by eating fresh fruit and vegetables) and an emergency fund. “I’m very frugal,” says Woodruff.

Woodruff’s $633 monthly benefit is tight, but even someone who receives the average monthly benefit of $1,294 would need some type of financial assistance to get by. According to the advocacy group Wider Opportunities For Women, the monthly expenses for Americans 65 or older in 2013 totaled $1,645 for a single person living in their own house without a mortgage, $1,966 for a renter, and $2,481 for a single person with a mortgage. This includes housing, food, transportation, healthcare and miscellaneous expenses. For couples, it was $2,542, $2,863 and $3,378, respectively.

Fixed Income Must-Do

Health issues and medical expenses are the top worry for retirees, according to a recent Merrill Lynch survey. And for good reason: medical Medical costs rank among the top three retiree expenses, after housing and transportation, according to the Social Security Administration. And as we all know, it can be unpredictable.

That’s why Paul Merritt, principal at NTrust Wealth Management in Virginia Beach, Va., recommends really spending the time to shop for the best prescription drug plan and supplemental Medicare coverage for you.

If it’s all too confusing, contact your state’s Senior Health Insurance Program, or SHIP, says Merritt. Set up an appointment and they will help go over all your options.

By Daisy Chan VIA:
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4 Healthy Iced Tea Recipes for Summer!

Try these four fresh and healthy iced tea recipes to keep you hydrated this summer.


If you’re used to drinking iced tea with artificial or real sugar, having iced tea without sugar can come as a bit of a shock to your tastebuds.  The fresh fruits and herbs in these four healthy iced teas definitely helps naturally sweeten the iced teas, which is awesome.


One big question I think a lot of people have is whether or not iced tea is good for you.  As per usual, my go-to answer with most questions like this is, “It depends.”  What does it depend on?

  • Are you adding a ton of sugar into your iced tea?
  • Did you already have 6 iced teas and want another one in the same day?
  • Did you use clean, simple, and fresh ingredients?
  • Is it helping you reach your daily water intake minimums?

Here’s the deal.  Overall, if you’re limiting the amount of caffeine in a day, you’re not adding a ton of sugar or highly processed ingredients, and you’re just enjoying a refreshing iced tea recipe to change up your pace of drinking plain water to keep you hydrated, iced tea is a perfectly healthy choice.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Try these four fresh and healthy iced tea recipes to keep you hydrated this summer.
Categories: Drinks
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4 iced teas
AuthorLacey Baier
Lemon Basil Iced Tea
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 3 cups hot water
  • raw honey, optional
Coconut Lime Iced Tea
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1/2 lime, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups coconut water, heated
  • raw honey, optional
Iced Peach Ginger Tea
  • 1 peach, pitted and sliced
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 4 ginger coins
  • 3 cups hot water
  • raw honey, optional
Blackberry Mint Ice Tea
  • 1/2  cup  fresh blackberries
  •  leaves  fresh mint
  •  bags green tea
  • 3 cups hot water
  • raw honey, optional
Lemon Basil Iced Tea
  1. Add the lemon slices, fresh basil leaves, and green tea bags to a 1 quart mason jar or pitcher.
  2. Pour hot water into the mason jar, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags.
  3. Place into the fridge to completely chill for 3-4 hours for the flavors to release.
Coconut Lime Iced Tea
  1. Add the black tea bags and sliced lime to a 1 quart mason jar or pitcher.
  2. Pour heated coconut water into the mason jar, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags.
  3. Place into the fridge to completely chill for 3-4 hours for the flavors to release.
Iced Peach Ginger Tea
  1. Add the sliced peach and green tea bags to a 1 quart mason jar or pitcher.
  2. Skewer the sliced ginger coins on a toothpick, if desired, to make them easier to remove later, and then add them to the jar.
  3. Pour the hot water into the mason jar, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags.
  4. Place into the fridge to completely chill for 3-4 hours for the flavors to release.
Blackberry Mint Ice Tea
  1. Add the fresh blackberries, mint leaves, and green tea bags to a 1 quart mason jar or pitcher.
  2. Pour the hot water into the mason jar, and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags.
  3. Place into the fridge to completely chill for 3-4 hours for the flavors to release.

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Beat the Heat! Tips for Seniors to Stay Healthy in the Heat


Tips for Seniors to Stay Healthy in the Heat!

Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:

  • High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
  • Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.

extremeheat_a250pxThose who are at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.  Closely monitor people who depend on you for their care and ask these questions:

  • Are they drinking enough water?
  • Do they have access to air conditioning?
  • Do they need help keeping cool?

People at greatest risk for heat-related illness can take the following protective actions to prevent illness or death:

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned, and using air conditioning in vehicles.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.


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Easter Activities for Seniors

In addition to providing senior placement services, we also want to help you have an easier life! With that in mind, these Easter activities are perfect for both the young and the old. They do not require many supplies and are fast and not too messy. Have a Happy Easter!

Paper Loop Chick


This Paper Loop Chick is simple and fun project for kids to make with some basic craft supplies. Easter is a great time to make chick, lamb and duck crafts to decorate your Easter table and the kids will love to be a part of it.

Trivia: Araucanas are a breed of chicken originally developed in Chile. They lay light bluish or greenish eggs, often resembling dyed Easter eggs.


Here’s what you need:  cardstock, origami paper (or other colorful paper), stapler, glue, scissors, elastic (or ribbon), and the Paper Bunny Ears template

Print out Paper bunny ears template.  Trace onto cardstock.IMG_1016Cut out.IMG_1019Cut inner part of the ear from origami paper and glue.IMG_1021Cut approximately nine inches of elastic (this size worked pretty well for most kids and adults, but I did change sizes some for the smaller heads).  I used foldover elastic which I got from a fab Pick your Plum sale a while back.  The foldover elastic made the ears nice and soft and comfy to wear, but any elastic would work.  You could also use ribbon and tie in the back.  Staple elastic onto bunny ears.IMG_1094And there, you’ve got some super cute little bunny ears…IMG_1206


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3 Recipes For St. Patrick’s Day!

These recipes will make you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all year long!


  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings

Guinness Beef Stew with Cheddar Herb Dumplings

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 2 hours 45 mins

Total time: 3 hours 10 mins


  • For the Stew:
  • ¼ pound bacon
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 sticks celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large potatoes or parsnips, diced
  • 1 turnip, diced
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, or as needed
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • Chopped parsley
  • For the Cheddar Herb Dumplings:
  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup shredded Irish sharp cheddar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, and thyme, chopped
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3 Health Benefits of Sunshine

Puts you in a better mood

Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, which is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.

Improves your mental healthScreen Shot 2018-02-23 at 12.26.05 PM

Exposure to sunlight can also benefit those suffering from nonseasonal depression,              premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and in pregnant women with depression, and anxiety-related disorders.

Builds strong bones

The vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.

Courtesy of:


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Finding Friends Over 60

As we age, it can get harder and harder to maintain old friendships and find new ones. Yet, friendships improve our happiness and wellbeing. Read below for our tips on how to find new friends over 60friendship-elderly-lifespan.

#1 Say YES!

Adopt a positive attitude, even when joining a new group or activity may seem nerve-wracking. Pick an activity that you are interested in, research local opportunities, then drop in and see if you can meet some kindred spirits.

#2 Initiate and Invite

When you feel ready to have new people in your home, consider inviting people to a casual dinner or pot luck. This is a great way to get to know people in a comfortable setting.

#3 Make Friendship a Priority

Once you have a few people that you like to spend time with, remember that to maintain the bond, you have to set aside time for them. It’s easier than ever to chat or text by phone, but remember to put in the work of getting together once a week in person.

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Get More Done in Less Time!

As a caregiver, you can be busy–to say the least! Peppermint Palm Senior Care provides senior placement services in Assisted Living/RCFEs, but we also like to give you tips to manage your life, no matter what level of care you need. These tips will help you get more done, have a clearer mind, and feel energetic and productive!

Placement Services in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Placement Services in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

🎈 Work Better and Feel Healthier–Now! 🎈

#1: Use A 1-3-5 List
Don’t overestimate the number of things you can get done in a day. Plan to get one large task, three medium-sized tasks, and five small tasks done every day.

#2: Write down what’s bugging you.
Put those nagging thoughts on paper. Clearing your mind of mental clutter will help you to accomplish more and be calm.

We find placement for adults throughout the Bay Area and in Northern California, as well as Sacramento. Locating Assisted Living in Sacramento or Assisted Living in the Bay Area can be difficult, but with our resources we have helped many–and can help you too!

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