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ONE MORNING

PETS by Kristi Horner (Courage to Caregivers)

“Have you ever thought that your relationship with your pet is one of the best in your life? Pets provide simple, supportive, confidential support without criticism, advice, or conflict. They provide unconditional positive regard and make us feel needed, wanted, and valued.” – Shawn Burn, PhD

This week’s topic is a fun one – it’s all about how much we gain from having a pet. Just think of all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits we get from pets. Pets have an incredible ability to calm and soothe humans. They don’t judge, they provide unconditional love, they are a source of empathy and companionship, and they’re great to have around during a pandemic!

If you don’t have a pet, there are many reasons to get one. Having an animal friend can help you increase your activity level, get out of the house more, be more social, and get rid of that lonely feeling. Pets are great listeners, and they can be great motivators to help you meet your goals. For example, if you need more exercise, try walking the dog a few more times each week. Or if you just need more self-care time, maybe some extra snuggles will do the trick.

If that’s not enough, here’s a list from Paws for People of some of the therapeutic benefits we get from the simple act of petting:

  • Produces an automatic relaxation response
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Slows breathing in those who are anxious
  • Releases hormones such as phenylethylamine, the same effect as chocolate
  • Diminishes overall physical pain

And there’s more. According to HelpGuide, studies have shown that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without pets.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Perhaps most important of all, Shawn Burn notes that “the emotional bond between people and their pets is particularly therapeutic because it’s nonjudgmental. Your pet won’t judge you for wearing sweatpants 24/7, being grumpy, or having that extra glass of wine.”

In other words, pets will accept you for being YOU.

Kristi Horner
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers

MY VOICE and I WILL CONTINUE TO USE IT

Three weeks and one day is the last day you can make a difference and VOTE Blue!  I am asking you if you have not voted yet, and if you haven’t requested an absentee ballot to consider early voting, call your local board of elections and get the information you need to make a change.

We have lived with Trump for 4 years and he made promises and he could have followed through on them but he spent so much time talking about his PLAN but never offered US the American people what that entailed.  He gave us a tax break and took it back the following year when we paid our taxes, yet he has not paid his taxes!

Talk does not take care of the American People, you and me.  Talk, discussion, weighing options, and listening to what the average Joe needs is what our President and the House of Representatives and the Senate should be responding to.  Trump created such commotion in building a wall that is now crumbling and falling!  What a waste of money that could have been on Health Care and or Job Creation.

Trump walked into the Oval Office with a strong economy, he made the economy worse for the average Joe but kept his cronies gaining wealth that was not shared!  JOBs, let me tell you that the JOB market even before the Pandemic was meek.  If you or someone you know what looking to garner a job (not even career) to put food on the table and roof over your head it was not easy, why do you think so many of us are working multiple jobs with no benefits, including sick days.

If Trump didn’t make the promised changes he eluded to over the last four years why do you think the next four years will be any better.  Get a grip Trump and his cronies do not care about US.  If Trump cared about you, and your well being he would, he would have listened to the scientists.doctors and would have shared REAL Information with us from the get-go.  He has not taken the precautions that he needed to take and he continues to go out in public without a mask and not socially distancing, well making ‘fun’ of those of us who are trying to reduce this Pandemic!

I won’t even discuss his need to outbalance the Supreme Court and yet says he must do this because the Dems will do it if they win.  The American People 52% to 44% believe the Supreme Court decision should not be made until after the Election.  Why is he in such a hurry, have you caught on to his garbage yet?

Check this out and see the Republicans backing Biden https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/18/politics/republicans-supporting-biden/index.html

Also – “The last living former Republican president, George W. Bush, has said he won’t back Trump. Nor will his brother Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who was mercilessly ridiculed by Trump when they fought for the GOP nomination in 2016.”  https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2020/09/27/all-the-republicans-who-have-endorsed-joe-biden-for-president/#3bc762557340

Consider the facts, Trump wants to cut or eliminate SS – if you are a senior or if you are approaching age 65 or know someone – do they have enough money to survive even one year on SS?  What if they were to have less or none?  Are you going to support mom and dad, your grandparents, or your neighbor next door?

Biden and Harris have a plan https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2020/09/28/the-bidenharris-economic-plan/#28cb2dcc73ce

Yes, Biden will raise taxes for those that can afford it- if they earn 400,000.00 dollars or more a year.  If you earn less like many of us – guess what our taxes will NOT INCREASE.  Taxes are necessary without them infrastructure cannot be maintained or improved.

Make a plan now – VOTE Blue – If you have an absentee ballot if possible take it directly to your board of elections, I am taking mine to Summit County here in Ohio today.  My son, husband, and I have completed our absentee ballots and I will take them all sealed to the DropBox, and I will track them to ensure they were received and ready for counting.  If you cannot deliver them personally mail them and track them.  If you can get someone to drive you to your Board of Elections – not your precinct, accept the ride to place it in the dropbox!

Please note – if you do not want Trump – a vote for anyone but Biden supports TRUMP – help bring the United States back in line with the needs of the Average Citizen – do not be bullied!

Sharing the Words of AMY FERRIS – Please READ

Donald Trump was pissed off that Governor Gretchen Whitmer didn’t thank him after the militia group was arrested (eight real nasty looking goons) and stopped from kidnapping and murdering her. He felt she was ungrateful. Just a little side note: Joe Biden called Gov. Whitmer after this event unfolded today to make sure she was okay and thanked HER for her courage. Donald Trump literally tweeted nasty shit about her. It was Mr. Trump’s inability to call out Militia groups and denounce them; he empowered them. He ignited them. He encouraged them. They were ready to violently act today because of his words: stand back, stand by.
We have a criminal living in The People’s House and he is vicious and vindictive and insane. And I say this from the bottom of my heart: if you’re a Republican and believe what this man is doing serves your party then you are not a Republican. This isn’t a party, it’s a fucking cult. He’s a bully leader and he’s a sick man – mentally & physically – and someone needs to have the balls, the fierce as fuck balls, to get him out of the house before he blows up all our lives.

Mental Health Awareness Week

First, I want to remind you that this is Mental Health Awareness Week, and Saturday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. Show your support for those living with mental illness by keeping the conversation going and working to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

As we begin the month of October, our new theme is outside interests, and this week’s topic is hobbies. During this global pandemic, and perhaps as a caregiver in general, how often have you found yourself asking, “Who has the time for fun or outside activities right now?” But that’s the point. It’s so important to set aside time for YOU, to do an activity that you enjoy, with no connection to caregiving. Having outside interests, such as a hobby that brings you joy, can help you relax, reduce stress, and expand your horizons.

One of the silver linings of this pandemic is that it has given many people the opportunity to pursue outside interests and hobbies – pandemic pastimes! Here’s an article on how hobbies have helped people stay positive during lockdowns.

People are finding the time to do many things, such as completing old projects, updating photo albums, discovering new possibilities in the craft bin, renewing their love of photography, singing, or journaling, or even finishing a jigsaw puzzle. Some have turned a love of sewing into sewing masks. Others have used their talents in the kitchen to provide baked goods for frontline workers. Maybe you dedicated some time to de-cluttering and were able to donate some clothing or gently used items to someone in need.

I have a lot of hobbies, but one of my favorites has always been gardening. Spending time outside in my garden in any season connects me with the earth. I love the fresh air, sunshine, and just digging in the dirt!

Sometimes, the smallest things can give you the greatest joy. We love this concept of finding micro-joys, shared by Thrive Global. “The secret to micro-joys is that you are aware and tuned in enough to appreciate them around you. To find the joy, you have to simply be present and ‘smelling the roses,’ even for just a moment.”

So, if you’re looking for a new hobby or outside interest, start by thinking about what brings you joy. What are those things that bring a smile to your face and make your heart sing when you just think about them? What fills YOUR soul?

Kristi Horner
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Tina Boyes, Executive Director
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance
330-
714-9621
betterkenmore@gmail.com
 

Kenmore First Friday to ring in the fall season by getting to Akron’s roots

Parking lot show to feature canal songs of Hey Mavis, Madison Cummins, and The Stirs

Sept. 28, 2020 (AKRON, OH) – On Friday, Oct. 2, Laura & Eddie from Americana favorites Hey Mavis will headline a night of Appalachian music from 6 to 9 p.m. in Kenmore Boulevard’s South Alley parking lots, which are accessible via 13th and 15th St.

The duo’s Kenmore First Friday Drive-In Concert appearance comes on the heels of the Knight Foundation’s $4 million grant to convert where the Ohio & Erie Canal enters Akron’s Summit Lake into a 35-acre public park connecting the Kenmore and Summit Lake neighborhoods. Hey Mavis’s most recent album, “Silver Ribbon Dream – Songs & Stories of the Ohio & Erie Canal,” gives listeners a lens into those who lived and worked in the area during the canal’s earliest days.

“This part of Ohio owes much of its early development to the canal,” said Laurie Carner, Hey Mavis’s lead singer and songwriter. “The conditions for canal workers were rough and difficult, but song, music, and camaraderie helped them get through.”

Tina Boyes, executive director of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, said she hopes the concert does the same for her community. “These are lean times, particularly for our local small business owners, and it can be easy to get discouraged,” she explained, “but the music and camaraderie of shows like these give our little music district hope for the future.”

The Hey Mavis duo will be joined by Americana trio The Stirs and Madison Cummins, whose latest release “Antidote” is included in 91.3 FM The Summit’s rotation. Carhop food service will be provided by ThaiSoul Fusion, which recently relocated to Kenmore Boulevard from Romig Road.

A suggested donation of $5 per car will support the ongoing revitalization efforts of Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance. In addition, attendees will get a link to a free download of Hey Mavis’s newest song, “Yes, the Gypsy Music.”

Cars will be parked at least six feet apart, and attendees are welcome to place lawn chairs in their parking spots. In accordance with the Ohio Department of Health guidelines, face coverings are recommended.

Kenmore First Fridays are presented by Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, the Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of generous sponsors. The Oct. 2 event is funded in part by the Friends of Chestnut Ridge Park and Akron Community Foundation. For full event details, visit www.facebook.com/betterkenmore.

Reflections – My Mother 2016

As it nears the end of the afternoon on this beautiful Friday, September 25th, I find myself thinking of where I was just four short years ago. On August 2, 2016, when I got the call my mother had a stroke, the situation she was found in by the caregivers at her independent living facility, led me to believe that by the time I got to her side in Detroit, I might not have the opportunity to say good-bye. Actually, I wanted to say more than good-bye. I wanted to ensure she knew I loved her. The ride from Cleveland to West Bloomfield, Michigan took forever on that beautiful summer day. Construction backed us up in numerous spots in Ohio, Michigan and within miles from the hospital, we were hit from behind causing yet another delay. Oy-Vay.
As I have written before when we arrived at the Henry Ford Hospital facility we were greeted by a sign, DO NOT ENTER, see charge nurse. My heart skipped more than a beat as I hurriedly made it to the desk, demanding to speak what I expected to be NURSE RACHTED. Instead, a very soft-spoken nurse informed me that what we may see may be shocking. My mother looked just like my mother no outer signs of a typical stroke. The stroke left her blind, and yet my mother did not know she couldn’t see. The brain was not registering that information. Per doctor’s orders, we were not to mention to my mother that she was blind, and we were to act normal around her, although we were going to assist her and guide her.
As I approached the room and entered to see my momma, I noticed she was slouched on the bed dozing off in her Dorothy manner, meaning she could hear a pin drop when she was sleeping and even deeply snoring. So. as I came over to her I quietly said, “Hi Momma, it’s KIKI.” She looked straight at me as if she could see and said something like, thanks for coming to see me. As we talked for a while, I explained she was in the hospital because they suspected she had a stroke. As I asked if it would be ok for Rich, Alex, and I to stay at her apartment. Of course, she said yes but she was concerned there wasn’t anything in her house for us to eat, she apologized for not baking. (That was so typical of my momma.)
The first few hours we were with her we could understand how she was unaware of the loss of her sight, and how she sounded so normal, not skipping a beat in our conversations. She remembered that my brother Joel and his family and me and my family had all planned to be with her this coming weekend. She apologized to me for being in the hospital but assured me she was OK, and she would be home in time for all of us to have fun. In fact, she was making plans and asking my niece Sue and me to take notes.
However, within days mom started getting a little hazy about where she was, and almost overnight we started to see the signs of dementia that often come on slowly, giving you some time to grasp the situation. That was not the case and by day five the doctor told us it was time to take mom home or place her in a nursing facility, and we knew she would not want the later. We did some research and asked around but finally chose to bring my mother back to her Independent Living Community and bring in healthcare workers to aid her and us. Both Joel and I chose to stay in Michigan and oversee and assist with mom’s care.
2016, August, September, and the first two weeks of October were beautiful. The temperatures remained warm and most days the sun was shining brightly. This became a time in my life when I truly got to know my mother. When mom’s brain was clear she would tell stories about herself as a girl, meeting my dad, raising my brothers and me, being a working mom, and so much more. However, there were ever-increasing moments of confusion when she saw a little boy in her room who pestered her, and she would ask us to send him away. My brother Joel and I learned very quickly not to question what she saw or what she knew and we went with the flow, often bringing humor into a situation that sad, we were losing momma, day by day, and we had no idea how long we had with each other.
During the 2 ½ months I lived with momma I learned that she loved watermelon. I also knew how much she liked coconut cream pie, and I bought a pie and fed her some and she was so happy! Even as a grown woman-child I would crawl into bed next to her and tell her how much I loved her. I even asked her to forgive me for anything I may have said or done that may have hurt her. I felt the urgency to find peace with my mother as High Holidays were approaching, and I so desperately wanted my mother to be engraved in the book of life. I was not ready to let her go, I knew she missed my pops, and towards the end, she would ask for her mother and father, as well as her sister Ann. Hospice and the Rabbis who came to visit shared that this is often passing into the next life.
We were blessed to have some marvelous caregivers, some whom I have stayed friends with to this day. The Rabbi’s were wonderful as they helped bring me closer to my faith, and the comfort belief can have.
My mother passed on October 11, 2016; however, it was Erev Yom Kippur. Momma died on the last day of the beginning of the new year. It felt at first as G-D had played a trick on us, why take her on that particular day? As Rabbi Krakoff shared with us dying on Yom Kippur is a good sign, because it implies dying without sin (the day of Yom Kippur atones for sin, providing the person repents).
As we approach the DAY of Atonement, I want to extend, love, peace, and the wish for health and happiness to all. You don’t have to be Jewish to want the best for all!n share a meal with us, she always had a spot at the table. She kept a ‘pushkee’ a tin box that she would put spare change in and when it got filled, she donated the coins to charity. My mother, nor my father ever asked for anything, but they were full of giving.
Erev Yom Kippur falls in two days on Sunday, and every year my mother’s Yarzheit (Jewish Memorial) of her death is observed on Yom Kippur Day. This year will be no different I will ask G-D to forgive me for any sins I may have committed during this year. I will ask G-D in front of witnesses (this year virtually) to be blessed for another year and to be written in the book of life, and I will thank Lord for the wonderful mother I had and will always have. My mother is my shining star.
As we approach the DAY of Atonement, I want to extend, love, peace, and the wish for health and happiness to all. You don’t have to be Jewish to want the best for all!
My Mother – was a baby rocker – holding drug-addicted newborns
Momma Moss was known for chocolate chips cookies
Dorothy Moss

was a seamstress, she made dolls, and knit caps for newborns

Momma was loved by all and she had a rare sense of humor!
Did you ever hear the Joke about the Horse that Came into the BAR???????

From Kristi Horner Courage to Caregivers

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Caregivers have to make many important decisions that affect their loved ones, their families, and themselves. These are HARD decisions, and they can weigh heavily on our minds, adding to our burdens and our stress. It’s all part of the long journey of caregiving, but that journey can get a little easier when you realize that you do not have to travel it alone.

That’s why it’s so important to know who’s on your team, which is our Caregiver Management topic this week. And while this might make you think first of your support network – those family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or community members that you know you can rely on – this week we want to focus on your professional support team, who can be just as essential in times of need or crisis. To ensure that you’re prepared for anything that might come up, your team should also include professionals you can turn to when you need help with medical, financial, legal, emotional, and social issues.

If you’re familiar with my personal story, you know that I founded Courage to Caregivers as a result of my experience providing emotional support to my brother who was living with mental illness and lost his battle to suicide in 2014. Then last year, I became a caregiver again when a motorcycle accident left my son with a traumatic brain injury. His life and our lives were changed forever. Through both journeys, I have felt alone many times, but I also have learned about the many different types of professional support that I needed on my team. These types of support can include:

  • Doctors, nurses, medical support staff
  • Psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors/therapists, social workers
  • Attorneys
  • Financial planners, investment bankers, commercial bankers
  • Insurance agents/brokers
  • Emotional health/respite care team

At Courage to Caregivers, we hope to be included on your team, too, not only as a source of inspiration and motivation – standing by your side, cheering you on, and believing in YOU – but also as a resource to turn to whenever a need arises. As you build your team to include professionals in the areas listed above, you may want to check out our Resources page for help.

And finally, don’t forget that YOU are the captain of your team. You build your team to support YOUR goals and YOUR needs. Courage to Caregivers is proud to be on YOUR team.

Kristi Horner
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers

there’s never enough time in the day Kristi Horner

I’m always hearing from caregivers that there’s never enough time in the day to do what needs to be done, not to mention setting aside time for self-care. It’s true that the “to do” list for caregivers can seem to be never-ending, and that can lead to additional anxiety and stress.

But let’s take some advice from interior designer Amanda Gates: “Exhaustion is not a status symbol or a badge of honor. Stop the glorification of busy, and learn to nurture your soul.”

Trying to multitask can make it even worse, resulting in lower productivity and less efficiency. When you multitask, you are actually shifting your attention from one task to another, which makes it difficult to tune out distractions and actually slows down your mental processing.

That’s why time management is so important to self-care. The ability to plan and control how you spend your time can be critical in helping you accomplish your goals, and this can help reduce your feelings of frustration and stress.

So, here are some simple tips that may help you manage your time more effectively:

  • Use a “to do” list or a weekly/monthly calendar/planner.
  • Prioritize.
  • Break your lists down into small manageable tasks.
  • Identify your distractions, and then manage or eliminate them.
  • Take breaks.
  • Strive for progress, not perfection.

It also may help to think of time management as being composed of three elements: setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and planning.

Where would we be without goals? Our goals reflect our personal vision for what we aspire to do, to be, or to become. Without goals we might just be wandering through life. I believe your goals need to start with your “why” – your passions and your vision for your life. When you truly know your “why,” you’re apt to make better decisions on how you spend your time.

Once you understand what’s at your core, in your heart and soul, it becomes easier to prioritize so that you’re spending most of your time on what’s important to you. Prioritizing your “to do” list helps you plan better, and if you have your calendar and due dates under control, it’s easier to prioritize what you need to do today.

Finally, remember that one of your priorities should always be YOU. If that’s not the case, then it’s time to re-prioritize. You should always have a place on your “to do” list, and why not at the top?

Kristi Horner
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers

L’shanah Tova with Love

9/13/20
SUNDAY
We are preparing to celebrate using new virtual methods, Rosh Hashannah.  The other day I read a Facebook message and someone from my generation (growing up in the 50s and 60s,) asked how many of us remember getting new Fall Outfits for Yom Tov?  Often they were wool or something very warm despite the temperatures that may influence something less, but it was September/October and we must be dressed appropriately for the Jewish New Year.  I remember one year my mother sewed me a black & white hounds-tooth wools suit and I got this corduroy black corduroy hat that today has the 60s written all over it.

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur were traditionally spent in shul, while my parents sat in the synagogue with all the other parents and grandparents, the three of us went to youth services and met up with our parents when their services ended.  It was a solemn day of reflection and it also was a time to show off your best and make your parents proud.

After services on Rosh Hashannah, we would either walk home with friends or pack into my dad’s car for the short 5-minute drive home.  Once home, the men in the family took off their jackets and loosened their ties, but we all remain in holiday finery.  I would help my mother serve the traditional foods like homemade chicken soup with noodle kugel, and course after course I would jump up to assist.  Momma made a tzimmis (a carrot, honey, prune sweet side-dish), sweet and sour meatballs, a sweet kugel with raisins, brisket, and or a roasted chicken (and sometimes we would go to the Shechitah days before to pick out our live chicken and watch the Rabbi, kill it, bless it, and make it kosher.)  Can You Say Tradition?

That was Rosh Hashannah and ten days later for Yom Kipur again we would have our traditional meal before attending Kol Nidre Services.  Much was the same as the week before, but in our home, my mother added Kreplach to the meal (a Jewish Ravioli.)  After filling ourselves up to the gills with food, we began our 24 hour fast for the Day of Atonement.  And just like Rosh Hashannah, my parents sat in the main chapel while my brothers and I went to youth services.

I miss those days – those were the days when my paternal grandparents attended our Shul and they were part of our inner circle, and years before my mother’s parents would join us for the break the fast 24 hours later.  Again, break the fast was centered around food, fresh bagels, and rolls with condiments including LOX, also my mother baked Mandel Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, a yeast coffee cake.  Food brought us together after a day of repenting.

Many of those traditions faded for me when I got married and moved away.  It took me over 36 years to find a Temple where I feel accepted.  However, this year I will not be able to sit in the sanctuary with my new family of Temple Friends I will be sharing in a zoom service like so many of us due to COVID.  However, I hope and pray next year we can feel safe in coming together as one, and as we say at the end of the Yom Kippur service, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” May we say next year in our Temple/Shul.

2020 or 5780 has not been the best year of my life, nor the worst.  However, I pray that 5781 will bring new peace to OUR LIVES so we may live in harmony.  Even those of us who sing off Key should be appreciated for the value we bring to this world.  We must make this year the first step to doing this and making it an everlasting journey for those that follow.

I ushered in 5780 last year with my Temple Israel Akron family.  Sadly, too soon after that COVID crept into our lives and turned things upside down.  However, if I have learned nothing else as I turned 70 in March, I am responsible for my feelings that can contribute to my happiness or sadness, and I have chosen Happiness!  I have spent the last year reaching out and making new friends and relationships.  I have continued to follow my dreams with newcleveleandradio.net.  I have been a support system for my family encouraging them to follow their dreams and not settle because someone has told them to.  I will go into the new yeat 5781 with new hopes and dreams and I will take the steps forward because that is what life is all about.

To all who may be reading this whether you observe the Jewish Holiday or not, know that I believe in you and all the good you too will put forth in the days to come.

L’Shanah Tova!

 

Love, Karen KIKI