Senior gardening fun with plants like the Royal Red Butterfly Bush

Reviewing New Year’s Goals for Boomers and Seniors – From Gardening to Health Screening

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WOW! Can you believe it? The day after tomorrow is a brand new year. 2010 will be gone. 2011 will be here! For many of us in the Sandwich Generation, it’s a time of 3 Rs – reflection, review, and revision. This may be as simple as new plans for your boomer and senior gardening designs like this:

Senior gardening fun with plants like the Royal Red Butterfly Bush

My senior mom was thrilled to get  a regular birdhouse and a humming bird house plus the feeders, along with bird food as gifts for Christmas. She’d already been talking about gardening plans to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden in order to encourage the birds and butterflies she loves to come back and visit us in the spring. She might even try her hand at a homemade hummingbird feeder and/or food for the little critters, in addition to the Sunflower House we’ll be planting again. Right now, with snow all around, she’s having fun reading her favorite plant catalogs from Burpee and Burgess, along with the garden supply catalog from as she makes her senior gardening plans of where to put everything, once the snow is gone. (I know, winter only started two weeks ago. However our snow came early, at Thanksgiving. We’re enjoying it but also starting to think thoughts of spring.)

Other reviews, revisions, and plans might be a bit more serious. Cancer is always big boomer and senior news and Kristine Brown, from Polymedco, reminded me recently about the importance of reviewing our health test schedules as well as those of our senior parents. She also wanted to share with you some fascinating information about a new screening test called FIT.  She reminded me that, “Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death; a figure that may dramatically decrease if Americans are regularly screened for this treatable disease. Colorectal cancer, if detected early, is one of the most curable cancers. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that people ages 50 to 75 receive an annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT), either the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) or guaiac type, that checks for hidden blood in the stool.  This age group should also undergo a sigmoidoscopy procedure every five years, and colonoscopy every 10 years to check for signs of colon (colorectal) cancer.”

I was very interested to read in her email that, ” A study out of Kaiser Permanente saw more than 600,000 patients undergo a simple at-home screening test. The result was a nearly 30% increase in the diagnosis of early, curable cancer. Beyond this, they found their screening rates rise to 73%, a full 10% higher than the national average.” Now, that’s great boomer and senior news, isn’t it? She also pointed out, “Physicians all over the country are adopting this new screening test. More than half of people who die from this disease failed to get screened, which is why it’s crucial for communities to be aware of screening initiatives in their area.”

So, I’m going to be asking my own doctor about this test along with scheduling mammograms for both my senior mom and myself and checking on the dates for our last tetanus shots. How about you? As you stay busy caring for your elderly parents, what will your reflections of the year past and to come be? And what plans will you be reviewing and revising?

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