Celebrating service

April is National Volunteer Month, and we have many volunteers right here at Aberdeen Village to celebrate! While we’d love to highlight them all, we’d like to call out Mary Lou Niebling and Gib Hart, two residents who demonstrate what it means to have a heart for serving others.

Mary Lou-2Mary Lou Niebling

She enjoyed working at Aberdeen Village as a nurse in our assisted living community so much, Mary Lou Niebling decided to move here in 2003. She brought with her an extensive background in service and volunteerism. She worked many years in the medical field and also gave her time in service at Village Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir and working in the food pantry. Right off the bat, she started a recycling program when she arrived here, and she was also on the resident council for several years. She plays piano during Vespers and serves at the Library as well as on the Spiritual Life Committee. She’s a resident ambassador and leads aquatic aerobics on Saturdays.
“My parents were avid volunteers, so it comes naturally to me,” said Mary Lou. “Volunteerism helps me get to know people; it’s a ready-made group of friends, intellectually challenging and keeps me mentally sharper.”

Gib Hart 1-2Gib Hart

Much like Mary Lou, Gib experienced service in a professional setting before moving to Aberdeen Village. He served in the Army Special Training Program in 1943, then went on to get his Aeronautical Engineering degree from KU in 1947. He eventually began his own industrial pipefitting company, from which he retired. He moved to Aberdeen Village in 2001 and has given of his time freely and joyfully. His volunteer experiences have included Meals on Wheels, the Village Church food pantry, and serving as a Bingo caller, resident council member and package deliverer.

He’s also had an opportunity to utilize one of his hobbies to serve others.
“I’ve been a model train enthusiast my whole life and now run the holiday train every Christmas season at Aberdeen,” said Gib. “I have to say, though, that the Village Church Food Pantry was the most fulfilling of volunteer opportunities because there was such a need and you seemed to do such good for people. Volunteering is important to me because of the satisfaction in knowing you can help someone enjoy their life just a little bit more.”

Join us in thanking Mary Lou, Gib and all of our volunteers for all that they’ve done and continue to do for Aberdeen Village.

Chaplain: Joining hands on the journey

shutterstock_229353619-2By Diane Gunsolley, Aberdeen Village chaplain

One recent research study shows that greater than 90 percent of seniors rely on their faith to cope with health problems and difficult circumstances to a moderate degree at least. I believe that study is accurate. Serving as chaplain in various settings since 2008, I’ve had the sacred privilege of joining hands with many on their faith journey. Repeatedly, I’ve witnessed how a vibrant faith in God connects to a sense of meaning and purpose in life. I’ve also observed the importance of community in surviving heartache.

For these reasons, I strongly encourage you to continue with the faith practices that you have found meaningful through the years by joining us in our religious activities here at Aberdeen Village. Our Spiritual Care Department includes volunteers living at Aberdeen Village as well as community volunteers and local clergy. Together, we are here to come alongside you on your faith journey with ministry as unique as you are. The key question is: What spiritual practices are important to you?

If you value attending a Sunday service, we offer two live Sunday services upholding the worship of God and unity among Christians of all faith backgrounds. In addition to these services, we offer weekly Roman Catholic services, plus we simulcast the Sunday Village Presbyterian Church service.

If you enjoy studying the Word of God, we provide weekly Bible studies promoting a lifelong commitment to developing our relationship with God while fostering the extension of community among neighbors here at Aberdeen Village.

If you seek spiritual direction, we facilitate both group prayer times as well as one-on-one ministry. We also arrange for sacramental ministry in line with your faith tradition as well as spiritual guidance including end-of-life and other spiritually linked decisions.

If you desire to connect with your home church, we serve as liaison with your faith community. If you value your alone time with God, check out our libraries for Christian fiction and nonfiction material. Also take advantage of the variety of religious TV programming including: Channel 291 the Global Catholic Network, celebrating daily Mass; Channel 288 Daystar, Channel 290 Trinity Broadcasting Network; and many music channels from hymns to soothing instrumental music.

If you are searching for grief support, we recognize that loss comes in many forms—be it the death of a loved one, a move to a new home, retirement, or loss of health, to name a few. We offer both individual assistance as well as a monthly grief support group to care for one another.
If you long to serve God here, let Chaplain Diane know. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, and there is a spot that’s just right for you. Start giving your time and you’ll begin to see God bless you and the people of Aberdeen Village.

Once you’ve identified the practices that are important to you, check out the monthly calendars, Friday Flyers and in-house TV channel 990 to determine the specific times and locations of spiritual activities. Connect with me, Chaplain Diane, through the front reception or by requesting a pastoral visit through nursing staff. I’m also available by email at dgunsolley@pmma.org.,Follow through. You’ll be glad you did and we will be enriched by your presence.

Art Is Ageless® exhibit and reception scheduled

Basic RGBYou’re invited to enjoy the Art is Ageless® juried exhibit to be held April 24-May 26. A reception will be held at 3 p.m. May 19. And if you’re planning on entering your own art, there’s still time! Entries of artistic works will be accepted until April 12 from any area artist who is 65 years of age or older.

Artists may choose to enter the exhibit only. For the competition, works are to have been completed in the past five years (since January 2012). Local competition winners will join winners from 16 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities to be judged at the systemwide level.

Entry forms and information can be picked up at Aberdeen Village, 17500 W. 119th St., Olathe, or by contacting Chrissie Ammann at 913-599-6100, ext. 2501, or cammann@pmma.org. Or go online to ArtIsAgeless.org to view rules, download an entry form or enter online.

Making a memoir a reality

At 87, she wrote her life story and created a family treasure

By Edmund O. Lawler for Next Avenue


When my mother was a teenager, she got to meet the most famous athlete of the 20th century.

It was 1947. Babe Ruth, by then stricken with throat cancer, granted my mom and her sister a private audience in the beautiful Manhattan apartment he shared with his wife, Claire. The girls, accompanied by their mother, were awestruck as the now-retired Sultan of Swat autographed photos and chatted amiably with them about baseball in a painfully raspy voice. My mom didn’t have the heart to tell the Babe, who would die a year later, that she was a fan of her hometown Chicago White Sox.

My mom was celebrating her recent high school graduation with a train trip from Chicago to New York where she rode the coasters at Coney Island, beheld the Statue of Liberty and dined at the Stork Club. The visit with Babe was a complete surprise — arranged by her businessman father and one of his confidants in New York City.

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Your plain English guide to investment jargon

Definitions of 5 stock market terms you’ll want to know

By Jack Fehr for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

As the stock market continues its gyrations, now is a good time to buy an investment with a favorable NAV and alpha that keeps on giving while reducing beta.

Got that?

If not, don’t be embarrassed. Investment companies and financial advisers love to load up their materials with this kind of jargon. Too bad they don’t just say something like this (a plain-English translation of the first sentence in this article): “You might want to buy an investment that is likely to grow faster and experience less risk than alternatives.”

Well, some actually do, but many still don’t. If companies aren’t willing to talk to you in a language you understand, it’s up to you to decipher their financial-speak.

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Do you really need that knee surgery?

Experts disagree on whether it’s worth going under the knife

By Linda Melone, CSCS for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

You felt it on your last walk when you stepped off a curb the wrong way: a sudden pain and feeling as if your knee were about to give out. Swelling and more pain followed, along with worries that you may need knee surgery.

But would it even help?

A recent Danish review of studies published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people in their 50s and older who get arthroscopic surgery for knee pain show no lasting benefits.

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Achieving your dreams after 60

The authors of ‘Senior Wonders’ on the 3 P’s for Triumphant Aging

By Karen L. Pepkin and Wendell C. Taylor for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Thinkstock

The media abounds with negative views about the impact of aging on physical, cognitive, and financial well-being. In fact, there are entire industries that have emerged to counteract the effects of aging — nutritional supplements, hormone treatments, surgical improvements, lotions, potions, and the like. They all seem to underscore Bette Davis’ famous quote, “Old age is no place for sissies.”

What if there were another point of view? What if aging brought about, not decline but our greatest accomplishments? What if we looked at aging as Dr. Christiane Northrup does? She tells us that “getting older is inevitable, but aging isn’t.”

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Sorry, nobody wants your parents’ stuff

Advice for boomers desperate to unload family heirlooms

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.

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Don’t let fear stop you from end-of-life planning

It’s natural to procrastinate, but make this a priority for your loved ones

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

When I was in my early 20s, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It felt like a one-two punch, since my dad had died unexpectedly a few years earlier. Although Mom tried chemotherapy, the results seemed to suggest that this was going to end badly, which it did — less than six months later.

During that time, her life became a mere shadow of what it once was. And yet no one, including her doctors, myself or my mom, ever talked about what was happening.

Only in the last few days did her doctor suggest to me, not her, that we were reaching the end of this painful road. And then he asked if I thought she’d be more comfortable at home or in the hospital. I remember how angry I was, unprepared to make this decision and wanting to scream, “Why are you asking me?” But of course when I got older, I realized the real question was why hadn’t any of us asked her?

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8 ways to give your investments a spring cleaning

Tax time is an ideal time to declutter your portfolio

By Kerry Hannon for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

Where I live in Washington, D.C., the pink magnolia trees are blooming, and the daffodils are intensely yellow and screaming springtime — just in time for the first day of spring, Sunday March 20.

It’s time to get out in the backyard to tackle garden cleanup… right after I finish my taxes this weekend. Which brings me to a more prosaic chore: Spring-cleaning is also time to clear out the clutter in my financial life, particularly my investments. And I think you should, too. (I’ll tell you how shortly.)

When I’m doing spring-cleaning for my portfolio, I check to see if I need to consolidate and sell extraneous and underperforming funds and stocks. I also do a goals checkup and tune-up to rebalance my investments, so I have the right asset allocation of stocks to bonds to provide the oomph needed to last a potentially long life.

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