Welcome to the March 2006 Seniors Digest!
In this issue, we're excited to tell you about the debut of the new 2-1-1 phone number. What's 2-1-1? Read on to find out how those three little numbers can help connect you with services and resources in our area.
Since March is National Nutrition Month, we would also like to take a look at the important role healthy eating plays in healthy aging. "You are what you eat" is true at any stage of life, and over time, nutrition plays an increasingly important role in our physical well-being and energy level.
Studies show that Americans are eating fewer and fewer meals at home, and so far, the Baby Boomers are continuing that pattern as they reach retirement age. "Dining Out Without Filling Out: Healthy Restaurant Eating is Possible" offers tips on how to make healthful menu choices yes, even at fast food eateries!
We'll also take a look at two innovative "Food and Fitness" programs serving the Vietnamese and Korean senior communities in the Central District. Recreation Specialist Cheryl Brown describes how participants enjoy the cuisine of their native countries, exercise, outings and many other activities. Our featured community member Nhu-Y Pham (seen above during a Vietnamese Senior Association outing) has been a participant and volunteer in the program.
Also in this issue....
- "Nutrition and Older Adults Quiz."
- "Natural Nutrients" Wordfind
- "Links You Can Use"
For More Information...
Check out SeniorsDigest.org, our national companion website. The Seniors Digest Resource Center is a great place to begin your search for information about issues of interest to seniors and their families.
We hope you will refer to our electronic pages often to obtain advice, to learn of new and exciting services, and to offer us your constructive feedback.
Read Seniors Digest and tell us what you think. We are here to help.
Don Moreland, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services
* More About Nhu-Y Pham
Nhu-Y is one of the active senior adults in the Vietnamese Food and Fitness Program at Garfield Community Center. Before she began the program, Nhu-Y had difficulty getting around due to rheumatism in her legs. Her doctor told her that, unfortunately, there was no medicine he could give her to improve the condition. Nhu-Y now states that this diagnosis was fortunate rather than unfortunate, because instead of taking medicine, she began exercising. She started to feel stronger and branched out to different activities, even teaching herself to swim and she now regularly swims 100 laps. Her very favorite exercise is dancing. Nhu-Y says, "I am happy, and my doctor is happy too. People my age have so many disadvantages, but exercise is something we can enjoy and feel good doing."
Nhu-Y was a participant in the meal program at Rainier Vista for several years, and when Parks and Recreation needed a bilingual interpreter for the new Food and Fitness program, Nhu-Y was hired. She has worked diligently to serve her community, and has been instrumental in encouraging non-English speaking seniors to try out new programs offered by the community centers in the Central Area. She trained to teach fitness classes, and though her 18-month internship is completed and she has found a job, she still continues to volunteer as a computer teacher, fitness instructor and group leader for the Vietnamese program.
Nhu-Y says, "One of the reasons I love this program is that getting together with other people from Vietnam helps me to remember my home." She also tells us that exercise and fitness are stressed much more here in the U.S. than in her native land. She notes, "In Vietnam, food is very important, not fitness. People living in Vietnam work very hard in a physical manner every day to accomplish daily tasks, so they don't think about exercise."