What we think and feel about aging and mortality determines how we age and die. Positive beliefs and attitudes go a long way toward promoting health and wellness as well as providing comfort and enjoyment along the way. As noted by Dr. Deepak Chopra, our biological age (a measurement of age using standard tests such as blood pressure, weight, bone density, etc.) is affected by expectations and beliefs, and does not always correlate with our particular chronological (or calendar) age. In fact, one study showed that those with more positive self-perceptions of aging, lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative self-perceptions of aging.*
Our beliefs affect our health through the well-known “mind-body connection.” Brain chemicals are produced in response to our beliefs, emotions, and attitudes. Attitudes directly affect the immune system. Thanks to neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to form new pathways in response to new beliefs and learning) we can learn how to change our beliefs, emotions, and attitudes toward aging and mortality and thereby promote improved health. This proves that you can teach an old dog a new trick! Also, the more positive beliefs will produce healthier chemicals that actually support the immune system!
*This study appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 83, No. 2, 261-270)
About our Featured Contributor Amanda Murphy, RN, BA, HN-BC is the owner of Wellness Paths (www.wellnesspaths.com), is a registered nurse who is board-certified in Holistic Nursing and certified in Holistic Stress Management, Whole Health® Education and Coaching, & Empowerment Training among others. Her mission is to inform, inspire, and empower others through creative workshops and coaching designed to reduce stress and foster health, wellness and enjoyment.
I don't think it is any big secret how much I love my gardens...both veggies and flowers! All my Facebook friends must be bored to death with all the pictures that I post every season of my gardens. I remember when I was in 8th grade we had a field trip to the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA. It was my first exposure to gardens as opposed to yards with just sprinklers and swing sets. I was immediately and eternally hooked! The heritage Museum and Gardens are well renowned for their Dexter Rhododendrons, which coincidentally are in full bloom right now! (Their website has a handy dandy blooming schedule of all their exhibits!) If you are like me and love hydrangeas, you will not to miss their hydrangea collection when it is in the height of the season. It is absolutely breathtaking! The Heritage Museums & Gardens offers a hundred acres of trees, shrubs, designed gardens, exquisite flowers and lush, green lawns. There is no "wrong" time of year to visit, either! The gardens are spectacular any time of the year. The Gardens at the Heritage include: the Labyrinth, Hart Family Maze Garden and the Old East Windmill. For younger children, there is Hidden Hollow where they can climb stepping stumps, navigate log balance beams, construct forts, create nature-inspired art, build with blocks, dig in sand, experiment with water, make music, engage in sensory investigation with plants and more!
To plan your visit, go to their website by clicking here!
The S. E. Mass. Veterans Housing Program, Inc. was established to provide hope for homeless veterans in a safe, sober, supportive residence and to assist those who desire to achieve rehabilitation, self-sufficiency, and community reintegration. The Veterans Transition House (VTH) helps homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the Massachusetts South Coast area. They provide shelter and services, with a special focus on healing from substance abuse and learning new life skills. The VTH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded in 1990 by a group of Vietnam veterans and community leaders who recognized the vital need for housing and supportive services for area homeless and at-risk veterans—especially those tackling substance abuse—on the Massachusetts South Coast. Their goal is the rehabilitation, self-sufficiency and reintegration of each veteran into the community. It’s their belief that the veterans they serve seek a hand up, not a hand-out.
How can you help?
Donate! You can donate on-line or make donations to their kitchen, donating vehicles, etc. Click here for more information on donations!
Volunteer! You can become a cyber deputy with flexible hours and the ability to work from home, this job a great fit for any modern marketer.
Drivers Needed! – All what is needed is a valid Massachusetts State license. You can drive local veterans to their doctor appointments,
Event Planning and Resident Events! The VTH holds annual fundraisers and community events and needs help with planning, managing and promoting these events. It’s a great way to make a difference and meet people in the community.
Teach a Class! – Do you have a skill that you would like to share? If you have teaching experience, the VTH would love for you to come teach your skill to their residents.
Donation Drive! – VTH keeps a monthly updated wish list of items that their clients need. Fill out a donation drive form and collect items at your work, school, or social club. VTH staff and residents will be ever-grateful.
Improvement Agent!- Assist VTH with facility improvements like painting, cleaning, yard work, and other critical projects.
Visit a Vet & Be a Friendly Visitor! A large number of elderly veterans who could use a friendly face from time to time. If you have free time and want to make a friend, please consider participating in our visit a vet program.
Veterans Transition House Ambassador! Are you passionate about the issues veterans face in our community and excited about the programs VTH has to offer veterans? Spread your fire by becoming a VTH Ambassador and giving presentation at events and schools about veterans’ issues. They’ll provide you with information, statistics and research opportunities to help you tell the community about their services.
To learn more about this wonderful organization, please click here or follow them on Facebook by clicking here!
Join the Coalition for Animals for their 15th Annual PET FEST and Walk for Animals on Sunday, May 21st Buttonwood Park in New Bedford! This is their biggest fundraiser to help animals within our own community! Come have a great day with your dog and help them raise money for their newest program called “Pets Beside Vets”, in which the Coalition subsidize the adoption fee for a war veteran to adopt an animal from a local participating shelter!
Here are some of the day’s activities and entertainment:
New England Reptile & Raptor Birds of Prey Show
New Bedford Police K-9 Demo
Dog Training Demos
Puppy Kissing Booth
Rainbow Bridge and Pet Memorial Board
50+ Vendor Booths
Emceed by WBSM's radio celebrity, Capt. Jack Peterson
Music by Dave Antunes Sound Co.
Food and Vitamin Demos
Free Samples and Give-A-Ways
Walkers without dogs are welcome, too! For more details and to learn more about them you can click here for more information!!
On May 10, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker made a life-changing announcement for the benefit of disabled individuals living in Massachusetts. The State has joined 20 others in allowing the establishment of an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. For the first time, many people with disabilities (and their parents) can open special savings accounts in which they can save money (and have the use of more cash) without jeopardizing their government benefits.
ABLE accounts are currently limited to individuals with disabilities that originated before the age of 26. Each individual may only have one ABLE account, and only $14,000 per year can be deposited into an ABLE account per beneficiary, regardless of the number of donors. Further, the entire account value cannot exceed $100,000. The funds within such an account, will be disregarded in determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and MassHealth. The funds can be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses. Interest earned on savings in the accounts is tax-free.
What does that mean for my disabled loved-one?
Establishing an ABLE account will allow parents and grandparents of children with special needs to save money for them, tax free, similar to a 529 Account for college savings.
Does that mean I do not need a Special Needs Trust for my disabled child?
One caveat to an ABLE account is that any funds remaining in the account after an account holder dies must be used to reimburse MassHealth for the money MassHealth has spent on them over their lifetime.
With a properly drafted Special Needs Trust, upon your passing, your disabled child can receive funds without jeopardizing their government benefits. It can provide money-management of such funds throughout the child's lifetime, and ensure that upon your child's passing, the remaining funds pass to whomever you choose, rather than to payback the government.
Do you have a child with a disability? Learn how we can help you put in place important estate planning documents to provide for your child. Call our office today.
Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street, Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton, MA 02375. This article is for illustration purposes only. This handout does not constitute legal advice. There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article. DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this article. Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney. Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems.